About The Song
“Viva Las Vegas” is a 1964 song recorded by Elvis Presley written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman for his film Viva Las Vegas, which along with the song was set for general release the year after. Although Elvis Presley never performed the song live, it has since become known and often performed by others. The RIAA certified the single disc “Viva Las Vegas/What’d I Say” gold on March 27, 1992, having sold 500,000 copies in the United States.
The song was recorded on July 10, 1963. Released as a single in 1964 with the B-side “What’d I Say” from the same film, “Viva Las Vegas” charted separately from its B-side, reaching No. 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop singles chart. The Elvis version of “What’d I Say” peaked at No. 21, the two sides having equivalent appeal in the marketplace. “Viva Las Vegas” reached No. 17 on the UK Singles Chart, improving to No. 15 after a reissue in 2007. The single reached No. 20 on the Record World chart in the U.S. and No. 14 in Canada. The song was published by Elvis Presley Music, Inc.
In the years since, the song has become popular, because in the 1990s and 2000s, the song appeared in countless movies and TV sitcoms, either as a reference to the city of Las Vegas, or simply as an expression of joy or bewilderment in related comedic situations. In 2002, the city of Las Vegas requested Elvis Presley Enterprises, the company that handles a portion of Elvis’s legacy and all Elvis-related music rights, to allow it to be the official song of the city. Negotiations stalled over the price requested by EPE, notwithstanding that EPE had not controlled the copyright to the song since 1993, at which time it became the property of the families of the songwriters Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman. Since EPE no longer owns the copyright to the song, it essentially means that EPE does not have the authority or right to negotiate the use of the song “Viva Las Vegas” 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.