April 12, 2006
When worlds collide
I'm back in Sinatra mode, what can I say?
Here is fascinating video of Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley doing a duet on one of Sinatra's TV variety shows from May 12, 1960. Sinatra managed to get Elvis first after Presley returned home from his U.S. Army tour of duty in Germany. Elvis looks like the Greek god that he was, and Sinatra, well, Sinatra looks like the middle-aged guy he was.
Elvis was paid $125,000 (so it cost Sinatra) for his few minutes onscreen. Presley performed "Fame and Fortune" and "Stuck on You" in addition to the duet with Sinatra.
I say it's fascinating because of the things that must have been going through both of their heads! When asked his opinions of rock and roll around 1956-57, Sinatra said:
"Rock is sung, played, and written for the most part by cretinous goons. By means of its almost imbecilic reiteration it manages to be the martial music of every sideburned delinquent on the face of the earth."
I don't know how Elvis couldn't have taken that personally, and I'm sure Frank was thinking of Elvis when he said it. How could Elvis Presley have not driven Sinatra crazy? I've read that Elvis, in turn, couldn't stand The Beatles. What comes around, goes around.
Frank was clearly more comfortable doing this duet.
From Candid Central, here are some pictures taken on August 29, 1969, of Elvis visiting with Sinatra at the opening night party for Nancy Sinatra's Las Vegas show.
Just look at the sideburns on that cretinous goon ;)