The Chairman and The King: Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley

When the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll returned from his stint in the Army, he was welcomed home by none other than the Chairman of the Board.

Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley, two of the most beloved and respected artists in music, teamed up for a television special back in 1960, and the show resulted in a truly unique and special duet. In celebration of Sinatra’s 100th birthday on Saturday, December 12, let’s look at this historic “Welcome Home Elvis” special.

This is the invitation to attend "The Frank Sinatra Timex Show."

This is the invitation to attend “The Frank Sinatra Timex Show.”

It was announced in July 1959 that Elvis would appear on Frank Sinatra’s variety TV show upon his release from the Army. He didn’t have to wait long: He was released on March 5 and returned home to Graceland on March 8, and the show was taped on March 26.

“The Frank Sinatra Timex Show” – the variety show was sponsored by Timex –  was filmed at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami, Florida. Elvis traveled to Miami on March 21, and rehearsed for several days before the March 26 taping.

Elvis rehearsed for several days ahead of the March 26 taping.

Elvis rehearsed for several days ahead of the March 26 taping.

He shared the stage with, of course, Sinatra, as well as his daughter, Nancy, who would later become his co-star in “Speedway” in 1968. Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford were also special guests.

On the show, Elvis performed “Stuck on You” and “Fame and Fortune,” the two sides of his first post-Army single.

This special was the only time Sinatra and Elvis worked together.

This special was the only time Frank Sinatra and Elvis worked together.

Jazz and rock ‘n’ roll collided when Frank Sinatra and Elvis sang a mash-up of their hit singles, “Witchcraft” and “Love Me Tender,” respectively. Sinatra sang “Love Me Tender,” while Elvis crooned “Witchcraft.” It’s so interesting to see these two great singers offer such different versions of each other’s greatest hits.

See this duet in the video below.

Elvis was paid $125,000 for this show, an unheard of amount in the entertainment industry in 1960. The special aired on May 12, 1960 with high ratings, drawing an impressive 41.5 percent of the American viewing audience that evening.

While Elvis and Sinatra never worked together again, they often kept in touch over the years. Sinatra let Elvis and Priscilla borrow his private jet in 1967 to go from Palm Springs to Las Vegas to get married, and travel back to Palm Springs for their honeymoon.

Elvis’ personal record collection here at Graceland contains many Sinatra records, and, of course, both men sang powerful versions of “My Way.”

This was Elvis' first television special after he was honorably discharged from active duty.

This was Elvis’ first television special after he was honorably discharged from active duty.

Want to learn more about the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll? Start with a visit to his home, Graceland.


12 Comments

  1. I love Elvis and Frank Sinatra together. Thanks Graceland.com for just letting me know that my mother shares a birthday with Ol Blue Eyes. Was neat to find out!

  2. Ever since time nothing’s ever been found prettier and authentic than this duet. God bless them.

  3. Zena I bbotson

    Love elvis can never be replaced one fantastic singer and gourgesl looking man loved elvis sins I was 10 years old and still love and his music now am 53 xx

  4. Thank you for this great article on Elvis and Frank Sinatra. I remember watching this TV special. From what I’ve read, Frank Sinatra was there for Elvis, if he needed a favor. 2 interesting men.
    Even with Frank,s great voice, Elvis’s voice was (and is) better.

  5. Betty Wilson

    I would love to know all that I could about Elvis. I have been a fan since I was around 10 years old. And believe me, that has been a long time!

  6. Argyro Koukoula

    This is the first time I hear that Sinatra was named chairman.

  7. Sharon Peterson

    I have thoroughly enjoyed becoming back in touch w/Elvis Presley since purchasing a van with a Sirius XM Radio!! I listen to Channel 19 pretty much every time I am in the van driving and on trips. I was born in 1949 so familiar with his movies in late 50s, early 60s. I still have two RCA 45s still, each side w/two songs for total of 4/record in their jackets, having been played may times after purchasing. I have learned so much listening to GK and his guests/phone and discussed and those who have given phone interview conversations. Keep up with the wonderful job of sharing Elvis’ talent, song, musicianship, and his person. He was talented beyond the Public’s knowledge at that time. I am glad his PASSION has been coming to be known and appreciated. Blessings to Priscilla and Lisa Maria for their continuing Love and Support in their endeavors to preserve, share, educate Elvis’ affect in our society and music. Priscilla was surely meant to be where she was at the time she was introduced to Elvis and definitely vice-versa! One of my goals is to visit (again) and tour Graceland in 2016!! Thanks to Everyone for their works and contributions!! Very Much APPRECIATED.
    Sharon L. Peterson

  8. anne penza

    I wish I could go to graceland but its not possible.

  9. PRESLEY AND SINATRA IT DOES NOT GET ANY BETTER THAN THAT

  10. The best entertainers of all time together, just great ! Hope to visit Graceland someday.

  11. Betty coats

    I just watched a video on this page thinking they would be videos Graceland backed and this video was awful. It said horrible things about Elvis. I won’t go into the details. I hope no one else watches it by mistake. I really just wanted you to know since it is on your Graceland.com page. It was posted by Good Fight Ministries.

    • After you watch a video, YouTube automatically plays other videos that are about similar topics. We can’t always control what they play next, unfortunately. We’ll never post or share any video that is negative about Elvis.

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