Love Me Tender/Witchcraft – Frank Sinatra & Elvis Presley

One era ends and another begins…

In the late fifties Timex sponsored a series of variety show specials starring Frank Sinatra, broadcast on the ABC television network. The last in the series, taped on 12th May 1960 in Miami, featured Elvis Presley who had just returned to the U.S after his National Service in Germany.

Sinatra wasn’t a fan of rock and roll. He had this to say about it a few years before this show was aired:

“My only deep sorrow is the unrelenting insistence of recording and motion picture companies upon purveying the most brutal, ugly, degenerate, vicious form of expression it has been my displeasure to hear—Naturally I refer to the bulk of rock’ n’ roll. It fosters almost totally negative and destructive reactions in young people. It smells phony and false.

It is sung, played, and written for the most part by cretinous goons and by means of its almost imbecilic reiterations and sly, lewd—in plain fact, dirty—lyrics, and as I said before, it manages to be the martial music of every sideburned delinquent on the face of the earth […] this rancid-smelling aphrodisiac I deplore. But, in spite of it, the contribution of American music to the world could be said to have one of the healthiest effects of all our contributions.”

When asked to comment, Elvis had this to say:

“I admire the man. He has a right to say what he wants to say. He is a great success and a fine actor, but I think he shouldn’t have said it. He’s mistaken about this. This is a trend, just the same as he faced when he started years ago. I consider it the greatest in music.”


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