Michael Slezak
August 08, 2008 AT 12:00 PM EDT

Oh wait, he’s dead. But why should that matter? First that Celine Dion duet on Idol, then “Viva Viagra,” and now Amy Grant.

Dude, it’s gonna be a Blue Christmas…from beyond the grave.

Anyone else cringing at this idea? Speak up! (And I’m not bashing Ms. Underwood; in fact, I broke down and spent 99 cents on “Last Name” while I was writing this item. It’s true y’all!)

—— Forwarded Message
From: redacted at Sony BMG Music

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                               
SONY BMG Music Entertainment Announces
The Release Of “Elvis Presley Christmas Duets” CD
Available October 14, 2008
First Elvis Presley Duets Album In History

(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.

addCredit(“Carrie Underwood and Elvis Presley: Everett Collection”)

“There has been tremendous excitement from the many artistscontributing their voices to these Elvis Christmas classics. We believeElvis fans will truly enjoy these unique collaborations whileintroducing Elvis’ holiday classics to the many fans of his duetpartners,” says Joe Galante, Chairman, Sony BMG Nashville.

In order to create these classic “duets” Sony BMG used the mostadvanced and sophisticated audio technology available. For songs thatwere recorded on one track, mono, musical beds were created toperfectly match the instrumentation and arrangements contained on theoriginals. In the case of songs that have been recorded in multi-trackwhere Elvis’ vocal is isolated on a single track, the vocal was simplydropped for a given verse or chorus, making room for the duet artist.To be as faithful as possible to the original recordings, the fabledRCA Studio B in Nashville – the same studio that Elvis recorded the1971 original Christmas session in, was used.

“This is an excellent example of the innovative ways in which wekeep Elvis’ catalog fresh for new and existing fans, and continue thehistory of creating, preserving and celebrating his great music,” saysJohn Ingrassia, President of the Sony BMG Commercial Music Group.

“We are so pleased that these accomplished artists are collaboratingwith Elvis in this unique way to make exciting new versions of hisChristmas songs. I am sure Elvis would be proud to have worked withthem,” says Priscilla Presley.

Elvis is one of the biggest-selling artists every holiday season,although he only recorded 20 Christmas songs, his various holidayalbums have sold over 25 million copies in the US alone. His existingChristmas releases are seen on the holiday charts year after year.

Track Listing:
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”

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