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Elvis Presley Christmas Duets

August 04, 2008 | Music
EPE announced a Christmas duets CD which is due for release On October 14 2008.
The press-release:

SONY BMG Music Entertainment, in partnership with Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc., will release the “Elvis Presley Christmas Duets” CD, which is the first Elvis Presley duet recordings album and the first Christmas compilation of its kind ever produced. This release marks yet another milestone in Elvis Presley’s legacy, 31 years after his death.

The CD will feature many of today’s biggest country artists, including Carrie Underwood, Martina McBride, Gretchen Wilson, Sarah Evans and LeAnn Rimes singing classic Elvis holiday songs with Elvis Presley.

“There has been tremendous excitement from the many artists contributing their voices to these Elvis Christmas classics. We believe Elvis fans will truly enjoy these unique collaborations while introducing Elvis' holiday classics to the many fans of his duet partners,” says Joe Galante, Chairman, SONY BMG Nashville.

In order to create these classic “duets” Sony BMG used the most advanced and sophisticated audio technology available. For songs that were recorded on one track, mono, musical beds were created to perfectly match the instrumentation and arrangements contained on the originals. In the case of songs that have been recorded in multi-track where Elvis' vocal is isolated on a single track, the vocal was simply dropped for a given verse or chorus, making room for the duet artist. To be as faithful as possible to the original recordings, the fabled RCA Studio B in Nashville - the same studio that Elvis recorded the 1971 original Christmas session in, was used.

“This is an excellent example of the innovative ways in which we keep Elvis’ catalog fresh and continue the history of creating, preserving and celebrating great music,” says John Ingrassia, President of the SONY BMG Commercial Music Group.

"We are so pleased that these accomplished artists are collaborating with Elvis in this unique way to make exciting new versions of his Christmas songs. I am sure Elvis would be proud to have worked with them," says Priscilla Presley.

Elvis is one of the biggest-selling artists every holiday season, although he only recorded 20 Christmas songs, his various holiday albums have sold over 25 million copies in the US alone. His existing Christmas releases are seen on the holiday charts year after year.

Partial track listing (not in sequence):

"I'll Be Home For Christmas" with Carrie Underwood
"Blue Christmas" with Martina McBride
"Here Comes Santa Claus" with LeAnn Rimes
"Silent Night" with Sara Evans
"Merry Christmas Baby" with Gretchen Wilson
"Silver Bells" with Anne Murray
"White Christmas" with Amy Grant
"O Little Town" with Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman of Little Big Town
“Santa Claus Is Back In Town” with Wynonna Judd

Sample tracks will be previewed August 14 during Elvis Week 2008 in Memphis at the Elvis Insiders Conference. Sony/BMG and EPE executives will welcome the attendees to be the very first to hear portions of the CD during an exclusive preview and listening party at the Conference in The Cannon Center.
Source:EPE - Elvis Presley Enterprises
daviddoelen wrote on August 04, 2008
Sounds awful
Jerome returns wrote on August 04, 2008
no thanks, I'll wait for the Spancock Xmas album..
bastiaanvinke wrote on August 04, 2008
Looks nice to me... I'll buy it...
Viva wrote on August 04, 2008
Smaltzy garbage sung by a load of nobodies. Yet another pile of old toss.
JerryNodak wrote on August 04, 2008
Personally, I know all the artists listed on this partial traclist. They are not a pile of nobodies. Of course, it would seem so if you know next to nothing about the country music scene (past or present in the U.S. Amy Grant made her initial impact in Cotemporary Christian music here. She's since move over into pop. LeAnn Rimes crosses both pop/country lines. As has Anne Murray for decades.
NONE000000 wrote on August 05, 2008
God. I usually try to stay positive on any new Elvis release, but....uuugghh! Why the heck did they have to get these horrid country music people!? To me, a project like this could have been ok, but how about Micheal Buble', Harry Connick Jr.... Tony Bennett (while he is still alive!)... I mean get some actual vocalists instead of this twangorama list of hacks! I mean, fine, keep one hick country singer if you have to, but why in God's name do a whole country Christmas duets album?? I would rather an entirely studio-created album of all dead artists doing duets than this! Elvis and Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin.... Because I love Elvis, I will feel obligated to get this, but you can bet this one will be an illegal download for yours truly, and odds are I will edit out the hillbilly wailings of whomever they've got singing with the King. Jeez... What a perfect example of how something that really could've been a good idea is going to be crap now instead. How'd this meeting even go?---"Hey guys, how about we take the King of Rock and Roll and have him duet with really lame country artists? If that doesn't work, let's use rappers! But no actual singers or anything..."
JerryNodak wrote on August 05, 2008
Firstly, your complete overwhelming uneducated, uninformed opinion of contry music and it's artists is showing. Country and twang haven't gone hand in hand for at least 20 years. None of these artists are twngy, hillbillies. Secondly, part of Elvis' roots were in country (as a fan you should know this) So, it's natural that at least some of the contributing artists would be from this genre. Thirdly, this is just partial list. So perhaps some pop icons are yet to be added.
mature_elvis_fan75 wrote on August 05, 2008
I myslef have nothing against some good country singers,but names like gretchen wilson dont make me wanna buy this,im not much on cd's like this,although theres a few talented singers listed,omit gretchen and carrie and ill think about it!
GEORGE (GK) wrote on August 05, 2008
It should be a fun album. Hopefully we will get some "Pop"& "Rock" artists on the album.. also !! I hope RCA will get behind a "REMIX ALBUM" in early 2009. Thats what I would like!Get JXL and Paul O to remix more Elvis Tracks.
jb4elvis wrote on August 05, 2008
Sounds like a nice idea. The artists on the partial list seem fine. It does sound like they are trying to maintain integrity in producing this album. It could be fun. I'll but it.
commoneverybody wrote on August 05, 2008
Beautiful cover, fantastic idea but........ for European buyers: who on earth are Gretchen Wilson, Carrie Underwea...eh.. wood, Sara Evans, Martina McBride????? Or is this release for the US market only??? Strange to use singers who are unknown to the European public ( except for LeAnn Rimes, Amy Grant, Ann Murray and Wyonna Judd). Still, its a great CD in my opinion.
Lex wrote on August 05, 2008
I think the cover is stylish, but long time has gone since I bought an album for the cover.
efan4ever wrote on August 05, 2008
Viva i am not sure what another pile of old toss means but its sure is funny.
efan4ever wrote on August 05, 2008
sounds interesting however i won't buy the disc there are other Elvis things i would rather purchase
dressingroomrehearsa wrote on August 05, 2008
that's not bad news at all. commoneveryobdy: Carrie Underwood is quite known over here in Europe, I was recently listening country music programs. Including her is a wise move as she will connect with a younger, country music aimed audience. And Amy Grant is a modern classic. Too bad the man isn't alive anymore. Duetting with her on Christmas Can't Be Far Away would have been a smash for both! Lookin forward. The only negative imho: 9 tracks is way too less, or will be there be a volume 2 for the next year?
bastiaanvinke wrote on August 05, 2008
I just listened to the singers I didn't know. I think it's gonna be a great CD. The only ones I'm not really sure of are Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman of Little Big Town.
bastiaanvinke wrote on August 05, 2008
dressingroomrehearsa: It's a partial list. There will be more songs on the album...
dressingroomrehearsa wrote on August 05, 2008
Hans Zonderland: Oh wow, then there are some surprises to be excpected! So why not a trio then? Tony Bennett, Michael Bublé (they have a great chemistry in common-watch their duets!) supporting Elvis Presleys recorded voice on "Winter Wonderland"?! Imagine! Bublé is t h e man for this one and Bennett's mellow voice would crown it...Let's dream.
Lefty wrote on August 05, 2008
Frank Sinatra and Ray Charles had their "duet" albums, both of which were huge money makers. Seems logical to try it with Elvis. Choosing Christmas as a theme for a duet CD is a double win. People spend lots of money during Christmas, and Christmas music sells to fans and non-fans alike. Sony and EPE are going to make a bundle on this release. As far as the type of artists, going with Country singers only makes sense. Most of the Christmas songs recorded by Elvis were done in a Country style. The crooner type artists like Buble and Bennett would be harder to match. Plus, Country music has melded so well with Pop, you can hardly separate them. I wonder if Lisa Marie is going to lend her voice to at least one track?
circleG wrote on August 05, 2008
I don't think the average person will be that familiar with these names - i know I'm not! I agree that bigger names should have been chosen but on the whole I'm not excited with this release. It's just an opportunity for artists to ride the Elvis wave. Give us an EOT and TTWII box set for heavans sake so that the public can see and hear the man on his own !
bastiaanvinke wrote on August 05, 2008
CircleG, you're not American?
JerryNodak wrote on August 05, 2008
Here's how I see it: The Christmas Duets will be a big success in the USA, but not in Europe and other foreign countries. The remix album coming in 2009 wil be a big success in Europe, etc., but a big yawn here.
Steve V wrote on August 05, 2008
Carrie Underwood is the one of the biggest record sellers in the world and a former American Idol. G Wilson had one of the biggest country cds ever for a female artist. Martina McBride has won countless awards for country music. These are not unknown artists. All their music crosses over on the Billboard charts. Not knowing anyhting about any of these artists just shows how close minded Elvis fans are. Although Tony Bennett is a legend a duet would not work. Elvis has a country blues voice and blends better with these artists. If it makes money isnt that great? Elvis hasnt had a big seller for a while. I think it is better than another boring compliation.
Brian Quinn wrote on August 05, 2008
Personally I look forward to this release. At least it will make a change and give Elvis some chart exposure, especially in the U.S.A. I have three reservations for the world market: (1) Most of the artists featured are not very well known. (2) Country artists are 'tarred with the same brush' e.g. country music, and this is not very popular in the UK and especially with the younger generation. (3) The release date is too early for the Christmas market. Should have been released during November as most Elvis albums achieve their maximum potential one or two weeks following release. I suspect that this is a 'taster' for the main 'Duets' release sometime in the near future.
JerryNodak wrote on August 05, 2008
1. Most of the artists listed (perhaps all) have toured in Europe and other foreign countries. 2. Perhaps the U.K. (and especially the youth) should try listening to the mostly new contemporary country artists on this list. They would find country music artists today are far removed from those of yesteryear. 3. The release date is immaterial in this case. It's quite common (at least in the U.S.) to release Christmas cds in early October so as to make sure they are in the pipeline. This insures that merchants have then in their hands no later than the first week in November. You ussually see them on display for sale about two weeks before Thanksgiving more or less. A lot depends on the individual store's manager.
James69 wrote on August 05, 2008
JerryNodak you are right, most if not all Christmas cds are released in October, and promotion on them starts in November. For once SonyBMG are trying something different, and most fans critizise them!!! I for one am looking forward to this, very curious how it will sound, remember Felton Jarvis was working on a duets album when he died in 1981. Country music radio stations number in the thousands in the USA, and Elvis Christmas music gets a lot of airplay on Country radio, so this release makes a lot of sense.
Brian Quinn wrote on August 05, 2008
I am reliably informed that there will be different versions of the 'Christmas Duets' Album. One for the U.S.A, one for the UK and one for Canada. The localised versions will feature artists from the said country. The UK album will be released in November and there will also be a single release. No tracks/artists are known at present for the UK or Canadian releases. Sony BMG have high hopes for this album. Looks like we will all have to start saving up for the various versions. Please note that the 'Christmas Duets' Album is different to the one tentatively set for 2009 which will be more eclectic in format and artists. There will be a major push for that release including a TV Show built around it.
ta2k wrote on August 05, 2008
As Country Music in general is no real big deal in the UK then I'd have said the album, unfortunately, will do nothing here. However,if what Brian Quinn is suggesting about more known and localised singers being on a different UK release,then depending on who it is,it could do really well. Here's hoping... TCB
samcra wrote on August 05, 2008
This is great. Most of these singers are country music mega stars. (only the BEST for ELVIS !)...I'll buy it.
dressingroomrehearsa wrote on August 05, 2008
Jerry Nodak is absolutely right with his point. I am living in Switzerland. Country Music as performed by the forementioned modern country artists is highly appreciated here! We have a nice bunch of festivals every year featuring new artists from the Canada and the U.S. So there is no problem for me. By the way I became familiar with a lot of artists by following back the track from an Elvis Song like "Steamroller Blues" and got introduced to a wonderful new world, the James Taylor songs. Likewise it will work with the Christmas Duets. Young music fans will discover Elvis Presleys legacy via their favourite artist. And as a good part of you are americans, don't forget your Letterman's and Jay Lenos, and remember Ophra Winfrey was dining at Graceland sitting on the very chair Elvis used to sit on. Put Lisa on one of the songs, my suggestion would be "It Won't Seem Like Christmas Without You" and you got prime time news and late night shows on every network. So, take pride and take courage. This will be something very special! Seasons greetings from Switzerland - as Elvis had freedom to perform "Blue Christmas" at any time of the year ¦-) and yes: Let's not be negative. This to me is innovative and breathing the spirit of the man who pioneered world wide television concerts years before Live Aid.
jb4elvis wrote on August 05, 2008
What a GREAT idea you have. Lisa singing a duet with her father for this album! The other songs they sing together on (Don't Cry Daddy, and In the Ghetto) are awesome. I think a Christmas duet with Elvis and Lisa would be awesome! From a marketing point of view, it would probably also increase the sales for this release.
NONE000000 wrote on August 05, 2008
It is interesting how differently people even here within the heart of the Elvis community see things. To me, this will be a total flop and an embarassment, as well as the absolute wrong direction to go with Elvis. However, that may well be because I consider country music itself (not including the brilliant things Elvis himself was able to do with Country music) to be an embarassment and crap in general. I feel the same way about rap music. So this may be my hangup. Not all of the remixes have worked well, but certainly A Little Less Conversation and Baby Let's Play House were good IMO. But these, to me, are closer to the right direction to keeping Elvis current and out of the COuntry music bins and in Rock where he belongs. And to me, another good step would have been to go with duets with actual Vocalists, like the ones I had mentioned. I would like to see Elvis' name get more respect. His version of "I'll Be Home For Christmas" for example, is truly the best ever done. It is not countrified; it is a version on par with Sinatra's. Tony Bennet's version is a more jazzy take, but Elvis' was not country. The only fully country Christmas song I can name that Elvis did is "I'll Be Home On Christmas Day" ("from the hills of Georgia...to the plains of Tennessee....") The obvious duet partner for "Merry Christmas Baby" is Bruce Springsteen--though he's admittedly outside the catagory of tradiional "Vocalists".... I guess I should be very very relieved that at least people like Toby Keith are not on this thing. The nice thing about it is it will not linger, so the embarassment factor should be minimal; maybe a country music station or two might play a track from it, but it'll never chart or make any impact and it will fade quickly since it is a seasonal album. Maybe they can stilll do it right with a real duets cd, not Christmas themed later. I hope so, because the idea itself is not bad, only the execution.
Harvey Alexander wrote on August 05, 2008
How very sad all this is. Elvis never played second fiddle to anyone in his professional lifetime, but now he's being 'bolted on' to a bunch of unworthy duet partners. But judging by the reaction of some posters here, they'd be quite happy to see him duetting with ANYBODY as long as there's a chance of getting him back in the charts. How very, very sad that is. Have you people never heard of credibility?
sitdown68 wrote on August 05, 2008
Harvey Alexander: In my opinion you are missing the point if you stae Elvis never played second fiddle. This isn't the case. The aim is another. Since the man isn't alive anymore there ain't no other way to do that. But remember: Cash duetted with Dylan on Nashville Skyline, or let's get even back to Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Did Ray Charles play second fiddle in his last days while he recorded along with a nice group of younger artists? Nope, Sir. I guess everyone of these artists mentioned for the project feels very privileged and honored to do a duet "with" Elvis. Had he lived, this would have been one of the highlights of his career, 100 pro. Especially with new songs recorded for it. But one has to face the iretrievable facts...Would you really resist to buy it if Elvis were alive? I wouldn't. I am not a diehard fan anymore, but I am really intrested in what they will present by fall. They do just a fine job. Forget Spancox. This comes much closer to what ever Presley intended to do. And by the way: How many times he stood back while on stage, asking the stamps, Kathy, or Sherill Nielsen (not my cup of tea) to do a song...? So, come on and don't look at it this way ¦-) It's gonna be a great Christmas for us all!
Jumpin Jehosaphat wrote on August 06, 2008
What about Blue Christmas with Pa Pa Pa Porky Pig or White Christmas with the Chipmunks lets just go all the way to doomsville. I"ll have a Ba Ba Ba Blue Chr Chr Chr Christmas wi wi wi with out you.
Lex wrote on August 06, 2008
Sitown, don't know if it'll be a great Christmas (depends on how many relatives I'll be forced to see :-)), but this sh*tty disc certainly won't help. Gladly I still have the originals (which are not my cup of tea either, except Merry Christmas and Santa Claus Is Back In Town, but at least most of them are listenable). Look, I love Bublé too, and even Tom Jones, but I wouldn't really appreciate them either, unless they sang with Elvis if he was alive... now, that could have been fun, but not this artificial duet thing, give me the real thing anytime.
dressingroomrehearsa wrote on August 06, 2008
Lex: good point with the relatives...;-) So then give the "Christmas Peace" release a spin if its getting hard ...LOL.
JerryNodak wrote on August 06, 2008
Ah! Good old Jumpin' J. Forever the comic, optimist.
elvis_aotc wrote on August 06, 2008
Where is Katie Melua on it ? Should be on there.
Viva wrote on August 13, 2008
This will not work. It simply will not work. Our ears are in for a bashing beyond that which Celine Dion's "If I can Dream" butchery could muster as we have to endure not one screeching banshee, but several. The fact is despite what is posted here, the names mentioned above wouldn't generate enough excitement to wake an insomniac. The Lisa Marie and Sinatra efforts aside, duets with Elvis are an afront to his talent. It has nothing to do with being narrow minded, it has everything to do with the fact that a load of middle of the road, warbling, over produced has-beens will insult his name and further degrade his memory by continuing with EPE's relentless mission to remove the real Elvis from everything that bears his name. Stick this one where the sun don't shine, I'm off to Listen to Elvis' Christmas album; it's really good: It even has Elvis on it. If you're the kind of person who thinks that Priscilla really was crying on the first Graceland tour video, or that being number one on the "Christmas duets featuring Elvis Presley and a red cover" charts is a "Really good thing" then I'm sure you'll have a real warbling Christmas with this one. Enjoy.
JerryNodak wrote on August 14, 2008
I'm looking forward to this release. I don't fear for my ears at all. They certainly were not bashed by the Elvis/Celine duet of "If I Can Dream." I thought it was excellent. I heard plenty of positive reaction to it from non Elvis fans young and old for days after it aired on "American Idol." They and I certainly enjoyed that much more than those ALLC and Rubberneckin' dance remixes. Ugh!
Harvey Alexander wrote on August 14, 2008
"The Elvis / Celine duet was excellent"!! Are you insane? Do you like showtunes, as well?
JerryNodak wrote on August 14, 2008
No, I'm not insane. Yes, it was excellent. And yes, I like showtunes, as well.
Harvey Alexander wrote on August 15, 2008
That figures.
Rob Wanders wrote on August 15, 2008
mmm...I dont know. "Silver bells" and "O lttle town" are not really my favourite tunes. I like the cover.
JerryNodak wrote on August 15, 2008
Yes, Harvey if I had a time machine I'd use it to visit the "Golden Age of Broadway." So I could see the great musicals such as "Sound of Music;" "My Fair Lady;" "Camelot;" "South Pacific" and others with their original broadway casts. I would do this before I would visit any point in Elvis' career.
Harvey Alexander wrote on August 17, 2008
You can stop digging that hole now, Jerry. Get back to your Celine Dion records, and say hello to Dorothy for me.
JerryNodak wrote on August 17, 2008
What hole, Harvey. I'm very comfortable in my skin. How about you? BTW: I don't own any music by Celine Dion.