Now let’s move to the books. Some of the book descriptions are directly from Amazon.com.
Sinatra The Chairman
James Kaplan completes his Frank Sinatra biography with Sinatra The Chairman. 4 years ago, he wrote Frank The Voice and it ended with Frank Sinatra winning the oscar. This second book continues from there and spares 800 pages for 1955 to 1971, and 50 pages for the rest of his life.
Charles Pignone, author of the excellent Sinatra Treasures book, who also prepared the Sinatra Family Album, brings the Sinatra fans his new Sinatra 100. It includes biographical, musical information as well as quotes and high quality photos.
Sinatra’s Century is a book on Frank Sinatra that is made of 100 notes (chapters) by David Lehman. Each 2 to 4 page long note is dedicated to a specific theme and explains Frank Sinatra’s life, music, his connections, or David Lehman’s personal opinions on Sinatra.
Sinatra: The Photographs
Sinatra: The Photographs, by Andrew Howick and Barbara Sinatra, features photographs of Ted Allan, Bob Willoughby, Ed Thrasher, Sid Avery, and Bernie Abramson.
The Cinematic Legacy of Frank Sinatra
In The Cinematic Legacy of Frank Sinatra, author David Wills presents a stunning collection highlighting the work of one of Hollywood’s greatest stars in roles as varied as those in the classicsAnchors Aweigh, From Here to Eternity, Suddenly, Guys and Dolls, The Man With the Golden Arm,Ocean’s 11, The Manchurian Candidate,Von Ryan’s Express, and The Detective. Pairing more than two hundred first-generation photos with reflections on Sinatra from costars and work associates, and including contributing essays by his children Nancy Sinatra, Tina Sinatra, and Frank Sinatra, Jr., it is an unforgettable showcase of the actor’s transformation from world-famous singer, to movie star, to Academy Award winner, and finally to one of the most enduring icons in cinema history.
Frankie Liked To Sing
Frankie Liked to Sing celebrates the life of Frank Sinatra, whose iconic voice changed popular music forever and influenced generations of listeners all over the world. From his early days in Hoboken, New Jersey, to making it big in New York City, Sinatra was determined to follow his dream of being a singer and moving people with his voice. And now, one hundred years after his birth, his legacy lives on with this spirited and loving tribute.
Frank & Ava: In Love and War
The love story of this couple has never been fully explored or explained―until now. Frank & Ava delves deeply into the lives of these two iconic stars and their turbulent lifelong relationship. More than anything else, this is the story of a romance lived out under battlefield conditions.
Frank Sinatra: An Extraordinary Life
With exclusive interviews with fellow musicians, promoters, and those who knew him, Frank Sinatra: An Extraordinary Life is the definitive account of Sinatra and his career. Published to mark the one hundredth anniversary of his birth.
Sinatra: Behind the Legend
In 1997, Taraborrelli’s bestselling Sinatra: Behind the Legend captivated audiences with a never-before seen look at the life of an icon through six years of research and over 425 interviews with associates, friends and lovers. Now, Taraborrelli is back with a completely new and updated lens. Fans of Sinatra–old and new–will be able to delve into the private life and controversy of a musician whose career spans decades. From show business, struggles with depression, his many romances and attaining the American dream, Sinatra’s story delivers a captivating and humanizing portrait of the legend for a new age.
By Amanda Erlinger and Robin Morgan, the official luxury book to commemorate the Frank Sinatra centenary, limited to just 1000 copies, in a deluxe clam-shell box, accompanied by a previously unpublished photograph, taken and authenticated by Nancy Sinatra Sr. Each book contains a numbered certificate of authenticity, signed by Sinatra’s children – Nancy Sinatra, Frank Sinatra Jnr., and Tina Sinatra. Costs $1400.
The Delaplaine Frank Sinatra – His Essential Quotations
Here are saloon singer’s most essential quotations culled from as wide a variety of source materials available. They have been compiled, edited and carefully selected for inclusion in this book by that well-known Quote Monger, Andrew Delaplaine. The original illustrations are by his sister, Renee. Learn about the man’s wit and wisdom from his very own words.
One for My Baby: A Sinatra Cocktail Companion
This unique book is published to coincide with the centenary of Frank Sinatra who was born on 12th December 1915. One For My Baby tells the Frank Sinatra story with a twist: Sinatra’s life and art is seen through his infamous appetite for booze. Stories, legends, anecdotes and undisputed facts place Sinatra’s relationship with alcohol firmly at the centre of his life, his character and art. Exploring Sinatra’s favourite watering holes, from legendary saloons Toots Shor’s to Villa Capri, One For My Baby takes us through the singer’s life with features on famous drinking buddies like Humphrey Bogart and the Rat Pack.
We are now moving to events that will take place to honor Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday.
Sinatra 100 – All Star Grammy Concert
The Recording Academy, AEG Ehrlich Ventures and CBS will honor the legacy of nine-time GRAMMY winner Frank Sinatra by presenting “Sinatra 100 — An All-Star GRAMMY Concert,” a primetime entertainment special celebrating the late icon’s 100th birthday. The live concert taping will be held Wednesday, Dec. 2 at Wynn Las Vegas’ Encore Theatre. The special will be broadcast in HDTV and 5.1 surround sound on the CBS Television Network on Sunday, Dec. 6 from 9–11 p.m. ET/PT.
- Tony Bennett
- Garth Brooks
- Alicia Keys
- John Legend
- Adam Levine
- Carrie Underwood
- Lady Gaga
- Harry Connick Jr
- Zac Brown
- Celine Dion
Frank Sinatra Centennial Celebration
Frank Sinatra Jr. throws a birthday party at Saban Theatre, Beverly Hills on December 12th.
An Afternoon with Frank Sinatra
This lecture demonstrates, Sinatra’s name lives on because of his distinctive musical style. His phrasing and tone, the timbre of his voice: these are the qualities that set him apart. Using numerous musical examples, Anna Celenza traces the origins of the famous “Sinatra Sound” and reveals how, over the last half century, it has influenced a disparate array of musical styles and genres that make up the kaleidoscopic nature of today’s American soundtrack.
To Be Frank: Sinatra at 100
To celebrate Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday, this entertaining documentary provides an exclusive retrospective of the legendary performer from the people who knew him well. Witness what it was like “to be Frank” from his childhood, to his loyalty to his friends, to his political allegiances, to the ups and downs of his incredible signing and acting career.
Sinatra’s Century is a recently published book, written by David Lehman. The full title of the book is: “Sinatra’s Century: One Hundred Notes on the Man and His World”. As you know, this year marks the 100th birthday of the legendary singer Frank Sinatra. The importance of this year brings many new books, events, products and unreleased music to us, and Sinatra’s Century is one of the additions to remember his legacy.
First, let’s talk about the physical book itself. The cover features a black and white photo of Frank Sinatra, singing on the stage. This photo is from his performance in Sands Hotel and Casino, in 1965. It is a spectacular choice. The back gives information about the content of Sinatra’s Century, and David Lehman. The papers of the book are soft, and the text is comfortable to read. At certain pages of the book, there are photos printed on the page, but these photos do not look high quality and resolution because pages featuring the photos are not glossy paper. However, the book I have is the uncorrected proof, which is not for sale. So the final print for readers may differ. Please keep that in mind. As far as I see, on the final edition of the book, there is no text on the back cover, but another photo of Frank Sinatra.
Moving to content, Sinatra’s Century consists of 100 notes, and the book is about 290 pages long. These are very short notes, each with its own theme. A typical note is 3-4 pages long and can be about Sinatra’s birth, his big band years, Ava gardner, Rat Pack, Bing Crosby, Kennedy, Frank Sinatra’s death, movie career, Marilyn Monroe, mafia connections, saloon songs, David Lehman’s opinions, or anything else. The topics cover almost anything you may want to learn about Frank Sinatra, and are shortly kept with the most important parts. The notes also include many quotes of Frank Sinatra or people who knew Frank Sinatra. For the most part, these quotes are very interesting and sometimes quite funny.
Having described Sinatra’s Century and what it is about, I will now move to my personal opinions. The book is a good read. Sinatra’s life is distributed to 100 chapters quite fairly, so you get a taste of everything. And most importantly, you don’t get a chance to get bored thanks to the dynamic structure of the content. Different content at every chapter and the shortness of the chapters keeps you fresh and your interest high; and you don’t get tired while reading since every line doesn’t have a factual information that you have to keep in mind.
A “personal” book on Frank Sinatra is a bald move. The trend among Sinatra books is that if you are from the Sinatra family, you write a memoir, and if you are not, you write a well structured, informative biography. Sinatra’s Century is a combination of both. It gives you biographical information about Frank Sinatra, but with a personal touch and feeling. Like “Why Sinatra Matters”, but more extensive.
At one chapter, David Lehman talks about how Frank Sinatra changes the lyrics and I really like that observation. I had made a list for “The Lady Is A Tramp” 3 years ago, and was glad to find similar content in the book. I liked that he devoted 1 of the 100 chapters onto it, as it is definitely worth mentioning, but mostly ignored by many book writers. I think one reason for that is that most book writers don’t really dive into live performances of Frank Sinatra, and stick to the studio recordings instead.
Here is one paragraph from Sinatra’s Century to show what David Lehman thinks of Frank Sinatra:
“What does Sinatra stand for? Above all, genius as a singer and performer. He had the ability to give a song its definitive exposition, even to make it seem like an extension of his own personality and experience. Excellence of phrasing is the consensus regarding his spot-on musical timing. His respect for the meaning of a lyric is matched by his intuitive grasp of the melodic and harmonic possiblities.” (Sinatra’s Century, by David Lehman)
When a poet with a good vocabulary explains Frank Sinatra, the result is highly satisfactory.
All in all, Sinatra’s Century by David Lehman is a great book for anyone who would want to learn about Frank Sinatra’s life and music. The book does not clinically investigate every bit of Frank Sinatra’s life, but connects you to the legendary singer and enriches your image of Francis Albert Sinatra instead. The book clearly shows the many different sides of the complex man, from weakest to strongest, and presents you a man, with his rights and wrongs.
Published by Joyce Music, One Night Stand With Tommy Dorsey features 14 songs.
These songs are as following:
I Dream Of You
The Minor Goes A Muggin’
Milkman Keep Those Bottles Quiet
I Never Knew
So Little Time
Song Of India
The One I Love
Our Love Affair
Make Me Know It
Shadows On The Sand
Hawaiian War Chant
Funny Little Pedro
That’s How It Goes
The quality of the recordings are good, listenable and enjoyable. There are no flactuations in the quality during the songs.
Only Our Love Affair, Shadows On The Sand and That’s How It Goes were sung by Frank Sinatra that night.
Our Love Affair offers you excellent orchestration, and singing by Tommy Dorsey’s band and Frank Sinatra. Definitely a must to listen.
Shadows On The Sand, just like Our Love Affair, is top quality.
That’s How It Goes is simply the wrong key for Sinatra.
2 good songs out of 3 for a broadcast from 1940 is better than we can hope for. Happy listening.
Here is a collection of broadcasts recorded on March 2, March 9 and March 14 of 1940.
The song list is as follows:
Polka Dots and Moonbeams
Whispering – Avalon – Japanese Sandman
Sky Fell Down
Isle Of May – Starlight Hour – It’s a Blue World
Fable Of The Rose
I’ll Get By – Talk Of The Town – If I Had You
A Lover Is Blue
Do I Love You – Careless – Say Si Si
Leaning On Old Top Rail – Starlight Hour – I Got My Eyes On You
The quality of the broadcast is listenable, but it is not very enjoyable. The quality of Frank Sinatra and Tommy Dorsey Band at Meadowbrook is a little better than this one.
Now let’s talk about the songs that are worth mentioning.
Polka Dots and Moonbeams: Frank Sinatra delivers another amazing performance. I have not heard a single bad version of this song from Sinatra, just amazing.
Deep Night: This song actually fits Frank Sinatra perfectly with this tempo. Sinatra has great control over the song, especially when saying “come to my arms my darling”. The problem with this song is, sadly, The Pied Pipers. Without them, it would be perfect. The Columbia Records’ Deep Night can’t come close to this.
Fable Of The Rose: Can never go wrong with Fable Of The Rose with Sinatra, just like Polka Dots and Moonbeams.
If the sound quality was a little better, I could probably mention Sky Fell Down and I’ve Got My Eyes On You, as well but with this quality it wouldn’t be wise. If I could take only one song from this broadcast, it would be Deep Night.
On February 24 1940, Tommy Dorsey’s orchestra with Frank Sinatra, Jo Stafford and The Pied Pipers had a live broadcast show at The Meadowbrook, New Jersey. It was a one-hour long broadcast on NBC Radio and they performed the following songs:
A Lover Is Blue
Easy Does It
March of The Toys
What Can I Say Dear After I’ve Said I’m Sorry
I Know That You Know
Do I Love You
Say Si Si
I’ve Got My Eyes On You
East Of The Sun
Time On My Hands
I Can’t Give You Anything But Love
Firstly, let me say that the recordings are between listenable and good. It is highly understandable, but at certain tracks the quality decreases significantly at some intervals.
Frank Sinatra sang the songs A Lover Is Blue, Careless, I’ve Got My Eyes On You, East Of The Sun and Melancholy Baby during this program.
A Lover Is Blue was sang by Jack Leonard when he was in Tommy Dorsey band, too. Compared to Jack Leonard’s version, Frank Sinatra’s is smoother and more crooner-like. This is mostly due to characteristical differences between Leonard’s and Sinatra’s voice and emphasis. In this performance, the orchestra’s arrangement leads to easy-on-the-ears trombones as well, which keeps Sinatra and the band fit to each other.
Careless is a rather OK performance. There are problems with the first parts of the song, but the finishing is fantastic. I would say, the first 2/3 of this song fits Allan Dewitt better, and the last 1/3 fits Frank Sinatra better. Not an easy song.
I’ve Got My Eyes On You starts with a good quality band arrangement, and is followed by a very correct and proper performance of Frank Sinatra. Absolutely worth a try.
East Of The Sun, which we know very well from Frank Sinatra’s recordings with Tommy Dorsey (recorded on 23.04.1940, 2 months after this broadcast), comes quite good. A little bit rushed, but good.
Melancholy Baby is probably the weakest link among these songs. Sinatra fails to hit high notes, just doesn’t fit.
And that concludes the Sinatra part of Meadowbrook broadcast. A Lover Is Blue and I’ve Got My Eyes On You are my picks from that night, and I hope you like them too.
Anything Goes is a Cole Porter classic, and has been performed by various singers since 1934. The information on the song Anything Goes is out of scope of this post, as I would like to compare Frank Sinatra´s Anything Goes to Tony Bennett´s Anything Goes.
Frank Sinatra´s attempt on Anything Goes is clearly spectacular. The phrasing and appropriate stresses on words show that Frank Sinatra is in complete control of the song.
It is also buttery smooth and continuous, which also requires a long breath. For example, the following lines
The world has gone mad today, and good´s bad today
And black´s white today, and day´s night today
When most guys today that women prize today
are all sang without taking a breath, while maintaining the very high control and performance.
When we look at Tony Bennett´s version of Anything Goes from his early years, we see that he can handle the same continuity like Sinatra, but without any style. This is just straightforward singing.
To be honest, it is actually surprising that Tony Bennett follows the melody because in certain cases, and I know this sounds brutal, Tony Bennett just does not follow the notes and simply reads the lyrics like it is not a song.
And lastly, let´s take a look at Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga´s take on Anything Goes.
Now I am aware that Tony Bennett is old, but what is this really? This is too fast for him. He is just trying to keep up with the tempo and reads the lyrics. No style, no control, which result in a weak delivery. I also must say Lady Gaga´s voice is a bad choice for Anything Goes.
But I don´t think anybody cares. Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga´s Duet album (Cheek to Cheek) is not an artistic album, it is a bridge between old and new generation, with very good marketing, just like Frank Sinatra´s Duet albums. At least Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga were in the same room when singing Anything Goes along with the other songs, still a terrible version, just like the other songs in the album.
This post was a bit of Anything Goes and more of my opinion on Tony Bennett and his current and old performances. I will write another post solely about Tony Bennett and his, in my opinion, wrong direction; because I think it is an interesting topic. Tony Bennett is one of the few alive singers of Sinatra era, along with Vic Damone, and although Bennett has some very good songs, he also simply killed a good amount songs, which is surprising for a singer of his caliber.
Society of Singers Night, 3 December 1990. A truly magnificent night in the history, though not known by a lot of people. Sinatra was awarded with the Ella award by Society of Singers, but more importantly, legends of music joined this evening to honor Frank Sinatra and sing for him. Those were the singers from the big band era, from different orchestras. 50 years before this night, in the early 1940’s, Sinatra and Connie Haines and Jo Stafford had sung together, and this night, both honored him with singing the same songs. It is not common experience for a singer to relive those 50 year old memories, and it is just beautiful. And while you might expect these legends to perform not well at the age of 65 or 75, even 94 year old George Burns is ready to surprise you.
Henry Mancini: The 1940’s was known as the era of the big bands. Dorsey, James, Miller, Basie, Ellington, big bands, live music. They also produced a special kind of vocalist. No tricks, no electronics, just singers. Singers who stood in front of the big bands.
Recently, a group known as the Society of Singers gathered at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The event honored one of their own, Frank Sinatra, and the 60 years of music and entertainment he has given people all over the world. The Society of Singers is formed of a popular artist of today, as well as the legendary performers from the era of big bands. They came together on this evening to perform their greatest hits as they honored the chairman of the board.
Ginny Mancini: To celebrate our engagement, we went to the Empire Room of Waldorf Astoria to hear a young singer named Frank Sinatra. He entered from the back of the room to an Axel Stordahl intro with a cup and a saucer in his hand and came in to sing “they’ve got awful lot of coffee in Brazil”, followed by a stunning rendition of Kurt Weill’s “Lost In the stars”, little stars, big stars, blowing the night and we’re lost hearing the stars. Well of course you see, Mr. Wonderful and I were experiencing the wonder of young love, and so you see how Frank Sinatra came in to play, and the memory lingers on… Tonight we honor the Pied Piper Frank Sinatra, with an award inaugurated last year in the name of Ella Fitzgerald. That says something about the integrity for which it stands.
After Ella Fitzgerald sings “There Will Never Be Another You”, Frank Sinatra comes to stage with his grandchildren A.J Lambert and her sister Amanda Lambert, to receive his award.
Frank Sinatra: I love you!
Ella Fitzgerald: I love you too for many years!
Frank Sinatra: No mine longer than yours tho.
Ella Fitzgerald: Not that much longer
Frank Sinatra: Yea yea, I am older!
Ella Fitzgerald: Ladies and Gentlemen, what can I say, what can we say about this great wonderful man who has brought so much pleasure in his music to you, but to say we love him. I love you, they love you, and I love you, we just keep on saying we love you.
And Frank Sinatra receives his lifetime achievement award from Society Of Singers.
Frank Sinatra: I have been honored in my lifetime, twice. First time by the police department of Hoboken New Jersey, and a few days later my old man took care of the job. But, it is difficult to find words to tell you how much I appreciate what you’ve done, all of you, for the organization, which I am very proud to be part of; and to be in this part of the show business, the singing end of show business and I mean I just put (Gene) Kelly down so many times dancing I thought I better stay with singing because it was embarrassing, you know what I mean? I felt badly for him at the time.
And Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald sing “The Lady Is a Tramp” Together. Obviously, Sinatra does not want it to end, and they repeat the last part twice. A moment that will not be relived again. It was American history, at this very special Society Of Singers night…
After the beautiful duet, Jack Jones sings a version of the song “I am a singer” written by Gerard Kenny, lyrics of which was changed to personalize Frank Sinatra for this special Society Of Singers event. When the lyrics hit “He is Sinatra, he sings us songs, he brings the words to life, and he keeps the beat where it belongs”, Frank Sinatra gets very emotional and tears fill his eyes.
After these moments, Jack Jones introduces George Burns.
Jack Jones: Ladies and Gentlemen, no show about singers would be complete without a performance for one of the truly great vocal artists, the silver throat of Nathan Birnbaum ladies and gentlemen.
George Burns: Thank you for the standing ovation. Look, if I can stand, you can stand. Frank Sinatra recorded Young At Heart years ago and sold millions and millions and millions. That’s the song I’m gonna sing tonight. At my age you can follow anybody.
And we hear George Burns sing “Young At Heart”, at the age of 94! During the song, George Burns says: You know, I’ve been around for a lot of years, and there’s one thing I believe, and it works for me, and it’ll work for you too. You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old.
Next song is Harry Connick Jr. – More
And Jo Stafford, Frank Sinatra’s friend from Tommy Dorsey era, and a member of Pied Pipers of Tommy Dorsey orchestra, comes to stage to sing “I’ll never smile again”. An amazing moment, just like in 1940’s; and we realize that 50 years were not enough to change anything. When you think of it, it is just amazing to see all these legends at Society Of Singers night because it just seems impossible to gather all the legends after 50 years.
After Jo Stafford, Tony Bennett is on the stage.
Tony Bennett: Oh boy, what a beautiful night, what a magnificent night. I’ve seen many shows in my life but this is the greatest audience and the greatest performers I’ve ever seen. Frank Sinatra asked me to sing this song and I love it. It is a magnificent, wonderful song.
And “How Do You Keep The Music Playing” starts…
Then Manhattan Transfer and Connie Haines sing “Snootie Little Cutie”, full of life.
A special part of the Society Of Singers show awaits us after this great performance, and Peggy Lee shares her memories and sings a song for Sinatra.
Peggy Lee: Hello Frank. I have so many memories, and Barbara, you simply must forgive me; I’ve been in love with that mean all the years I’ve known him. But it’s OK, it’s platonic, I think… I think about those things, you know, one day we built a home. You built yours and I built mine upon a hill, and a lot of wonderful things happened there. I even remember the firecrackers you used to set off about three or something in the morning. First it frightened me but then I realized it was Francis Albert up there. With Jimmy Van Heusen and all the gang. And, we had barbecues, well we had one barbecue I remember, and all those dear things, so many… And a special version of “The Man I Love” starts, for Frank Sinatra.
So emotional, so beautiful. A moment captured in time, reminding us that the world is full of beauties, and nostalgia is a powerful feeling that strike our hearts. And with these videos, it is timeless, it is immortal.
Just after that, Tony Danza and Gretchen Wyler perform a dance show and Herb Jeffries sings Flamingo. Tony Martin follows them with a perfect performance of “There’s No Tomorrow – O Sole Mio”.
Frances Langford introduces the ladies that sang with the big bands and a marvelous sequence of performances start.
Kay Starr sings “What a difference a day makes” and it is unbelievably amazing. At the age of 68, her voice and how good she looks while singing is wonderful.
Helen Forrest, 73 years old, sings “I Had the Craziest Dream”, again an outstanding performance.
Martha Tilton sings “And the Angels Sing”.
And we hear Bea Wain perform “Deep Purple”.
Kitty Kallen, before starting to sing, says “Will you help me? I am scared to death” and sings “It’s been a long, long time”, beloved by everyone in the room.
Helen O’Connell sings “Tangerine”.
Fran Warren sings “I Want a Sunday Kind of Love”, with a very strong voice.
And lastly, The Sentimentalists sing “On the Sunny Side of the Street”, followed by Joe Williams performing “Alright, Okay, You Win”.
After these, another special part starts, where Eydie Gorme and Stewe Lawrence sings songs written by Frank Sinatra.
Stewe Lawrence: For many years, Frank Sinatra has received many awards for his artistic achievements as a singer, as a performer and as an actor. But there is another creative side of Frank that is generally now too well known. Now besides singing a lot of great songs, he also wrote quite a few of them. And, this evening Eydie and I selected a couple of our favorites composed by Francis Albert, and ladies and gentlemen, we’d like to celebrate Sinatra the Songwriter.
Eydie Gorme sings “This Love Of Mine” and Stewe Lawrence sings “I’m A Fool To Want You”, which is performed beautifully. It is not common for this song to be performed live, with Sinatra in the same room, which makes it more special.
This beautiful night by Society Of Singers ends with all people singing “Dream” first, then Sinatra takes the microphone.
Frank Sinatra: May I thank you, fellow singers and performers. I love you. I am kinda hung up a little bit with my throat so I won’t say too much, but it was a marvelous evening tonight. I had a great time tonight, I really did.
And everybody sings “Alright, Okay, You Win” together, closing the night for Society Of Singers event, such wonderful moments…
You can browse the Society Of Singers website here. On special events section, you can see the following:
ELLA honorees (most recent listed first):
2014 Mike Love, 2011 Smokey Robinson, 2010 Natalie Cole, 2009 Herb Alpert & Lani Hall, 2008 Andy Williams, 2007 Gladys Knight, 2006 Johnny Mathis, 2005 Elton John, 2004 Celine Dion, 2003 Barry Manilow, 2002 Placido Domingo, 2001 Julie Andrews, 2000 Tony Bennett, 1999 Joe Williams, 1998 Rosemary Clooney, 1997 Lena Horne, 1995 Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme, 1994 Peggy Lee, 1992 Tony Martin, 1990 Frank Sinatra, 1989 Ella Fitzgerald.
And on the youtube page of Society of Singers, there are some short videos from certain nights you might find interesting.
And on the shop page of Society of Singers website, you can purchase items to support the Society of Singers group and help their cause.
New York New York, Theme from New York New York actually, was written by Fred Ebb and composed by John Kander for the Martin Scorsese film New York, New York in 1977. In 1979, Frank Sinatra recorded the song for his album Trilogy: Past Present Future. Frank Sinatra sang the song many times in his concerts, and also as a duet with Liza Minnelli in a concert, and with Tony Bennett in his Duets album.
In some of his concerts, Frank Sinatra adds the part of the song New York New York (from the film On The Town, 1944) to the beginning of this song.
New York, New York, a helluva town.
The Bronx is up, but the Battery’s down.
The people ride in a hole in the groun’.
New York, New York, it’s a helluva town!
Start spreading the news…
New York New York was a big success for Frank Sinatra. In all of his concerts, we can hear the audience literally going crazy when New York New York starts. It then replaced My Way, and became the new national anthem.
Frank first sang New York New York in public in October 1978, during a charity event at Waldorf-Astoria. The previous year, when it had been the theme song for the movie, it had not really taken off. Performed live by Frank, it became a show-stopper. It was in 1979 , in Los Angeles, that he made the recording that endures today. It came over as a new, defiant personal statement as much as a paean to a city.
In June 1980, in a fever of anticipation, New Yorkers thronged to hear Frank at Carnegie Hall. San Diego Union-Leader columnist Don Freeman recalled how on hearing the first tentative sounds of the song the audience “erupted into a thunderclap of loving recognition. Sinatra the wise showman allowed the applause and the cheers to reach a high decibel peak, and descend into a deliciously tense, expectant silence. Sinatra the artist would bring the audience along the heights again, but on his terms. He puffed on a cigarette, sipped from a glass of wine. And then he sang New York New York… Unforgettable”
The following part is from the book Sinatra! The Song Is You, Will Friedwald.
By far the most commercially successful number of The Present –on all of Trilogy, in fact- was not any kind of youth-directed pop-art at all but what amounts to a show tune from a flop film, “New York New York.” Frank Military, who had left Sinatra’s employ at the end of the Capitol era, rightfully busts his buttons with pride at having been the first to pull Sinatra’s coattails to this piece of material. “I sent him the song, and he said he would listen to it. I kept calling Dorothy
Written for Liza Minnelli (who had a minor hit with it) in Martin Scorsese’s unfortunate 1977 musical of the same name, “New York New York” marked the second show-type tune of that title to be associated with Sinatra (the first was from his 1949 film On The Town) and is more correctly titled “Theme from New York New York.” In some early concert performances, Sinatra opened with the Bernstein-Comden-Green song to lead into the soon-to-be familiar John Kander-Fred Ebb introductory vamp.
Sinatra began doing the new “New York New York” in concert in October 1978, around the time Falcone joined him, and initially used it as his opening number. “We were rehearsing up at NBC, and he brought the sheet music up to the piano and said, ‘Here, play this for me,’” the pianist recalled. Around that time, Sinatra commissioned Costa to assemble an instrumental “overture” medley of New York songs for the Radio City engagement, which would include “Autumn in New York” and “Sidewalks of New York” and conclude with the now internationally known vamp to “New York New York.” The Chairman would enter the boardroom on top of the riff, the audience would begin applauding, and Sinatra would, to coin a phrase, start spreading the news.
“After that engagement,” Falcone continued, “he said to me, ‘Man, this thing is getting big. We have to take it out of the overture.’ So I wrote a new ending for Don’s overture. And then he said, ‘We got to put this further down in the show.’ So it went down about halfway into the program because ‘My Way’ was still the close. But ‘New York’ just kept getting bigger. Of course, all during this period, all during that year, he started to grow with the song, and he started to put it into the shape that it eventually took. It didn’t start out to being as dramatic at the end as it is now, with a much, much slower tempo. That’s why he likes to do a song on stage for several months before he records it; he feels that he develops the song. And he doesn’t want to record it too early because then he figures he’ll change it.” Once the record is released, Sinatra usually becomes locket into the rough form of arrangement. (Of course he may decide a number of years later to start all over again with a completely new treatment.)
Sinatra had originally recorded “New York New York” in New York, appropriately, in August 1979, along with most of the rest of The Present. Between August and September of that year, however, he felt his take on the tune had so improved that he should remake the number, doing it on the same date that he was also tackling part of the Billy May portion of the package. Said Falcone, “The Old Man didn’t like the way it came off in New York. He wasn’t satisfied with the way he did it. He had kept growing with that song, and by the time we were recording in Hollywood, it had grown that much more. So he said, ‘The hell with it. I want to do it over again.’ So I introduced it and [veteran West Coast jazzman] Pete Jolly played the piano.”
By 1980, when Trilogy finally came out, “New York New York” was a bona fide hit- one that now concluded every Sinatra concert. Released as a single, “New York New York” together with Trilogy marked Sinatra’s biggest record triumphs in a decade, and a double whammy at that. He can be counted on to bring down the house with it at every show, particularly those in New York City area. As sung by Minnelli, it’s just your average da-da-da sow tune. In the hands –or tonsils, rather- of Sinatra, it exemplifies the anger and the optimism, the ambition and the excrement that is New York. And that is also Sinatra. By the time he reaches the outchorus, and the modulation that occurs with the second line he sings “those little town blues,” the excitement of the crows is impossible to contain. “New York,” as the Military suggests, has become more closely identified with Sinatra than any other song, even perhaps more than “My Way.” (As late as 1990, in the horror comedy Gremlins 2, when the army of furry little killer mesquites are about to invade Fun City en masse, their head honcho cheers them on by donning a trench coat and fedora and breaking into “Start spreading the news…”)
The following part is from the book Lady Blue Eyes, My Life with Frank, Barbara Sinatra.
Despite his great love of New Jersey and New York, Frank didn’t have a song that summered up his feelings about the place. I’d long thought that he should. When Martin Scorsese directed the 1977 musical New York New York, starring Liza Minnelli and Robert De Niro (who Frank always hoped might play him in a movie one day), I had an idea. The title song written by John Kander and Fred Ebb and belted out by Liza was such an incredibly powerful number that I suddenly realized it was perfect for Frank. It would be great for him because of his connection with New York, but I was convinced it would be a huge hit internationally too. When I first suggested that he record it, though, he dismissed my idea out of hand. “Naw, that’s Liza’s song,” he said. “She does it great. I’d never take that away from her.” Frank had been close to Liza’s mother, Judy Garland, since the 1940’s , and he treated Liza like a sassy daughter. His loyalty was touching.
“But, Frank,” I countered, “you wouldn’t be taking anything away from Liza- just doing it your way. ‘New York New York’ is much more of a man’s song. I mean, those lyrics- ‘king of the hill’? That’s the story of your life!”
He wouldn’t have it at first, but I’d keep trying to work my idea into the conversation whenever I could. I’d managed to influence his musical choices several times in the past simply by telling him, “Oh, I love that song, darling. It’s one of my favorites,” if I head him practicing a number I particularly liked. He’d sort his music into three piles- “yes,” “no,” and “maybe” – and one word from me was usually enough to get something added to the “yes” pile.
Getting him to sing “New York New York” was almost as tricky; I knew I was going to have to think of some other way to persuade him. Fortunately, I had several people on my side, including friends, fellow musicians, and executives at his record company, who were all of it. After a while, Liza’s show closed and her single dropped off the charts, so Frank wouldn’t be treading on her toes in any way. Then in 1978, when the New York governor Hugh Carey was running for reelection, I spotted my chance. I told Frank, “Okay, then, don’t record ‘New York New York,’ but at least work up an arrangement to sing at Carey’s inauguration gala. Try it out there and see what happens.” He finally agreed and asked Don Costa to arrange a brassy version for his voice accompanied by his usual big orchestra. He performed it at Radio City Musical Hall in October of that year. Brought to life with his unique phrasing and impeccable timing, the number he almost didn’t sing brought the house down.
A year later Frank relented and recorded what was to become a Sinatra anthem. He incorporated it into his Trilogy set of albums- Past, Present, and Future- his first new recordings in six years, chiefly because he’d been so busy touring. Those albums went straight to number one and garnered six Grammy nominations. Although he never admitted I was right to have suggested “New York New York” for him, I know he always felt a great personal connection to the song because he chose it thereafter as his closing number, replacing “My Way.” Not that he gave me any credit for that; he said only that it was too strong an opener and needed to be moved to the back. The irony was that the number’s biggest fan (yours truly) rarely got to hear it all the way through because, by the time he was on his finale, I’d be slipping out the side door in his cue of “These little town blues are melting away…” because Frank’s version of “New York New York” was adopted by the Yankees and played after every victory, a fact that made us both very proud.
The following part is from the book Sessions with Sinatra (Frank Sinatra and the Art of Recording, Charles L. Granata)
At some point, the number became the most requested song of Sinatra’s live concert performances, and it moved from the middle to the coveted “closing” spot. “Eventually the song got so powerful.” Says Falcone, that Frank said, “Let’s take My Way out of the show. I’m sick and tired of singing the song. I’ve been trying to find something to replace it for years, and we’ve finally gotten it. For several years during that period, we didn’t even do ‘My Way’ in the show; it was only performed when we went to Europe, or some other place abroad. New York New York became the closer, and nothing has ever come along, and nothing ever will, as I see it.
Frank Sinatra likes changing lyrics, as we know, and though not as much as he does for The Lady Is a Tramp for example, he does it for New York New York as well. He sometimes uses “Come on, come through” instead of “It’s up to you”, which I think reflects the songs in a better way.
Variations for “If I can make it there, You know, I’m gonna make it anywhere”
I know that I’m about to make it baby anywhere. (Live at Caesars Palace, 1982)
You know I’ll make it anywhere. ( Live At The Meadowlands)
You know I’m gonna make it anywhere. Come on, come through, New York New York, New York New York, New York New York, New York. (21 November 1993, Foxwoods Casino)
I’ll make it, I’ll make it anywhere. (1980-09-13, Royal Festival Hall, London, England)
I’m gonna make it ehmm anywhere. (1979-11-22 Resorts International, Atlantic City)
I know I’ll make it anywhere. (1982-01-24 Radio City)
You know, I’m gonna make it just about anywhere. (1987-10-17 Worchester)
You know I’m gonna make it any goddamn where. (1981-03-28 Caesars Palace)
You know I’m gonna do it any goddamn where, come on come through New York New York, New York. (1987-12-09 Carnegie Hall)
If I can, If I can make it there, you dirty rat, I’m gonna make it anywhere. (1988-04-30 Bally’s Grand)
What Did Frank Sinatra Say About New York New York?
Frank Sinatra: We’re gonna take the plane and we’re gonna fly everbody up east Miami, north of here, about a hundred miles away. The greatest city in the whole world.
Frank Sinatra: Vincent Falcone takes the time now to conduct one of the most exciting pieces of music of all of my years.
Frank Sinatra: This is a new song, we’re going to play for you for the first time. (1991-09-21 Milano, Italy)
Frank Sinatra: This is a wonderful song about one of the beautiful cities in our world, this is a very famous song all over the world.
Frank Sinatra: This song was introduced to me by great Liza Minnelli, it was written by Fred Ebb and John Kander, orchestrated by the late Don Costa. (Live At Meadowlands)
Frank Sinatra: Now, we come back over the ocean to our country again, to the greatest city the men ever built. (1979-11-22 Atlantic City)
Frank Sinatra: Oh this song we’re gonna introduce you to now will be number 1 so quick it’s gonna scare you when it happens. ( 1986-07-04 Golden Nugget)
Frank Sinatra: A ballad, beautiful ballad, written by Fred Ebb and John Kander(1991 October 5, Frankfurt)
Frank Sinatra: The national anthem! This song was written by Fred Ebb and John Kander, orchestrated by Don Costa, introduced by Liza Minnelli and stolen by me. (1987-10-17 Worchester)
Frank Sinatra: Ladies and gentleman, the national anthem. This song was written by Fred Ebb and John Kander, orchestrated by Don Costa, introduced by Liza Minnelli and stolen by me. (1987-12-09 Carnegie Hall)
Frank Sinatra: The name of this song is Chicago. (1987-06-17 Italy)
Frank Sinatra: Now of course we come to the national anthem of this great city. (1984-12-06 Carnegie Hall)
Frank Sinatra: This next song was written by Fred Ebb and John Kander, orchestrated by Don Costa, introduced by Liza Minnelli and stolen by me. (1986-12-31 Golden Nugget)
Frank Sinatra: New York, New York! From the film of the same name, made famous by Liza Minnelli! With a “Z”! (27 September 1979, The Pyramids, Egypt)*
Frank Sinatra: A wonderful song by Fred Ebb and John Kander, and Don Costa’s orchestration. And you know it well. It’s about a small town in America. (9 October 1991, The Point)*
Frank Sinatra: A couple guys named Fred Web and John Kander wrote this and the late Don Costa’s tremendous orchestration. (27 April 1991, Circle Star Theatre)*
Frank Sinatra: We’re gonna take a stroll. Just you and me for a lil bit. (25 June 1980, Carnegie Hall)*
Frank Sinatra: This next song is the orchestration by Don Costa. And I don’t think you’ve ever heard this song before. Shoot. (27 September 1986, Palatrussardi)*
Frank Sinatra: Uh, this is a song written by Fred Ebb and John Kander. I never met these guys. They’re very talented people by the way. Don Costa did the orchestration. You know this song very well. 21 October 1994, St. Louis Kiel Center)*
Frank Sinatra: That’s from the film, “New York, New York” that starred Liza Minnelli, and I thank you. (15 June 1979, 40th Anniversary Concert)*
Frank Sinatra: Fred Ebb and John Kander, Don Costa’s orchestration on “New York, New York”. (16 October 1978, Radio City Music Hall)*
Frank Sinatra: You don’t know the song, right? This is a song written by Fred Ebb and John Kander, orchestrated by Don Costa, introduced by Liza Minnelli and stolen by me. Good song. (9 January 1988, Sanctuary Cove)*
*Special thanks to Michael Wind for his contributions to What Did Sinatra Say About New York New York part.
Come Rain or Come Shine, a beautiful song that Frank Sinatra really liked to sing, was written by Harold Arlen in 1946. Johnny Mercer wrote the lyrics for Come Rain or Come Shine, and it was for the musical St. Louis Woman. In fact, whole music of this musical was by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer. The recording was first made by Tommy Dorsey‘s Orchestra in 1946, and many singers, including Frank Sinatra, recorded or sang this song later. It became a standard then.
Frank Sinatra sang Come Rain or Come Shine many times through his career, firstly via radio broadcasts, then in his albums. He first recorded the song on November 22, 1961, for his album “Sinatra and Strings”, which was released in 1962 and was arranged by Don Costa. In 1993, Frank Sinatra recorded Come Rain or Come Shine for his “Duets” album, and Gloria Estefan sang a part of it.
When Sinatra was singing at Caesars Palace, and was singing Come Rain or Come Shine, Don Costa was noted to say: “That’s still the best chart I wrote”. Will Friedwald, writer of “Sinatra! The Song Is You”, says: “The Sinatra-Costa “Come Rain or Come Shine” may well be the collaboration’s masterpiece, effectively combining the high drama of grand opera with the pure power of blues.”
Come Rain or Come Shine is really a piece of work, with its amazing orchestration. Ray Charles’ version is also worth mentioning, and could be perceived as better than Sinatra’s.
Below is a beautiful performance of Frank Sinatra, singing Come Rain or Come Shine.
What did Frank Sinatra say about Come Rain or Come Shine?
Frank Sinatra: This is a wonderful song by Johnn Mercer, arrangement by Don Costa. (1981 Argentina)
Frank Sinatra: This is a lovely song by Johnny Mercer, and Don Costa’s orchestration. I love this song. (1991/09/21 – Italy)
Frank Sinatra: Great song by Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer. Orchestrated by Don Costa. I love to sing this song. Great song. (Live at Meadowlands)
Frank Sinatra: Good song by Harold Arlen, and Johnny Mercer. Don Costa’s orchestration. One of my favourite songs. (1993/ November 21, Foxwoods Casino)
Frank Sinatra: One of my favourite songs. I probably have 10 or 12 songs and there are thousands of them. This one is by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer, orchestrated beautifully by the late Don Costa. For you, from me. Wonderful song, I love it. ( 1990/12/12 Meadowlands)
Frank Sinatra: I love singing it, it is a fine song. (1993/06/02 Hamburg, Germany)
Frank Sinatra: One of my favourite songs of all times. (1983/11/28 Nassau Coliseum)
Frank Sinatra: I like this song, almost more than any other song I have ever sang. Mr. Harold Arlen and Mr. Johnny Mercer, wonderful orchestration by Don Costa. (1985 Japan Concert)
Frank Sinatra: This is something by Johnny Mercer and Harold Arlen, and Don Costa’s
orchestration. This is an absolute statement coming from me to all of you
because the fact that you come to spend an evening with me. (September 28
Frank Sinatra: This next song is a marvelous song written by two of the great song writers, I speak of Harold Arlen and Mr. Johnny Mercer. And they wrote many many wonderful songs together. THIS one is very special to me. Wonderful arrangement by Don Costa. (August 20 1982, Dominican Republic)*
Frank Sinatra: This song was written by Charlie Chapman and Tom Mix, I don’t even know this. Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer, and orchestrated by the great Don Costa. Good song. This is from me to you, everywhere. (April 24 1994, Radio City Music Hall)*
Frank Sinatra: If I had to choose from 50 songs or 100 songs that we know, most of us know, this one would be included at all times. It was written by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer, great team. And also orchestrated by a brilliant man named Don Costa. And this is directly from me to you. (October 9 1991, The Point)*
Frank Sinatra: This is a marvelous song, I like singing this one. (December 19-20 1994, Fukuoka Dome)*
Frank SInatra: This could be one of the finest pieces of popular music ever written, in spite of the wonderful tunes we have. Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer, and Don Costa did the orchestration. (December 30 1993, MGM)*
Frank Sinatra: Johnny Mercer and Harold Arlen wrote this one. Arranged by Don Costa, one of my favorite songs of all time. Great song. This is dedicated to all of you in this room. (March 20 1984, Veterans Memorial Coliseum)*
*Special thanks to Michael Wind for his contributions regarding what did Sinatra say about Come Rain or Come Shine.