1940

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26-11-1940 One Night Stand With Tommy Dorsey

By | 2017-06-10T00:19:33+00:00 October 14th, 2015|Categories: Articles|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Published by Joyce Music, One Night Stand With Tommy Dorsey features 14 songs.

1940-11-26 Frank Sinatra One Night Stand with Tommy Dorsey

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
Losers Weepers
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.

1940-11-26 Frank Sinatra One Night Stand with Tommy Dorsey

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.

 

(02,09,14)-03-1940 Sinatra College Concerts

By | 2017-06-10T00:19:33+00:00 October 14th, 2015|Categories: Articles|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Here is a collection of broadcasts recorded on March 2, March 9 and March 14 of 1940.

1940-03-02 Frank Sinatra Tommy Dorsey College Concerts

The song list is as follows:

After All
Polka Dots and Moonbeams
Deep Night
Whispering – Avalon – Japanese Sandman
Sky Fell Down
Isle Of May – Starlight Hour – It’s a Blue World
Fable Of The Rose
Marie
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.

1940-03-02 Frank Sinatra Tommy Dorsey College Concerts Back

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.

24-02-1940 Frank Sinatra at Meadowbrook

By | 2017-06-10T00:19:33+00:00 October 14th, 2015|Categories: Articles|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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:

College Medley
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
Careless
Say Si Si
Loser’s Weepers
I’ve Got My Eyes On You
Fraternity Medley
East Of The Sun
Melancholy Baby
Time On My Hands
I Can’t Give You Anything But Love
College Medley

1940-02-24 Frank Sinatra Tommy Dorsey Meadowbrook NJ

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.

1940-02-24 Frank Sinatra Tommy Dorsey Meadowbrook NJ

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.

Stardust – Frank Sinatra

By | 2017-06-10T00:19:34+00:00 October 8th, 2012|Categories: Songs|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Stardust, originally “Star Dust”, was firstly a song composed by Hoagy Carmichael in the year 1927. Two years later, in 1929, Mitchell Parish wrote the lyrics for Stardust. It is certainly a standard and was sung and recorded by many artists of jazz-swing era, including Frank Sinatra. Stardust was not just “one” of the songs that Sinatra sang, but a sentimental ballad Sinatra performed almost in perfection.

Stardust Frank Sinatra

Frank Sinatra first sang Stardust when he was in the band of Harry James. In fact, the very first song Frank sang with Harry James’ orchestra was Stardust. Jack Palmer, a trumpeter of Harry James said: “Just before the second show, Harry came out and introduced him as the new singer with the band. Frank then joined us at the next date we had, which I believe was in New Haven, Connecticut. I’ll never forget how Harry introduced him to the audience. He said, “Ladies and Gentlemen, this is our new vocalist, and we don’t have any arrangements for him as yet. Frank, do you think we can scare something up for you to sing?” Sinatra called out “Stardust,” which is not the easiest song to sing. Frank gave us the key and the piano and rhythm section began, and we just tried to get some background to hold it all together.

A version of Stardust can be found in Frank Sinatra and Harry James Complete Recordings. Compared to later versions, this Stardust version has a noticeable faster tempo.

Stardust had its part in Jo Stafford’s memories as well. Jo Stafford says: “We knew we were going to have a boy singer, but we didn’t know anything about him. We didn’t even meet him before the first show. Out came this rather frail looking young man with a whole bunch of hair. I just thought, hmm kinda thin. But he sang no more than a few bars of “Stardust” and a great hush fell over the theatre. Nobody had ever sounded like that before.”

Herb Sanford, Tommy Dorsey’s radio producer (after hearing Sinatra singing Stardust): “Boy, this is something else.”

Apparently, Sinatra sang Stardust to impress people after joining both Harry James’ and Tommy Dorsey’s orchestra.

In 1940, 11th of November, Frank Sinatra recorded Stardust with Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, and showed us how Stardust should be performed; slower tempo, and a slow start of “Some-times-I-Won-der-Why-I-Spend The-lonely-Nights”. In this version, Sinatra starts to sing with “The Pied Pipers”, and just in the middle of “Nights”, Pied Pipers stop, and Frank Sinatra completes the word “Nights” in an amazing way, with a brilliant voice. The “You were in my arms” part is also quite notable. Stardust is one of the leading successful songs of Tommy Dorsey era of Frank Sinatra, and was a big hit in the year 1941.

“The 1940 “Stardust” is strictly the “Smile Again” layout applied to another tune. And most effectively too, judging by its effect on Buddy Rich, who was hardly the band’s sensitivity specialist. Rich, who prided himself on being hyper masculine and downright ant sentimental, later confided to friend Mel Torme that Sinatra’s rendition of “Stardust” had him hiding his face so that no one would catch a glimpse of his tears.” (SINATRA! The Song Is You by Will Friedwald)

A famous Stardust version of Sinatra is from 1943, performed in “Your Hit Parade”. It was presented by Lucky Strike, and the video of it is available.

Frank Sinatra recorded Stardust again in his album “Sinatra and Strings” in 1962 under Reprise Records. Don Costa arranged and conducted the song this time, yet this time Sinatra sang only the verse of the song. (And now the purple dusk of twilight time…) Only the verse itself with a beautiful string section is enough, as the recording shows us.
“Costa penned an elaborate introduction, proving he wasn’t averse to writing a verse to a verse for the Voice. This intro was a key reason why Sinatra guitarist Tony Mattola cited “Stardust” as his favorite Sinatra performance. “Don sets it up like almost a tone poem in the beginning,” he said, “and it could stand by itself as a classical piece.” Then Frank just sings this lovely verse, and then Don ends it, as he does in the beginning. Whoever thought of that idea-whether it was Frank or Don or whoever-it’s completely original and absolutely beautiful.” (SINATRA! The Song Is You by Will Friedwald)

Stardust would never be a choice for Sinatra’s concerts, but the brilliant versions from 1940’s are definitely more than enough.

The Song Is You (Box Set) – CD 1

By | 2017-06-10T00:19:37+00:00 March 8th, 2012|Categories: Albums|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

The first CD of The Song Is You Box Set has many great songs of Frank Sinatra as expected; and firstly, let us take a look at the song list.

Frank Sinatra The Song Is You Box Set CD 1

Frank Sinatra The Song Is You Box Set CD 1

 

Frank Sinatra The Song Is You Box Set CD 1 Song List

Frank Sinatra The Song Is You Box Set CD 1 Song List

The Song Is You Box Set, CD 1 Song List

1. The Sky Fell Down
2. Too Romantic
3. Shake Down the Stars
4. Moments in the Moonlight
5. I’ll Be Seeing You
6. Say It
7. Polka Dots and Moonbeams
8. Fable of the Rose
9. This Is the Beginning of the End
10. Hear My Song, Violetta
11. Fools Rush in (Where Angels Fear to Tread)
12. Devil May Care
13. April Played the Fiddle
14. I Haven’t Time to Be a Millionaire
15. Imagination
16. Yours Is My Heart Alone
17. You’re Lonely and I’m Lonely
18. East of the Sun (And West of the Moon)
19. Head on My Pillow
20. It’s a Lovely Day Tomorrow
21. I’ll Never Smile Again
22. All This and Heaven Too
23. Where Do You Keep Your Heart

I’ll Be Seeing You, Fools Rush In, Imagination, I’ll Never Smile Again are the songs that draw the attention as they can be considered as the most popular songs of Frank Sinatra’s Tommy Dorsey era, but these are not all. The first CD of The Song Is You box set has many amazing songs. Following comments are on the songs that I find at least “worth” listening, in my humble opinion, for the first CD of The Song Is You Box Set.

 

The Sky Fell Down, a very smooth piece, is sang by Frank Sinatra very well, and always is a great alternative to his popular songs. Well performed and recommended.

Too Romantic, again a great example. Lyrics might not be the best, but performance of the orchestra and Sinatra  make up for it.

Shake Down The Stars can be considered as “different” compared to other songs in the disc due to the arrangement and tempo, which make it great! Hard to realize how fast the song plays, quite enjoyable. The song also includes good saxophone parts, simply beautiful orchestration.

Moments In The Moonlight: I find the trombone parts at the beginning and end too much and loud, but when Frank Sinatra starts to sing, his talent makes it unimportant for me. The way he phrases “Moonlight” and following parts are especially quite nice, unique to Sinatra himself.

I’ll Be Seeing You is no doubt a very important song of Sinatra. Very hard to describe the beauty of this song with words. “I’ll be looking at the moon” part at minute 2:00 is sang a bit fast in my opinion, but the rest is pure perfection. Excellent performance and orchestration. No doubt it is many people’s favorite of Dorsey era.

Say It can be considered as an unpopular song of Sinatra. Nothing interesting with the lyrics, I like the “Say it, ooover and o-ver again” part though. Arrangement of finishing section could be better.

Polka Dots And Moonbeams is definitely one of my favorites, waiting for many people to be discovered. One of the many great songs that shows characteristics of Sinatra’s voice at the beginning of 1940’s. Recommended.

This Is The Beginning Of The End: Too fast. Sinatra loves to put emphasis on lyrics a lot, but when it is this fast, song loses a lot of its meaning, if it has any potential.

Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear To Tread): Another treasure from 1940’s. Fools rush in, where wise men never go. But wise men never fall in love, so how are they to know? Just amazing, a must.

Devil May Care begins with an ordinary arrangement of big band era songs. Nothing special, but worth a try.

April Played The Fiddle: Good arrangement and orchestration, OK song.

I Haven’t Time to Be a Millionaire: Could be one of the songs of Sinatra that you listen once in a blue moon.

Imagination could use a much better arrangement as it has huge potential. Sinatra later proved that this song can be performed way more beautifully. Still, it is very nice to listen this song from the “early” Sinatra.

East Of The Sun: Here is an interestingly beautiful song. Arrangement is very well for this song, and Sinatra simply shows his amazing singing talent. If there were no vocals except Sinatra, East of The Sun could be a lot better.

I’ll Never Smile Again: Pied Pipers and Frank Sinatra at their best. Simply beautiful and charming song, could not get any better than this version. The more you listen the song, the better you realize how good it is. Perfection.

All This And Heaven Too is an unpopular song of early years of Frank Sinatra, despite its beauty. The song begins with a smooth arrangement, with an excellent combination of instruments, continuing with Sinatra’s charming performance. The song’s lyrics are also very well written by Jimmy Van Heusen.

You give me your love and your love is a melody,
Deep in my heart I will carry this song with me,
You bring a love so divine, all this is mine
And heaven too.

To sum up, the first CD of this 5 CD The Song Is You Box Set is very satisfactory and a very important piece for Frank Sinatra fans with its 23 songs. It helps us to understand Sinatra’s early years, which are quite marvelous, a lot better. In time, I will post information about other CD´s of The Song Is You box set.

Frank Sinatra and Tommy Dorsey Band

By | 2017-06-10T00:19:39+00:00 June 3rd, 2011|Categories: Articles|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

“See the singer guy? One day I’ll be sitting where he’s sitting.” That is what Frank Sinatra told his wife Nancy, when they went to see Tommy Dorsey’s band in 1937.

In my post about Frank Sinatra and Harry James I had mentioned that in Chicago, Frank Sinatra was offered to be the vocal of Tommy Dorsey’s band, and left the band of Harry James in January 1940. But unlike the times he worked with Harry James, now he wasn’t the only vocal in the band. There were four other people, also known as “Pied Pipers”: Chucky Lowry, Billy Wilson, John Huddleston and Jo Stafford. In February 1, they recorded “The Sky Fell Down” and “Too Romantic”.

Tommy Dorsey

“I was almost entirely unfamiliar with him. In fact I never laid eyes on him until he actually walked on stage for the first time. We were sitting on the stage when Dorsey introduced him. And he came on and sang “Stardust” and it was quite an experience. You knew after eight bars that you were hearing something just absolutely new and unique” says Jo Stafford about Frank Sinatra.

It is widely accepted that Frank Sinatra learned a lot from Tommy Dorsey, especially the technique of breathing. Frank was watching Tommy Dorsey playing the trombone and trying to figure out the way he was breathing. Later he discovered that Tommy had a sneak pinhole in the corner of his mouth which he was covering with his trombone and decided to use this technique while singing. He ran and swam a lot to improve his breathing and finally was able to make it. He could take a breath without breaking the note.

Frank Sinatra Tommy Dorsey Orchestra

Another thing Sinatra learned from Tommy Dorsey was focusing on the words. Dorsey told Frank “All that matters to Bing Crosby is the words, and that’s the only thing that should matter to you.” Maybe this is why he sings the “saloon songs” perfectly, like “Angel Eyes” or “One For My Baby”.

The first real hit of Frank Sinatra with Tommy Dorsey orchestra was “I’ll never smile again”, on 23 May 1940. This was also the first recording Frank did with Pied Pipers. In July the song hit No 1 on the charts and stayed there for 12 weeks. He recorded this song in 1959 and 1965 as well, in his albums “When No One Cares” and “A Man and His Music”. On January 1941 they recorded 2 very nice songs, “Stardust” and “Oh Look at Me Now”.

It was the year 1941 when Sinatra became a lot more and more popular. Girls were crazy about him and people were coming to performances to see Frank Sinatra now. He wasn’t just a vocal of Tommy Dorsey anymore, he was Frank Sinatra. And he was quite aware of this fact too. Sooner or later he was going to quit, just like the former vocal of the band did. Those years, it was the band leaders that were popular and known in the bands, and though he was very popular and making $400 a week, still he was in the shadow of Tommy and this was not for him since he had to achieve more. Being in a band was only a step on the way of being the greatest ever.

Frank Sinatra Tommy Dorsey Band Stage

In January 1942, Sinatra made his first step and recorded these songs with an orchestra conducted by Axel Stordahl, no Tommy Dorsey this time.

Night and Day
The Lamp Lighters Serenade
The Song Is You
The Night We Called A Day

Frank Sinatra: “When I went to leave, Tommy made it impossible. I remember that it was in the month of September, in Washington, Dc. I went into the dressing room and told Tommy that I wanted to leave the orchestra and he kind of smiled. What for? He said. You know you are doing great with the band we got a lot of arrangements for you. I said I understand that but I justto go out on my own. He said, I don’t think so. I said okay, but I’m going to leave. He said, you’ve got a contract. I said, I had a contract with Harry but Harry took the contract and tore it up and wished me luck. And I added, I’ll give you one year’s notice. This time next year I’m leaving.”

In 1942, Frank wanted to leave the band again but still the same obstacle, the contract Sinatra later named as “a ratty piece of paper.” In the contract, it was stated that if Frank Sinatra left the band, he would pay %43 of all the money he would earn throughout his career, to Tommy Dorsey and his agent. Dorsey first didn’t want to let Frank go. So Frank hired few lawyers and asked some friends to help him about this issue. Harry Jaffe threatened Tommy Dorsey about not broadcasting him on NBC.  After a while Tommy was persuaded and he accepted to take $75000.

Frank Sinatra: “Anyhow, that’s how I got out of Dorsey contract. No gangster called anyone. Sonofabitch, I’ve been with that thing for so many years..”

But this is not what Tommy Dorsey said, according to the book “Sinatra: The Life”. “Three guys from New York City by way of Boston and New Jersey approached me and said they would like to buy Sinatra’s contract. I said “Like hell you will”. And they pulled out a gun and said, “You wanna sign the contract?” And I did.” And before Tommy Dorsey died in 1956, he again said “I was visited by Willie Moretti and a couple of his boys. Willie fingered a gun and told me he was glad to hear that I was letting Frank out of my deal. I took the hint.”

In August 1943, Tommy Dorsey gave Sinatra his best wishes by saying “I hope you fall on your ass!” (not on the radio), and Frank finally owned himself.

When I think of Frank Sinatra’s years with Tommy Dorsey, I say thank god he was in that band. His voice was simply fascinating and he performed many nice songs. We can’t name the months of Sinatra with Harry James as rich, since they didn’t release many songs and we don’t have many recorded radio broadcasts survived till now. But Frank Sinatra and Tommy Dorsey recorded lots of beautiful songs like “The Sky Fell Down, Too Romantic, I’ll Be Seeing You, Say It, Polka Dots and Moonbeams, Fools Rush In, April Played the Fiddle, Imagination, I’ll Never Smile Again, Stardust, Oh Look At Me Now, Without a Song, I Think of You, The Song Is You” and many others.

If you would like to listen more songs of Frank Sinatra with Tommy Dorsey, you should definitely check “Frank Sinatra Tommy Dorsey Complete”, which consists of 5 CD’s. Lots of beautiful songs there…