Looking Back: Two Singers, One Enchanting Television Show
In 1960, Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley were the biggest names in the music industry. Despite their success, these two artists had never collaborated before. The year was special because it was the first and last time the two artists appeared on stage together. This article looks at the events that led up to that historic and unforgettable performance.
Elvis Presley was called to serve in the army in 1958. Despite being a star at the time, he left everything behind and went to fulfill his duties as a soldier. The following year, it was announced that Elvis would appear on the Frank Sinatra show after he completes his duties with the army. He was officially released on March 5, 1960.
21 days later, Elvis went to the Fontainebleau Hotel where the shoot between him and Frank was scheduled to take place. The show was called the ‘Welcome Home Elvis Special.’ It was the first time since Elvis had been deployed that he appeared on live TV. Elvis said that he was quite nervous during the performance.
On stage, Elvis and Sinatra were joined by Nancy Sinatra – Frank’s daughter. Of course, Nancy and Elvis would later star in a movie together, eight years later. Other notable names that performed that night were Peter Lawford, Sammy Davis Jr., and Joey Bishop.
Elvis wowed the viewers with his latest songs at the time – ‘Fame and Fortune’ and ‘Stuck on You.’ His performance was electrifying in signature Elvis style.
Elvis and Frank Sinatra then sang together. In an unexpected twist of events, both singers sang the other’s top hit. Elvis sang ‘Witchcraft’ – one of Sinatra’s most popular hits. On the other hand, Frank sang Elvis’s ‘Love Me Tender.’ It was the perfect mix of rock and jazz music.
The performance was broadcast live on ABC. It was one of the highest-rated shows at the time. According to viewership numbers, nearly 42% of all Americans watched the show.Michael Ochs Archive / Getty Images
The two singers kept in touch after the show. Their friendship grew in the background. At one time, Elvis borrowed Frank’s private jet to go and marry Priscilla in Las Vegas, as Robb Report points out. The two also used the jet to go on their honeymoon to Palm Springs. According to Elvis’s collection, he bought and listened to Frank’s records.
Check out this truly historical performance and watch two of the greatest singers of the last century doing what they do best. When you have watched, send this to any of your friends who might be fans of one or both of these icons.