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The Downward Spiral

Viva Las Vegas

One of the bright spots of the moviemaking period was Viva Las Vegas, filmed in 1963 with sexy costar Ann-Margret, who had been in the box-office hit ‘Bye ‘Bye, Birdie, a rock and roll musical based loosely on Elvis's career and stint in the army. Many felt that Ann-Margret was one of the only costars Elvis ever had who could match him in talent and sex appeal. It was also said that the reason why Ann-Margret and Elvis never worked together again is because the Colonel was nervous about anyone who could potentially outshine his star client.

The '60s Music Scene and Elvis: An Overview

Consider what was going on in the music scene during the 1960s: Rock music was experimental and grungy with the likes of Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground. The hippie subculture and folk rock existed alongside psychedelic rock. These forms took root and culminated in the Monterey and Altamont pop festivals, with groups such as the Grateful Dead and artists such as Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. Then there were rock groups as different as the Doors and the Beach Boys. Don't forget Marvin Gaye and other Motown artists doing great soul music.

Where would Elvis Presley fit into this music scene? Elvis was concentrating on making movies during the sixties. The music he recorded was mainly for movie sound tracks. However, during these moviemaking years, he was Hollywood's top box-office draw and one of the highest-paid actors in America. Also, some of his best-selling music came from movie sound tracks. Eleven of his movie sound tracks went to the top ten on the music charts. Of those, four went to number one, among them G.I. Blues and Blue Hawaii.

Elvis and Ann-Margret had a steamy affair off-screen as well as a lot of chemistry onscreen. Priscilla first became suspicious and then furious when she read the reports in the papers about Elvis's affair with Ann-Margret. Elvis was aware that he had persuaded Priscilla's parents to let her come to Graceland with the understanding that he wanted to marry her, but he still didn't want to give up his bachelor lifestyle.

Additional topics

Musician BiographiesElvis PresleyThe Downward Spiral - Priscilla At Graceland, Grammy Awards And Movie Mania, Viva Las Vegas, The '60s Music Scene And Elvis: An Overview