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The Smooth Late Show with Martin Collins 10pm - 1am
1 June 2022, 17:34
They were two of the world's biggest singers, and were also seen as rivals. But when Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra sang together, it was a historical moment in music...
It was on March 26, 1960, when after a week of rehearsals, 'The King' joined 'The Voice' on stage at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Florida to film The Frank Sinatra Timex Show: Welcome Home Elvis special.
The performance would be Presley's first TV appearance in over three years – and his first serious show since 1957. The then 25-year-old rock and roll singer was pretty nervous about how he would be received by viewers.
But standing beside a 44-year-old Sinatra, dressed sharp in his tuxedo, the young singer oozed talent as the pair performed a swing-time medley of their own hits, including 'Witchcraft' and 'Love Me Tender'...
"We're working the same way, only in different areas," Sinatra jokes to the camera as the music begins to play.
As soon as Presley sings his first line, the sound of young fans screaming echoes around the venue.
Standing side-by-side, the two legends smile and laugh as they work their way through the songs.
And as their performance draws to a close, they end their rendition with arms around one another, effortlessly showcasing their unmatched vocals.
During his guest appearance on the show, the legend also sang 'Stuck on You' and 'Fame and Fortune'.
The meeting between the two was a highly anticipated encounter at the time.
Presley and Sinatra had been seen as music rivals since the '50s, and were often asked about each other in interviews.
But on-screen the pair looked comfortable and even friendly as they performed together.
When the show was aired on May 8, 1960, one of the songs Presley had performed, 'Stuck on You', had already hit number one in the charts.
Even though the 'Blue Suede Shoes' star only featured on the programme for around 8 minutes, he was reportedly paid $125,000.
Sinatra was not impressed with Presley's fee – it was more than his own compensation for hosting the entire show.
But he was well aware that having the star appear on the show would attract huge ratings.
And it did just that.
Viewing figures for the programme were high, with a 41.5% Trendex TV rating (which was approximately 67.7% of the overall television audience).
The two music legends, who were once seen as rivals, became friends.
Speaking about the "King of Rock and Roll" after his death in 1977, Sinatra said:
"There have been many accolades uttered about Elvis' talent and performances through the years, all of which I agree with wholeheartedly. I shall miss him dearly as a friend.
"He was a warm, considerate and generous man."