by Kevin Shaw | photos by Andrew Stanford
A few years ago there was a television commercial about joining the army that touted that you could do more before 9 a.m. than most people do all day (I guess that was supposed to be a selling point?). The gist was that if you like to be active and get things done, then the army is the place to be.
Memphis has its very own serviceman who is definitely being all that he can be and has done more before the age of 30 than most people could do in a lifetime. His name is Jerred Price and he’s just your average insurance property adjuster by day, Elton John impersonator by night who’s also running to be your next city councilman by October. Price is that rare mover and shaker who literally moves and shakes.
Born in Anchorage, Alaska, Price’s family moved to Leachville, Arkansas where he was raised before moving to Memphis in 2012. His grandmother had a motto that stuck with him from a very early age: “Be the change you wish to see. If there are things in the world you don’t like, take the initiative to change them.” Price took that message to heart and actually ran for mayor of Leachville at the tender age of 18 (and lost by only 48 votes) and hasn’t looked back.
With an incredibly strong work ethic, starting in high school, Price worked his way up from being a cashier at McDonald’s to quickly becoming the night shift manager and then being recruited away by Lowe’s to be their manager, which led to being stolen away by Nationwide Insurance only to be stolen away again by Erie Insurance where he remains today
Mayor Jim Strickland appointed Price to be the Commissioner for Memphis City Beautiful which is the oldest beautification committee in the nation. He helps with fundraisers such as Friends for Life and The Mystic Krewe of Pegasus Memphis, participates in citywide marches such as the Peace March or the Women’s Movement March downtown and has recently announced his plans to run for City Council representing District 7 (which includes parts of Midtown, Harbor Town, Raleigh, Frayser, etc.).
If that’s not enough, he taught himself to sing at age 6, taught himself to play the piano at age 9 (without any lessons) and performs almost every weekend at either the Hard Rock Café in his one-man show call “Jerred Price: Live!” (singing the music of Bob Seger, Billy Joel, The Eagles, Adele, Maroon 5, etc.) or at Lafayette’s where he performs a three-hour tribute show to Elton John, which includes the wacky costumes, video screens and a full band.
This “Renaissance Man” could go anywhere, but he’s passionate about Memphis and feels compelled to stay here and put his energies into making this city “all that it can be.” While parts of Memphis are experiencing a rebirth of their own, Price is motivated to help improve the pockets of Memphis where people feel forgotten and left behind. He wants to give back to this city and wants to advocate for everyone—especially those in the racial and sexual orientation minorities through city contracts and LGBT protections for city employees. He’s out as a gay man, but doesn’t believe his sexuality has anything to do with his ability to lead or be the voice of the people. He simply wants to advocate for the human race.
Price’s enthusiasm for the city of Memphis is contagious. He loves this city and can’t stop telling everyone he meets how great it is. Talented enough to move to New York or Los Angeles, he won’t because he knows he can make a bigger difference here and for the residents of Memphis. So, while technically, not leaving town, Price is going places — which makes him our very own “Rocket Man.”