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Saturday, December 08, 2007


Just got back from Vegas, and it's truly a city unlike any other. The lights, the sounds, the glitter, the EXCESS. So in tribute, here is the most well-known song associated with the town.

And a blurb from Wikipedia:
Released as a double-sided single along with "What'd I Say" from the same film, "Viva Las Vegas" was a modest hit at best at the time, reaching number 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart and number 17 on the UK Singles Chart, improving to number 15 after a reissue in 2007.
However in years since, it has become one of Presley's most recognized numbers. In the 1990s and 2000s, the song has been contained in countless movies, TV sitcoms, either as a reference to the city of Las Vegas, or simply as an expression of joy, or bewilderement in related comedic situations. Somewhat amusingly, it is said that Doc Pomus wrote the words to "Viva Las Vegas" some thirty years before ever venturing west of Newark, New Jersey.
In 2002, the city of Las Vegas requested Elvis Presley Enterprises, the company who handles a portion of Elvis's musical legacy, and all Elvis-related music rights, to allow it to be the official song of the city but negotiations, to this date, have been stalled over the price requested by EPE. Notwithstanding, EPE has not owned the copyright to the song "Viva Las Vegas" since 1993, when it became the property of the families of the long under credited and (believed by many) almost criminally undercompensated songwriters Doc Pomus (Halberstadt, Alex "Lonely Avenue The Unlikely Life & Times of DocPomus". 2007 DaCapo Press) and Mort Shuman. That EPE no longer owns the copyright essentially means that EPE does not have the authority or right to negotiate the use of the song "Viva Las Vegas" in Las Vegas or anywhere else within the United States, its territories and possessions. Although, EPE may be able to negotiate the use of the actual Elvis recording of the song.

Elvis Presley - Viva Las Vegas
-single B-side (b/w "What'd I Say"), Apr. 28, 1964

-also released as an EP, Jul. 1964
Get it here : Elvis Presley - Viva Las Vegas

And as a bonus, I'll leave it to the Dead Kennedys to respond with their take on the song. Fast as always, and listen carefully to the lyrics for the amusing satire.
Dead Kennedys - Viva Las Vegas
-from the LP "FRESH FRUIT FOR ROTTING VEGETABLES" (IRS / Cherry Red) Sep. 1980

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