Join 3,430 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Two American icons meeting for the first time onstage
February 26, 2008 9:43 PM   Subscribe

"The most brutal, ugly, degenerate, vicious form of expression it has been my displeasure to hear," Frank Sinatra wrote of rock 'n' roll during the time of Elvis Presley. But Frank wasn't stupid... he knew his relevance was fading and if you can't beat 'em, you have to join 'em. So in 1960, Elvis Presley was welcomed home from his two year military tour by the Frank Sinatra Timex Show "Welcome Home Elvis" special. Later Sinatra said, "I'm just a singer. Elvis was the embodiment of the whole American culture."
posted by miss lynnster (17 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
There's a great piece in the June 2006 issue of The Believer about the Frank Sinatra - Elvis Presley - Sid Vicious legacy of the American asshole as represented by the song "My Way".
posted by medialyte at 10:33 PM on February 26, 2008


A Timex watch was my very first watch I miss being young this FPP has made me melancholy.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 12:20 AM on February 27, 2008


A bit more of the Sinatra quote on this page
posted by pax digita at 2:53 AM on February 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


Interesting. I didn't know about this "welcome home" special.

Elvis sure was cool, in many ways, but we must never forget that Frank Sinatra was and remains the greatest singer of the 20th century. The Voice. The Chairman of The Board. King Francis Albert The First.
posted by davidmsc at 5:19 AM on February 27, 2008


Great post!
...And I always wondered how the other soldiers treated him when he was in the service--
was he isolated? Welcomed?
I don't think there are any "tell-alls" from that particular period in his life, but I could be wrong...
Anybody have info?
posted by Dizzy at 5:59 AM on February 27, 2008


"The most brutal, ugly, degenerate, vicious form of expression it has been my displeasure to hear, but I gots to get paid."
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 6:04 AM on February 27, 2008


Dizzy: Peter Guralnick's incredible book Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley contains a lot of information about Elvis's army days.

Picking up where the first volume left off, Guralnick sees Elvis through his tour of duty with the U.S. Army in Germany, where he first met--and was captivated by--a 14-year-old girl named Priscilla Beaulieu.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 6:10 AM on February 27, 2008


Thanks for the tip, Fuzzy!
I just ordered a used copy from Amazon.
I'm not even that big of an Elvis fan, but it sounds interesting.
Please let me return the favor some day?
posted by Dizzy at 6:21 AM on February 27, 2008


You're welcome, my friend-- happy to help.

The 1st volume (Last Train To Memphis) of Guralnick's two-volume Elvis biography is also well worth a read, even if you're not an Elvis fan. Guralnick is such a great writer and the rise and fall of Elvis is such a compelling, if tragic, story.

Can anyone recommend a good biography of Sinatra?
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 6:43 AM on February 27, 2008


Funny how Sinatra eventually accepted the "brutal, ugly, degenerate, vicious" as "the embodiment of the whole American culture".

Why did Frank Sinatra hate America so much?
posted by darkstar at 7:40 AM on February 27, 2008


"You don't scare me, Elvis. I've got chunks of guys like you in my stool!"
posted by dasheekeejones at 7:58 AM on February 27, 2008


Later Sinatra said, "I'm just a singer. Elvis was the embodiment of the whole American culture."

John the Baptist acknowledges Jesus.
posted by jamjam at 8:22 AM on February 27, 2008


I've always figured that Sinatra was simply jealous of Elvis because the Hillbilly Cat was getting the same sort of attention that Frank got around the time of WWII from the bobby soxers. Elvis was similarly uncharitable to the Beatles in the sixties.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:26 AM on February 27, 2008


Fuzzy Monster: There's a lot of stuff out there! Unfortunately, most of the bios focus on the sordid stuff and short-change the music. One great book that really gets into the music, though, is this one. Will Friedwald also wrote a wonderful book analyzing the recordings. This DK book is a lavishly illustrated overview of Sinatra's life. John Rockwell's book is out of print, but it's a good one, too.
posted by Man-Thing at 8:34 AM on February 27, 2008


Thanks, Man-Thing!
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 9:16 AM on February 27, 2008


Nifty post.

“And I always wondered how the other soldiers treated him when he was in the service--was he isolated? Welcomed?”

They pretty much just got him high.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:41 PM on February 27, 2008


If only Elvis had lived long enough to star in Cannonball Run 2.
posted by not_on_display at 8:07 PM on February 27, 2008


« Older NetClassicsFilter: All 24 of the 25 GI Joe PSAs re...  |  Free math courses online, from... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments