Sym­phony of Elvis would have suited star

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Music -

IN cel­e­bra­tion of ‘The King’ and his iconic rock ’n’ roll, Elvis Pres­ley: The Won­der of You tours live this May and June.

Fol­low­ing the suc­cess of two Elvis al­bums, If I Can Dream (2015) and The Won­der of You (2016), the show fea­tures the great man on state-of-the-art screens spe­cially de­signed for the tour and backed by a 40-piece sym­phony or­ches­tra.

Closely in­volved in the cre­ation of the al­bums and con­cert tour, Priscilla Pres­ley shares her in­sight into the de­vel­op­ment of both projects.

Q: Why do you think Elvis would have wanted an al­bum or stage show of this na­ture with an or­ches­tra?

A: Elvis al­ways loved the big sound and full­ness of an or­ches­tra. If he had his way, you would have seen a full or­ches­tra on stage with him at ev­ery live show. I feel cer­tain this is the kind of live show and these are the kind of al­bums Elvis would have been do­ing if he were with us to­day. He would have loved this. It re­ally is a dream come true.

Q: How in­volved were you in the cre­ative process?

A: Ev­ery step of the way I was there, work­ing very closely with our pro­ducer, from the ini­tial song se­lec­tion to pre-pro­duc­tion to the record­ing ses­sions at Abbey Road in Lon­don. Elvis de­serves this kind of at­ten­tion to de­tail and this truly was a very se­ri­ous cre­ative and pro­duc­tion process – we couldn’t just do a sym­phonic col­lec­tion of his great­est hits. We had to find the right songs that fit the feel of the al­bums and shows, so you will see some well-known songs that charted and some tracks that may be less fa­mil­iar, but they all help shape the story, with Elvis on vo­cals, ac­com­pa­nied by a full or­ches­tra. There was no other way to do this project and keep it au­then­tic and at the high­est qual­ity.

Q: The 40th an­niver­sary of Elvis’ pass­ing is com­ing up in Au­gust. Did you ever imag­ine his pop­u­lar­ity would be this strong four decades af­ter his pass­ing?

A: In that mo­ment when a loved one passes and even in the first few years af­ter, it is hard to imag­ine life with­out them in your world… I cer­tainly knew he would re­main with our fam­ily for­ever, but I was able to see the signs of his last­ing legacy and his con­tin­ued global pop­u­lar­ity with the suc­cess of Grace­land in Mem­phis. We thought we might man­age five years of tours when we opened in 1982, but the fans kept com­ing. Last year we wel­comed our 20 mil­lionth vis­i­tor and are about to com­plete a $140 mil­lion ex­pan­sion to en­hance the vis­i­tor ex­pe­ri­ence with a new en­ter­tain­ment com­plex open­ing this March, along with our ho­tel, The Guest House at Grace­land, which opened to rave re­views last Oc­to­ber. There are no signs of Elvis slow­ing down… if any­thing, his legacy only grows stronger with each pass­ing day.

Elvis Pres­ley: The Won­der of You.

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