(SONY BMG/NY/Nashville) On October 14, 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, Sara 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 for new and existing fans, and continue the history of creating, preserving and celebrating his 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.
Anne Murray- “Silver Bells”
Martina McBride- “Blue Christmas”
Little Big Town- “O Little Town…”
Gretchen Wilson- “Merry Christmas Baby”
Wynonna- “Santa Claus Is Back In Town”
Sara Evans- “Silent Night”
Leann Rimes- “Here Comes Santa Claus”
Amy Grant- “White Christmas”
Jennifer Nettles- TBD
Carrie Underwood- “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”
Sample tracks will be previewed August 14 during the 2008 Elvis Week in Memphis at the Elvis Insiders Conference www.elvisweek.com. 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.