When Frank Met Elvis; Answers to Correspondents

Article excerpt

Byline: JAMES BLACK;CHARLES LEGGE

QUESTION Did Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley ever meet? And, if they did, what was their opinion of each other?

ELVIS and Frank met at 6.15pm on March 26, 1960, to record a Welcome Home Elvis special on the Frank Sinatra TV Show - The King had returned to America after his stint in the U.S. Army in Germany.

It was shown on May 12 and received a big audience. Elvis was paid $125,000 for his guest appearance, which was more than Sinatra got for the whole show.

They sang a medley of two of their hits, Love Me Tender and Witchcraft.

This was Elvis's first public appearance after being in the army and many of his young fans, including John Lennon, felt that he had deserted his rock 'n' roll image for a broader, middle-oftheroad appeal.

Previously, on October 28, 1957, Sinatra had said of modern music: 'Rock 'n' roll smells phony and false and is sung by cretinous goons and has sly, lewd and dirty lyrics.' Clearly showing his polite Southern upbringing, Elvis's response was: 'I admire the man - he has a right to say what he wants to say.

He's a great success and a fine actor, but I think he shouldn't have said it.'

Keith Lawrence, Whitley Bridge, E. Yorks.

QUESTION Who the first person to step ashore on the Normandy beaches in June 1944? And did he survive the war?

AT 0016 hours on June 6, 1944 - a full six hours before the first wave of troops would land on the beaches - three Horsa gliders with men from the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry landed at the Orne Canal bridge crossing (known today as Pegasus Bridge).

The Ox and Bucks, commanded by Major John Howard, had trained for this moment for two years. When the time for action came, Sgt Jim Wallwork managed to land his lead glider just 20 yards from the bridge, with the other two gliders landing right behind.

The objective was to secure the bridge and to rid it of any demolition charges.

As soon as the first gliders landed, 1st Platoon, D Company of the Ox and Bucks, led by Lt Den Brotheridge, sped off to start the assault.

Standing on the bridge was a 17-year-old German sentry. He saw the British paratroopers closing in and gave the alarm. Another sentry fired a flare into the night at which point Lt Brotheridge opened fire, expending a full clip from his Sten gun and killing the sentry - the first German soldier to die in the battle for Europe.

Brotheridge's platoon then stormed the bridge, taking out the defences, including trench systems and machinegun posts.

At the end of the operation, Lt Brotheridge was injured with a bullet wound to the neck, having been shot while throwing a grenade. …