Happy Holidays with Bing and Frank sponsored by Bulova watches. (1957)

In the fall of 1950, The Frank Sinatra Show joined CBS' schedule. At the time, Sinatra was at the top of his career, so the show's success was practically a given. CBS saddled the series with tough timeslots against the hits Your Show of Shows and Milton Berle's Texaco Star Theater, though, and the series was cancelled after only two seasons.  

Sinatra was lured back to television in 1957 by ABC. With his film career in full swing, Sinatra decided that his new The Frank Sinatra Show would follow a loose format. Some weeks it would be a variety show, other weeks a dramatic show, and some weeks he would simply introduce episodes in which he would not appear. This show, too, was a failure, and was cancelled after one season

When the special was recorded, Bing felt that he sang better in the evening while
Franks sang better during the day. So, Bing recorded his part of the duet separately while Frank sang it live as the scene was recorded. The style of the show gives the viewer the feeling of two hep cats sharing a bit of Christmas cheer with each other and the audience. The show ends with Frank and Bing singing a rousing duet of Crosby's most famous hit, White Christmas.
In 2001, Sinatra's daughter Nancy, herself a pop veteran with the variety special Movin' with Nancy under her belt, began to examine old film canisters as part of her role as family archivist. While trying to determine which parts of the family's large film library were in danger of decomposition, she stumbled upon a theretofore unknown color print of Happy Holidays with Bing and Frank, the 1957 series' Christmas special. Happy Holidays was broadcast for the first time in over forty years on the cable channel Trio in December of 2001, and now it is available on DVD.

Here is an excerpt from that special. Keep your eye out for the carolers as one of them is Don Williams, older brother to Andy Williams.


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