Australia lags only slightly behind Canada in conquering Las Vegas entertainment. It's a large country with a relatively small population, but they don't all really know each other, do they?
Well, er, John Stephan sang with Human Nature's Michael Tierney in the Australian Opera Children's Chorus.
And a young autograph-seeker at the Academy of Country Music Awards did once mistake Stephan for a member of Thunder from Down Under.
Both roads lead to Adam Steck, who produces both "Nature" and Thunder, and now, Stephan's tribute to Roy Orbison this weekend at The Orleans.
Stephan has his own career as a singer and songwriter in Nashville, Tenn., with three self-penned albums of his own, and met Orbison's son Wesley two years ago after Stephan performed "Crying" at the Grand Ole Opry.
"We got to talking and decided maybe it would be a good idea to remind people of how great Roy Orbison was," Stephan, says of the tribute making its U.S. debut.
Wesley's recorded voice-overs augment the (noncostumed) tribute, which could be many patrons' first exposure to Orbison's sad life story, which included the death of his wife and two of his children.
Orbison is more revered in Europe than home in the States, where he is remembered mostly for a handful of iconic early '60s hits - "Crying," "Oh, Pretty Woman" and the 1988 comeback "You Got It."
"He had a very, very long career," Stephan says. "If they don't know the name Roy Orbison, they at least know four or five of his hits. If you start humming 'Crying,' they'll say, 'I know that song. It's been on 'American Idol' every year.' "
Contact reporter Mike Weatherford at email@example.com or 702-383-0288.