When Natalie Cole released Unforgettable, a duet that paired her vocals with those of her long deceased father, it was a groundbreaking demonstration of music technology. That was June 1991. Back then, state of the art computer chips from Intel were 386 chips running at 20 to 40MHz. Back then, the Mosaic internet browser hadn’t been released yet. Back then, Hewlett Packard introduced the first color scanner, a 400 dpi flatbed that was priced at $1995 or more.
A lot has changed in sixteen years, especially in technology. Today, a garage band with a decent starting track could probably pull off the same feat with an iMac and a little perseverance. A professional with a full soundboard? Well, chances are they can do a lot more.
Friday, the world will likely have a chance to see just how much better things can be done today. This, for those unaware, is apparently Elvis Week. It’s been thirty years since the iconic music legend died. To mark the 30th anniversary of his death, Elvis and his daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, will perform a duet (in “unforgettable” fashion) of the 1969 hit, In the Ghetto. The song and matched video footage will be performed live in Memphis on Thursday and then, on Friday it will be available on AOL owned music site spinner.com
The song, which was a top ten hit in the US and the UK, was among Elvis’ most famous later works. It was recorded during a a session at the American Sound Studio in Memphis that came to be known as the Memphis Sessions. The same studio time also produced the soulful and famed Kentucky Rain and Suspicious Minds. (Suspicious Minds, which was written by Mark James who also wrote “Always on my Mind” was Elvis’ 18th ,and last, number one hit before his death.)
Befitting a song written about poverty and desperation, the proceeds from the In the Ghetto duet will be used to fund temporary housing for New Orleans’ homeless.
In addition to the song, Spinner is also dedicating a significant portion of their site’s content to Elvis themed news and information this week. For music junkies, or crazed Elvis fans, some of the content may be worth a look, especially a collection of quotations from some big name performers (Bono, Dylan, Sinatra, Clapton, Cash etc) on how Elvis influenced them. (John Lennon, in one example, said “If there hadn’t been an Elvis, there wouldn’t have been a Beatles.”)