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Elvis Presley Viva Las Vegas — starring Elvis Presley article page
of the Elvis Presley biography story

ElvisPresleyPicture This Elvis Presley biography Viva Las Vegas page is dedicated to providing quality Elvis Presley biography information, pictures and articles for your entertainment. The contents of this Elvis Presley site is written by a fan for his fans about Viva Las Vegas.

Viva Las Vegas (1964) is an American romantic musical motion picture starring American singer Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret.

The movie is regarded as one of Presley's best and noted for the on-screen charisma between Presley and Ann-Margret.

The on-screen charisma was real as during filming, Presley and Ann-Margret began an affair that received considerable attention from the gossip columnists in the various media.

The reports led to a showdown with a very worried Priscilla Beaulieu. In her 1985 book, Elvis and Me (Elvis and Me#The Ann-Margret affair), Priscilla Presley recounted this situation and the difficulty when Ann-Margret tried to "cut her off at the pass" with a press announcement that she and Elvis were engaged to be married.

Elvis Presley Primary cast:
∙ Elvis Presley : Lucky Jackson

∙ Ann-Margret : Rusty Martin

∙ Cesare Danova : Count Elmo Mancini

∙ William Demarest : Mr. Martin

∙ Nicky Blair : Shorty Fansworth

∙ Jack Carter : Himself

∙ Teri Garr : Showgirl

Plot summary

Lucky Jackson (Elvis Presley) goes to Las Vegas, Nevada to participate in the city's first annual Grand Prix.

However, his race car is in need of a new engine to properly compete. Jackson raises the money but mislays it when distracted by Rusty Martin (Ann-Margret).

Soon Jackson's main competition, Count Elmo Mancini (Cesare Danova), comes into the picture to steal both the race and Rusty.

The soundtrack songs were recorded in July of 1963 at Radio Recorders Studios in Hollywood, California and is regarded by some as one of Presley's best. In addition to Presley's singing, Ann-Margret performs two solos in the film.

Three songs, "Night Life", "Do The Vega" and "You're The Boss", were recorded for the film but never used. "You're The Boss" is a duet by Elvis and Ann-Margret.

RCA Records has been heavily criticized (in Elvis: The Illustrated Record and other retrospectives) of mishandling what was considered by critics to be the best set of songs recorded for an Elvis film in some time.

None of the vocals involving Ann-Margret were released at the time, despite her being a successful RCA recording artist in her own right and performing two solo numbers in the film ("Appreciation" and "My Rival"). The only recordings released at the same time as the film was the theme song and a cover of "What'd I Say?" on a single, and a few additional songs on an EP.

Additional songs recorded for the film would appear scattered about later album compilations, while the Ann-Margret duets with Presley — "The Lady Loves Me" and the deleted "You're the Boss" — would not be officially released until after Presley's death.

Although bootleg LP's began to appear in the 1970s, purporting to contain the complete soundtrack, RCA wouldn't officially release anything approaching a full soundtrack release until the late 1990s when it reissued Presley's film soundtracks on a series of "Double Feature" CDs which paired the Viva Las Vegas soundtrack with that of Roustabout.

Even so, this release does not include the solo Ann-Margret performances or "The Climb" by the Forte Four. An almost complete soundtrack release for this movie was released on Follow That Dream Records (the Danish division of BMG) in 2003.

It includes all master takes plus alternate versions. "The Climb" is also included, but the Ann-Margret solo tracks are not. At present, the Ann-Margret solos are only available on the 5-cd box set: Ann Margret 1961-1966 from Bear Family Records in Germany.

Recording musicians

∙ Elvis Presley (vocals)

∙ The Jordanaires (background vocals)

∙ The Jubilee Quartet (background vocals)

∙ The Carol Lombard Quartet (background vocals)

∙ Scotty Moore, Tiny Timbrell, Billy Strange, Glen Campbell, Alton Hendrickson (guitar)

∙ Bob Moore, Ray Siegal (bass)

∙ Floyd Cramer, Artie Cane, Calvin Jackson (piano)

∙ Oliver Mitchell, James Zito (trumpets)

∙ Boots Randolph, William Green, Steve Douglas (sax )

∙ Randall Miller, Herb Taylor (trombones)

∙ D.J. Fontana, Buddy Harman, Frank Carlson (drums)

∙ Roy Hart (percussion)

∙ Ann-Margret — vocals on "Lady Loves Me", "You're the Boss", "Appreciation", "My Rival". She also sings backing vocals on "C'Mon Everybody" (film version only).

TRACKS (songwriter)

∙ Yellow Rose of Texas/The Eyes of Texas — (Fred Wise & Randy Starr)

∙ The Lady Loves Me — (Sid Tepper & Roy C. Bennett)

∙ What'd I Say — (Ray Charles)

∙ Viva Las Vegas — (Doc Pomus & Mort Shuman)

∙ I Need Somebody To Lean On — (Doc Pomus & Mort Shuman)

∙ C'mon Everybody — (Joy Byers)

∙ Today, Tomorrow and Forever — (Bill Giant, Bernie Baum, Florence Kaye)

∙ Santa Lucia — (Arrangement Elvis Presley)

∙ If You Think I Don't Need You — (Red West & Joe Cooper)

∙ Appreciation — (performed by Ann-Margret)

∙ My Rival — (performed by Ann-Margret)

∙ The Climb — (performed by The Forte Four)

∙ Do The Vega (not in film) — (Giant, Bernie Baum & Florence Kaye)

∙ Night Life (not in film) — (Giant, Baum, Kaye)

∙ You're The Boss (not in film) — (Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller)

Cover versions of "Viva Las Vegas", the song

∙ Influential punk band Dead Kennedys recorded a version of "Viva Las Vegas" on their debut album Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables. The song had been a part of their live set almost since the band's inception. Their version strips the musical arrangement down to guitar, bass, and drums, and uses a slightly faster tempo, yet maintains the song's melodic structure. It also features satirical lyric changes by lead singer Jello Biafra in the second and third verses, referencing a gambler using speed and cocaine in order to not "sleep a minute away".

∙ ZZ Top recorded a version of "Viva Las Vegas" in their own inimitable blues-rock-meets-techno style, as the lone new track on their 1992 Greatest Hits CD. (This remake can also be heard on the compilations that succeeded it, the box set Chrome, Smoke & BBQ (2003) and the double-CD anthology Rancho Texicano (2004))

∙ Ann-Margaret recut a version of the song for the live action movie The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas (2000) under the pseudonym of her animated alter-ego Ann-Margrock and with the song's title changed to, of course, "Viva Rock Vegas".

The bluegrass group The Grascals did a version of the song on their debut album in 2005.

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