Press Release Viva Las Vegas Special

Monday, September 10, 2007 -- Thirty years after Elvis Presley's death, an ABC two-hour TV event in High Definition will examine how the King of Rock-and-Roll reinvented Las Vegas -- and how it reinvented him. Hosted by ABC News' "20/20" anchor Elizabeth Vargas, the special, produced in cooperation with Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc., will incorporate rarely seen footage of Elvis performing in Las Vegas, revealing interviews with those closest to him, and special performances from some of today's top recording stars singing Elvis' Vegas classics. "Elvis: Viva Las Vegas" airs Tuesday, September 18 (9:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. The program celebrates his triumph in Las Vegas and artistic legacy that continues through contemporary artists today. The special will feature unique duets from Toby Keith and Aerosmith's Joe Perry performing "Mystery Train," and Chris Isaak with hot new artist Brandi Carlile performing "Love Me Tender" (filmed on the former site of the Aladdin Hotel, where Elvis and Priscilla were married). Some musical artists talk about the influence Elvis had on them, and others perform covers of their favorite Elvis songs. Artists include 50 Cent, Beyoncé, Daughtry, Celine Dion, Faith Hill, Norah Jones and The Little Willies, Miranda Lambert, Paul McCartney, Willie Nelson, "The Rock," Patti Scialfa and Oscar winners Three-6-Mafia. The two-hour special will include exclusive interviews with Elvis' former wife, Priscilla Presley, and will chronicle different aspects of Elvis' life during the Las Vegas concert years. Elvis was able to reinvent himself in Las Vegas and make a comeback at a time when critics didn't think he had a chance. Viewers will see how his combination of soul and showbiz, electric rock and sex appeal became the template for performances today. His astonishing success started the practice of the long-running Vegas "residency" that Celine Dion, Prince, Cirque du Soleil and Elton John partake in today. Elvis' Las Vegas years proved to be a time of a remarkable revival and inner conflict. When he first arrived, he basked in audience adoration powerful enough to transform the city. "Las Vegas needed a shot in the arm, and Elvis was the potion," friend, co-star and fellow Las Vegas performer Nancy Sinatra tells ABC. "He got the young people in. And the young people helped to build a new Vegas." But as time went on and Elvis performed the same songs show after show, night after night, Priscilla Presley tells Vargas that he was "like a stallion caged in a tiny stall." Frustrated by a lack of new creative challenges, Elvis reportedly told one of his backup singers that he thought no one would ever remember him. "That's incredible," says three-time Oscar nominee, film director David Lynch. "Elvis swims in our minds, and in the emotions all through time." And Matchbox 20 lead singer Rob Thomas adds: "Elvis set the world on fire... if you're a rock and roll musician, the music you're making, you wouldn't be making it if Elvis wasn't there to open those doors, and not just open -- kick them open." A companion soundtrack from SONY BMG Music Entertainment, "Elvis: Viva Las Vegas," is currently in stores and features music from and inspired by the ABC television special. "Elvis: Viva Las Vegas" is produced by ABC's Lincoln Square Productions and Elvis Viva LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc. Rudy Bednar is co-executive producer for Lincoln Square Productions. David Saltz is co-executive producer for Elvis Viva LLC.
Source: Google / Updated: Sep 11, 2007 
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Jumpin Jehosaphat (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 23, 2007report abuse
I must say if you were in Las Vegas in 1969 or so and then returned in the ninetys you would think your were in a whole new world. Elvis did bring big money and big names to vegas and actually before he did "rock and Roll" there the head liners were People like dean martin frank sinatra etc elvis made our kind of music open a door. i really think thats what the show was trying to present, along with a ton of intermissions making money off of who else ELVIS.
Devon (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 23, 2007report abuse
waste of air time.
garnet (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 23, 2007report abuse
If you would like to see a much better tribute to "E" go to '' and look for BrandyLee Morin. She has a short but very beautiful video with her song to Elvis on it. It brought tears to my eyes the first time I saw and heard it. Beautiful song.
efan4ever (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 23, 2007report abuse
That show was weak. It did nothing to put Elvis over for the generations to come. I am glad I did not use a vaction day for it.
Greg Nolan (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 22, 2007report abuse
I agree with the critics - this show was a huge disappointment, and I say that as someone who (as with "ELVIS LIVES" from 2002) is open to featuring modern artists, even those with thin links to Elvis. I wasn't wild about ELVIS LIVES, but it was very Elvis-centric and managed to work in at least one complete song by the man of the hour -or two! It's clear to me the budget was less than even that show, and I don't even mind all the non-Elvis singers (everyone seems to have their preferences as to what songs worked) but to actually make a show about Elvis *BORING* - well, EPE and ABC News, you've suceeded! Put Elvis out front! How many people know "I Can't Help Believin'" or any of the more familiar cuts? Spice the show up..with Elvis! I left the show feeling like they made him deader than he is..and through the magic of film and audio, he's ironically very much timelessly with us..but you'd never know it from this junky show! "Mrs. Presley" - take a power and get off stage, please!
mature_elvis_fan75 (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 20, 2007report abuse
No back up singers,or no one from his band,but we did see cilla,no wonder people think Elvis is voer ratted and dont understand his popularity,they keep his music hidden from every special and have people from his personal life talking and not ones who i dont know,played drums pinao with him,sang back up,Elvis till this day is the most misused artist,its amazing he has sold as many records as he has,i didnt see much promotion of the viva las vegas cd?
Elvisnites (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 20, 2007report abuse
Your both right. Not that I don't appreciate a prime time channel putting on a show about Elvis, but it could have been better. I want to know what footage I've never seen before. I didn't see anything I have not seen before. Your were right Harvey, but I don't think there was 1 hours worth of show. Maybe I dozed between commericals, but didn't they keep showing the same scenes of Elvis on stage over and over again? If I see one more show of Miss Pris defending herself on why she left E, I'm going to get a gun and shot my TV screen out. Let it go lady. The guest I liked best was Paul McCartney. You could tell he was sincere and emotional when talking about Elvis. Where were the back up singers who could have given a better insite into the Vegas years and how he changed the city. When it was done, I wasn't sure if the show was about Elvis, Vegas, or seeing his songs butched. Better luck next time. Sorry, just my opinion.
Ruthie (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 19, 2007report abuse
Same old shit, different day!
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 19, 2007report abuse
watching the show as I speak - not too impressed with seeing some of these folks talk about Elvis, altho it is all complimentary. I mean 50 Cent, and American Idol loser Daughtry, cmon. Makes no sense. The Elvis footage is nice (altho not new to us) and the exposure can never hurt. Maybe the CD will rise in the charts now.
Harvey Alexander (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 13, 2007report abuse
But it won't be two hours devoted to Elvis. Do you not understand? It'll be soundbites about Elvis (probably with factual errors) then straight into Beyonce or somebody else with no link at all to Elvis butchering one of his songs. It'll be total fluff - just like 'Young Elvis In Colour' was here in the UK. If I'm wrong I'll be the first to admit it, but don't hold your breath. Dream on if you want and believe the hype about "unseen footage", but you'll be disappointed, I'm telling you know.
Elvisnites (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 13, 2007report abuse
Amen Joe Carr. Totally agree.
Joe Carr (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 13, 2007report abuse
All of these negative comments, lets give the show a chance for god sakes, it might be awesome for all we know. ABC is giving a two hour special on our guy, which will show the world how great he was in Vegas, especially in 1970, ( which I'm sure is the footage they will be using ) and on prime time to boot!
Steve V (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 12, 2007report abuse
Im sure Beyonce never owned an Elvis record in her life. 50 cent ditto but the networks have to have these so called contemporary 'artists' to draw new viewers. Hope some of these viewers may buy some Elvis after seeing this. Who the heck is Three-6Mafia?
Colonel (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 12, 2007report abuse
50 Cent? Beyoncé? C'mon they can't be serious about this. Those people aren't even musicians...
CEP (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 12, 2007report abuse
What are you talking about Harvey Alexander - this is great news - can't wait for it - i have looking forward for years to seeing a doc/programme discussing Elvis's impact on Vegas as opposed to Sinatra's/Rat Pack etc.Some great quotes above and some great guests and your comments about Priscilla are just pathetic - why are some Elvis fans so spiteful and short sighted - anything that helps to cast a new perspective on Elvis's musical and cultural legacy is very welcome
Harvey Alexander (profilecontact) wrote on Sep 12, 2007report abuse
This sounds dreadful. A two-hour special on US TV means less than one and a half hours with the commercials. By the time all the guest bozos have murdered his songs and the Botox Queen and other talking heads have had their say, how much time will actually be given over to Elvis? Very little, I reckon. Another waste of time. But at least Sony BMG got to release another CD to fleece the fans with.

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