May 02 - Review – Welcome Home Elvis – The Acetates

Former Memphis Mansion associate Lars Gjeding recently (re)discovered a set of the original acetates of Frank Sinatra’s “It’s Nice To Go Trav’lin’’ a.k.a. the ‘Welcome Home Elvis’ TV show. These discs once belonged to Sammy Davis Jr., who made an appearance at the show. 

It is a nice time-piece, showing what was “hip and happening” at the time, or was it? One could also say it also was the changing of the guard, where the new generation took over with Elvis moving from Rock and Roll to pop music. 

Let’s step into Frank Sinatra’s time machine and step back to March 26th 1960 and visit Miami’s Fontainebleau Hotel. 


Designer Søren Karstensen went all out on this Deluxe box-set, recreating kind-of a “1960 time-capsule”. The set comes as a LP-sized box resembling the kind of box these acetates were shipped in to Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., the show’s producer Richard Dunlap and of course Elvis Presley. 

Inside meticulously recreations of the show’s acetates on 12-inch vinyl, a 10-inch acetate with interviews of a young Elvis returning from West-Germany setting the scene for this show, including some undocumented and unreleased snippets, an illustrated scrapbook-styled script detailing the liner-notes, 3 big posters, certificate and a set of lobby cards. The producers tried to make everything look authentic. To get the design exactly as they wanted, elements of this box were created and / or mastered in Denmark, Norway and the United Kingdom. 


You have to remember, you are listening to the audio of the famous 1960 Frank Sinatra (and friends and family) TV show which featured a special appearance by Elvis Presley.  So you get a 1960 variety show, build around the return of their special guest after a years of absence, with performances and sketches by Frank – and a young Nancy - Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop, the orchestra and dancers. 

Elvis performs his hits ‘Fame and Fortune’, ‘Stuck On You’ and duets with Frank Sinatra on ‘Witchcraft / Love Me Tender’. He also takes part in the show’s opening tune with all other artists. 

The highlight of the box is the audio-quality. We all know the quality of the previous outings of this show, taken from the kinescope recording and first bootlegged in 1971, but the quality on this set will knock you off your socks! This show never sounded better. Anthony Stuchbury remastered the audio and he did a great job finding a nice balance between cleaning the rumble and noise which is part of these fragile type of discs and the actual audio. Too much cleaning takes away the music, singing and other elements too. Audio-technology gets better and better, but the difference between a pop on the disc or Elvis snapping his fingers on ‘Stuck On You’ still needs judgement from a good human ear.   

Two of the four sets of acetates were auctioned in the past two years, and one set through the Graceland Auctions in 2019. Oddly enough nobody at Graceland thought of getting the set. Either they didn’t know what they were auctioning or they still have Elvis’ set. And if they do, why didn’t they use the great audio from these acetates? They featured music from the show on the ‘This Is Elvis’ soundtrack. A missed opportunity, for them and for the fans. 

Fortunately Lars Gjeding bought a set in 2020 and realized what he had and what to do with it. The end-product really is really something to behold for Elvis (and Sinatra) fans as it nicely illustrates how Sinatra tried to bridge the gap to the youth and Elvis finding the endorsement from a bona fide legend such as Sinatra he needed to re-establish himself after a two years absence and achieving mainstream acceptance, needed for moving to a more pop sound. Elvis’ whole demeanor seemed more mature than before.


The Frank Sinatra Timex Show: Welcome Home Elvis, which brought America’s two most famous singing superstars together in public for the first time. Despite the interaction between the two generations rubbing shoulders looking a tad awkward, but the elicited wild screams from some female fans in the audience confirmed that there was a new kid in town. This show is part of Elvis-history, and this great set documented it in the nicest way possible. 

A Danish newspaper reviewed this set as ‘porn for Elvis fans’, and I can understand that comment as the Memphis Mansion team – Henrik, Søren, Lars, Anthony and Sabine - went all the way on this set. And it shows. 

You could, or should I say should, get this set for any of three reasons: 1. the great audio, these recordings never sounded better, 2. the great vintage design and 3. the completeness of this set featuring the show that welcomed Elvis back home after a two-year stint in West-Germany, serving with the U.S. military.

A big compliment to the team, releasing a box like this in this day-and-age!

The box is available here from the >>> Memphis Mansion webshop