Karaoke and Elvis: a match made in Graceland and MySpace.
This year, the folks at Elvis Presley's famed former home have joined with the social networking web site MySpace for a nationwide "Elvis Week Karaoke Contest."
"We encourage folks to show us their style of an Elvis classic," said Kevin Kern, spokesman for Elvis Presley Enterprises, the company that runs tourist attractions at Graceland.
Presley died at Graceland on Aug. 16, 1977, and each summer the famous white-columned house becomes ground zero for a weeklong celebration drawing thousands of fans from around the world. The karaoke contest will get things going this year.
Participants can go MySpace's karaoke site at http://ksolo.myspace.com/ and record one of three Elvis songs, "Hound Dog," "If I Can Dream" or "Suspicious Minds."
The winner performs at Graceland on Aug. 12 for fans gathered on a side lawn to watch Elvis movies and listen to a band playing Presley songs.
"This is actually on the grounds of Graceland," Kern said. "You're singing at Elvis' house."
The karaoke contest is open to MySpace users across the United States and Canada. Contestants could number in the thousands.
"It's a little too soon to tell what numbers we're going to see, but we have good expectations," said Pedram Yasharel, product marketing manager for MySpace.
Recordings can be submitted until Aug. 4. Only those that draw at least 100 plays from MySpace users will be included in the competition.
The karaoke contest is for audio recordings only and participants are encouraged to perform in their own personal styles. It will be judged by representatives of Graceland, MySpace and Sony BMG Music Entertainment.
"It's going to be a tedious process," Kern said.