Ickmusic Giveaway: Elvis!

August 16th will mark the 30th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death. I am an Elvis fan.

Examples of my dedication to the King:

  • If an Elvis movie is located while flipping the channels, normal day to day life is put on hold until the last of the credits roll. It doesn’t matter if it’s Clambake, King Creole, or Roustabout.
  • The summer of 1989 included a pilgrimage to Graceland with my buddy Mark.
  • I sang “Can’t Help Falling in Love” to my new bride at our 2003 wedding with my brother on guitar.
  • I also sang “Can’t Help Falling in Love” with a full band as best man for my buddy Derek. It was an impromptu performance. I had hit the open bar juuust a bit too hard prior to my toast, and before I knew it, there I was, frozen in front of 500 people with not a coherent phrase in my head. Lucky for me, there was a band behind me. I turned around, asked the guys if they knew any Elvis, and they launched into “Can’t Help..” I went from the tipsy, embarrassed best man to matinée idol in a matter of minutes. My shining moment!

Elvis’s music has always connected with me. His last years were a tragedy for sure, but behind the troubled “Vegas Elvis”, underneath the uppers and the downers, was the same Elvis – a warm and compassionate spirit.

So on to the giveaway. On July 31st, Sony BMG released Elvis: Viva Las Vegas, which is a CD collection that “features music from and is inspired by the ABC television special ELVIS: VIVA LAS VEGAS – the visual chronicle of Elvis’s life during the Vegas years with particular focus on his music, his ground-breaking style and his legacy.” The ABC special will air on September 18th at 9pm EST.

Leave a comment below if you’d like a chance to win the CD. I’ll pick one in a few days.

Here are a couple of tracks that Sony is streaming…

Elvis PresleySee See Rider (Quicktime) | Viva Las Vegas (Quicktime)

For a special treat, listen to this performance of “Are You Lonesome Tonight” (not included on the CD). It’s the infamous “laughing version.” It starts off innocent enough, but as soon as Elvis sings “Do you stare at your bald head, and wish you had hair?”, well, all bets are off, and he basically loses his shit. It’s great!

Buy Elvis: Viva Las Vegas

Elvis’s Official Site.

August 11-18 is Elvis Week in Memphis.


Elvis: Viva Las Vegas Track Listing

1)  Viva Las Vegas
2)  See See Rider
3)  The Wonder Of You
4)  Polk Salad Annie
5)  Release Me
6)  Let It Be Me
7)  I Just Can’t Help Believin’
8)  Walk A Mile In My Shoes
9)  Bridge Over Troubled Water
10)  Patch It Up
11)  You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me
12)  You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling
13)  An American Trilogy
14)  Never Been To Spain
15)  You Gave Me A Mountain
16)  The Impossible Dream


  • Anastasia

    Oh my gosh! 🙂 I’ve loved Elvis ever since my high school drama teacher gave me an album to listen to. I forced my sibilings to listen to it over and again! lol 🙂

    Great giveaway. Count me in too 🙂

  • DDay

    I wonder if there’s anyone who doesn’t love Elvis, or at least part of him. The man is truly mythical, but his godlike status is still mainly due to his music and voice. Being born in 1971 Belgium, I was too young to have known him during his lifetime. But my dad apparently was in London as he saw rows of people queuing up to sign the mourning register outside the Hard Rock Cafe. I grew up with a 4LP box of his hits, and when CDs hit us in the 80s, we had 2 other compilations.
    I’ve always preferred the pre-GI Elvis, and the 50s box set is one of my treasured possessions, but tracks like In The Ghetto, Suspicious Minds or the sublime Guitar Man still knock me off my feet.
    I’ve enjoyed several movies (Jailhouse Rock, Blue Hawaii and a car-related one come too mind) and was in awe seeing the Aloha from Hawaii and the 68 comeback special.
    Although there seems to be an abundance of material coming up, one just never can get enough Elvis.
    All hail the King!

  • jazzmaster

    One of my favorite cut scenes in ‘Pulp Fiction’ is when Mia talks about the two distinct kinds of people: Beatles people and Elvis people. Everyone has a favorite (although they can like the other, too).

    Well… I’ve always been a Beatles guy, Pete. Elvis was cool… Don’t get me wrong, I like the guy. However, I’ve never had any compelling evidence to make me swing my vote to his side. Give me a reason, Pete!


  • John

    At the risk of sounding like the King of Babble-lot, I have to say this…

    Before Elvis, you had niches of music. There was country, there was jazz, there was rhythm and blues. And there were “experts” in all of these fields.
    People who knew how to “do” their types of music for their kinds of people.

    Then, along came this poor kid from the Deep South. He didn’t know much about the guitar and he didn’t know much about singing, but he knew how to take elements of each type and make music that spoke to every kid. Not just in America, but around the world.

    Simply put, Elvis Presley is the Babe Ruth of music. He changed everything.

    Now, on to a side note…
    I grew up with Elvis Presley. His music was always there on the radio. And his movies? We-e-ell, we watched a lot of them. Like, whenever they came on.

    I was delivering newspapers when I found out he died. By the time I got to the end of my route, a lady down there had opened all of her windows and had commenced playing all of her Elvis abums.

    I was sad. But, being a teenager, I wasn’t going to admit that. Certainly not to her daughter, who thought her mother was acting pretty weird.

    In January 1985, I went to a Bruce Springsteen concert. I took a girl I had only known for three weeks, but I knew I had feelings for her. For one of his encores, Springsteen came out and played an acoustic version of “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”
    At that point, I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with that woman.

    Four kids later, we’re still together. A couple of years ago, I dragged them all to Memphis. We went to Graceland. One of the things we saw was a swing set that was purportedly bought by Elvis for Lisa Marie. Maybe it wasn’t original, but it sure looked like the Sears & Roebuck model that I played on when I was a kid.
    We also went to a restaurant that Elvis frequented, where I got to have a fried peanut butter and nanner sandwich. I could feel my arteries shrinking with every bite, but I didn’t care.

    Elvis isn’t just the king. He is the ruler by which all others are measured.

  • Thierry

    Probably in part because of John Lennon’s assessment that Elvis died when he went into the Army, his later years never seem to get their proper due. While I’m not going to defend some of the drivel he recorded in his movie years or the pathetic figure he cut in the performances recorded for his last tv special, a few weeks before his death, the Vegas years are seriously underrated (my favourite Elvis period overall is 1968-1971, from the 1968 special to Elvis Country). In fact, I think anyone with a passing interest in music who still thinks Elvis’s Vegas years were worthless musically should check out Elvis: That’s the Way It Is, as great a testament to the monumental performer that he remained when he returned to the live stage. Also, with James Burton, Ronnie Tutt, Jerry Scheff, Glenn Hardin and the Sweet Inspirations backing him, he had one of the finest live bands around backing him.

  • David M.

    I really appreciate your comments on Elvis movies. We discovered long ago that pre-“Change of Habit” the Elvis films are all pretty benign. That is, we’ve always felt safe watching with them with our kids (now 8, 12, 14). Other than the typical, brief fight in each film, the violence is minimal; the sex is non-existent, and the music is non-stop.

    My twelve year old, in particular is a huge Elvis fan and asked (nay, demanded) that his were the first songs placed on her new (birthday) MP3 player. They’re all particularly fond of the Hawaii movies, but will sit and watch any of them (we’ve accumulated nearly 8-12 DVDs and hope to buy the newest set soon). The Elvis movies in our collection are frequently our “default position” whenever Blockbuster is out of whatever the newest kids’ release might be.

    People seem to have forgotten how powerful an image and performer Elvis is/was. He’s amazing…


  • Chuck

    Elvis was absolutely unique. He was too cool, too good looking, too talented, and died too young. Can you think of any other reason there are so many Elvis impersonators?

  • Charlie

    Elvis was one of kind. For my daughter’s 17th birthday I put together a slideshow of pictures of her throughout her life and played it to “Cant help falling in love”. I’ll put in a powerpoint and share it with you one day.

  • Jeff K

    For those of us who grew up in a world where Elvis already existed, it’s hard to fully appreciate his impact. I recently watched the DVD of his first appearance on Ed Sullivan where the DVD included the entire show. Seeing his performance in the context of the show illustrates the changes he started. Everything on the show seems old-fashioned and nothing like what you would see on TV today. Except for one thing. Elvis. His performance is modern and exciting — and the only thing you could pluck out of the entire show and put on Jay Leno or David Letterman forty years later.

    Thanks for your website!

  • Pete

    Great comments, as always. Buuuut, there can only be one winner. This time around, it’s John. Congrats John… Elvis is comin’ to you in snail mail.

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