Throw On Your Sparkly Jean Shorts And Watch Tina Turner On The Ann-Margret Olsson Show Circa 1975

In the 1960s and 1970s, everyone got an awesome variety show. Judy Garland, Dean Martin, Dusty Springfield, Tom Jones. If I had my way, there would be a cable channel that showed nothing but those shows all day long. Who wouldn’t want to see things like Elton John appearing on the Cher show in 1975? Elton at peak Elton, Cher having kicked Sonny to the curb. I’d like to say that this is something I long for with current artists, but I’m hard-pressed to think of someone that would work in the variety show format – that mish-mash of talk show, sketch comedy, and musical performance. Maybe David Bowie. I would watch the living hell out of a David Bowie Variety Hour.

Kicking off our new “Golden Age of Variety Shows” feature, this week we’re checking out Tina Turner on the Ann-Margret Olsson Show in 1975. It takes a bit of googling to sort out that this isn’t from 1968, because that’s the Ann-Margret Show, not the Ann-Margret Olsson Show. Keep up, people.

The Ann-Margret Olsson Show is a one-off that doesn’t appear to be entirely intact anywhere. It did, however, give the world this glorious duet of Tina Turner (in her mid-1970s prime, natch) tearing it up with Ann-Margret, who appears to be wearing jean shorts over tights.

Yes, that’s a medley of “Nutbush City Limits,” “Honky Tonk Woman,” and “Proud Mary.” Yes, Tina stone cold murders it. Ann-Margret is delightfully goofy, and, breaking with the tradition of lots of variety shows of the day, this thing is Live. As. Fuck. Ann-Margret ad libs like a motherfucker all the way through “Honky Tonk Woman,” including explaining exactly what color roses she is covered up in. She also runs out of breath during “Proud Mary” because of what how she’s dancing up a storm. It’s adorable.

I’ve no idea why they’re doing what they’re doing with their arms. You can find approximately one million videos of Tina Turner on the internet, and she does not do that with her arms. Maybe it is a leftover thing from “Viva Las Vegas,” where Ann-Margret’s dancing involves A LOT of arms.

Also, how fucking great does Elvis look there? Damn.

Make sure to join us next week to find out what other glories the YouTube hath provided.

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