Watch Nancy Sinatra Sing Much-Covered ‘My Buddy’ On ‘Ed Sullivan’

Nancy Sinatra in 1967. Photo: David Redfern/Redferns

Nancy Sinatra’s performance of a ballad from the 1920s is among the latest clips to be shared from the archives of The Ed Sullivan Show. The song is “My Buddy,” as featured on the February 26, 1967 edition of the celebrated and long-running TV variety series, just after she had included it on her Sugar album.

As Sullivan says in his introduction, Sinatra was just back from entertaining the troops in Vietnam, where “My Buddy” was the most requested song by “our boys.” That week’s show also featured appearances by Xavier Cugat and Henny Youngman; it was the latest in a considerable number of bookings in the series for Sinatra, who would be back on the bill within a couple of months with her frequent recording partner Lee Hazlewood. Sinatra had made her big disc breakthrough early in 1966 when “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’” soared to No.1 in the US.

She had further Top 10 singles that year with “How Does That Grab You, Darlin’?” and “Sugar Town,” and within three weeks of this appearance on Sullivan, she was on her way back to No.1 with her famous duet with father Frank on “Somethin’ Stupid.”

The music for “My Buddy” was written by Walter Donaldson, with lyrics by Gus Kahn. The song was published in 1922, and first recorded that year by Canadian tenor Henry Burr. Versions swiftly followed that year by Billy Burton and Arthur Fields, and in 1923 by Ambrose and His Embassy Club Orchestra and by Walter Scanlan. The song became especially popular during World War II, notably in a 1942 reading by Sammy Kaye, credited on disc as Swing and Sway with Sammy Kaye, with Tommy Ryan and Chorus.

It was also released by Harry James in 1939 (in a version that chimes with Nancy’s, since the lead vocal was by her father), Bing Crosby in 1941, and Alvino Rey and his Orchestra in 1942. A string of 1950s interpretations included those by Doris Day, Eddie Fisher, Teresa Brewer, Chet Baker, and the Mills Brothers. Many will be familiar with the 1959 rendition by the Ray Charles Singers, on the LP In The Evening By The Moonlight. Bobby Darin and Lou Rawls were among those to tackle “My Buddy” in the 1960s, and it went on to attract the attention of Dr. John, Lena Horne, Amy Grant, and many more.

Watch all the latest archival videos from The Ed Sullivan Show on the program’s official YouTube channel.

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