In 1958, Elvis Presley was drafted into the U.S. Army and began two years of military service, starting with training at Fort Hood Texas and then deployment with the 3rd armored division in Germany. After his two years of service were completed, Elvis returned to the United States in March of 1960. Just two months later, he made a return to TV in a highly watched TV appearance on Frank Sinatra’s Timex TV special called It’s Nice To Go Traveling, better known as Welcome Home, Elvis. The fee paid to Elvis for appearing was $125,000, which was a staggering amount at that time.
The show, recorded at the Fountainbleu hotel in Miami Beach, also featured guest stars Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop, Peter Lawford and Nancy Sinatra. So all of the Rat Pack was together for the special, with the exception of Dean Martin. Peter and Sammy sang and danced during a duet of the song Shall We Dance. Joey was around for some comedy, and Nancy and her dad sang a duet of You Make Me Feel So Young with some special lyrics. And Elvis got to showcase two of his most recent, post-military recordings, called Fame and Fortune and Stuck On You. But the highlight of the program was a duet between Frank and Elvis in which Frank sang Elvis’ hit Love Me Tender and Elvis sang Frank’s hit Witchcraft.
Frank Sinatra might have been an unlikely host to welcome Elvis home due to Frank’s previously expressed opinions of Rock ‘n Roll, but the special was a big success, Elvis was a great guest, and the Frank and Elvis duet is highly regarded and often replayed during retrospectives. And today, an Elvis tribute performer is often featured in combination with Rat Pack Impersonators.