Duets

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Come Rain Or Come Shine

By | 2017-06-10T00:19:34+00:00 December 30th, 2012|Categories: Songs|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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.

Come Rain or Come Shine Frank Sinatra Harold Arlen Johnny Mercer

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
1991, Oslo)*

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.

Dennis Rowland Interview About Frank Sinatra

By | 2017-06-10T00:19:37+00:00 March 27th, 2012|Categories: Articles|Tags: , , , , , , , |

The most important thing about Dennis Rowland, in terms of reputation, is that he started to work with Count Basie Orchestra in 1977 and continued to be the orchestra’s vocalist for 7 years. Famous singers like Jimmy Rushing and Joe Williams had been a part of the Basie Orchestra before, and having their spot and singing with the Count Basie Orchestra is no doubt very incredible and a life-time experience. Dennis Rowland also shared the stage with Tony Bennett and Ella Fitzgerald, which is very important to mention.

I must say Dennis Rowland has a really great voice and phrasing. He is completely able to deliver the lyrics to you, in a rich and strong way. My ideas are based on studio recordings and online videos, but I am sure it must feel great to see him singing live. He obviously enjoys singing a lot, and is full of life on stage. This way, he fills the stage and warms you with his unique voice.

Dennis Rowland - Frank Sinatra Interview

Dennis Rowland

Dennis Rowland, thankfully, has been interested in answering my questions about Frank Sinatra.

Hello Mr. Rowland, I am Ozgun Akalin, owner of TheFrankSinatra.com. I would like to thank for accepting to answer my questions and sparing your time. I also want to thank because I have been able to contact you directly, instead of via a manager. Your personally answering your fans is really great!

I would like to start with my questions now, here they are.

Have you felt “complete” after being the vocalist of Count Basie Orchestra, or do you consider those years as a starting point of a new era of your life which includes more things to accomplish?

At the time, I looked at it as being the beginning of a new phase. I had been singing around Detroit, for years. Joining the band was huge.

A lot of my career, I owe to Mr. Basie. There were of course, some disappointments, but, still worth it. Though I recorded with the band, I was not credited……On The Road.

I have 3 cds on Concord Records, along with several compilations. Records with Ray Anthony.Les Brown, and Joe Sample. I tour Russia, and Germany yearly.

Sinatra and you enjoy singing same songs, worked with Count Basie, and have a unique style. Apparently, you have many things in common with Sinatra in terms of music. Do you think you are walking a similar path like Sinatra walked in his long life? In what ways do you think you are similar to and differ from him?

As far as being similar is concerned, again thank you for your opinion. As a singer, we share a similar vocal range. Yes, we share repetoire, but he was the first to sing some of them. He also was fortunate to know a lot of the composers, personally. All the arrangers wanted to write for him. He had first choice.

His phrasing, and musicianship, are legendary. All of us owe him a debt of gratitude. As a singer with bands, he was able to hear and learn. Much like me, but the difference, I think, is that in his day, he had radio, movies, and of course, live show opportunities, that helped him.

I had lots of live shows, but the other avenues were not there. Jazz players loved him, because he was one of them. Like him, I too am a band guy. I was never given any billing. There was no effort to advance my career, past being the band’s singer. I made my rep., performing live. If you didn’t see me you didn’t know who I was.

What do you think about Frank Sinatra in general? How would you consider his affect in jazz, or music as a broader topic?

His effect on music, all consuming. Class in performance. His swingability. His approach to newer material, ie: pop tunes..beatles, jobim,. 

Do you have any memories related to Frank Sinatra that make you smile when you remember? Can be a show if you watched him live, or a chat you had with your friends, maybe William Basie, about him.

I was blessed to be at a recording session for, Duets 1. His singing of ‘Tears Out To Dry’, will be with me always. Thanks to Gregg Field, I was able to attend.

My last question is, on what are you focusing in your musical career these years? What are your plans for the future?

I have done many nusicals,J.C.Superstar, Chicago. Big River, and two short films. Real Gone Cat, and Fagland Tales. Lots of commercials, and voiceovers. I continue to persist, and pursue, mycareer. Would I like more work, yes. Would I record again, yes. I remain active, and available.

Thank you Dennis Rowland, for answering the questions frankly. I wish you accomplish more in your future career.

Dennis Rowland Singing

Dennis Rowland Singing

Well, I have some opinions about Dennis Rowland. I have listened many jazz singers in the past years, and after listening so great performances, it is not easy to name someone “good”, of course. But I really find Dennis Rowland “good”.  Not that he sings all songs very nice (in my opinion of course), but his one performance has shown me what he is really capable of. I have watched his live performances on YouTube, and “You Go To My Head” really hit me.

His voice is simply amazing. He has a wonderful tone, and is really affecting. I would like to include his performance in my post.

His performance has a very suitable arrangement and orchestration for this song, which helps him deliver the lyrics as intended. I would like to compare this version with Sinatra’s, and I must say I like this more. I think this song suits better to Dennis Rowland’s way of singing.

“Though I am certain, that this heart of mine, hasn’t a ghost of a chance, in this crazy romance, you go to my head”

Just listen to the part “in this crazy romance”, and see how he makes the song his own with 4 words. After this, orchestration takes the lead, which could be much better, and Dennis Rowland starts with the last part of the song, which I love most.

“The thrill of the thought that you might give a thought to my plea, casts a spell over me”
“So I say to myself, get a hold of yourself, can’t you see, this never can be

He completes these 2 well sang lines with a unique phrasing of “this never can be”, which tastes of a little Armstrong, more Rowland.

“You intoxicate my soul with your eyes”, again a beautifully sang line, again continues with,
“Though I am certain, that this heart of mine, hasn’t a ghost of a chance, in this crazy romance, you go, you go to my head” which is again very outstanding. This time, he sings “you go to my head” part much much better and ends the song awesome as it deserves, which surprised me.

It surprised me, because I never thought I would listen such a great version of this song. I always felt something missing for this song. It is a very great song, but it could be much better. Thanks to Mr. Dennis Rowland, “You Go To My Head” has become my favorite song for the last days, and has taken its place among my playlist.

My opinions, of course, are very open to discussion as everyone’s taste is different. But I think Dennis Rowland´s version is the best version of this song, much better than Sinatra’s.

I’ve Got You Under My Skin

By | 2017-06-10T00:19:38+00:00 August 11th, 2011|Categories: Songs|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Here’s a truly masterpiece, an awesome jazz piece, I’ve Got You Under My Skin. Written in 1936 by Cole Porter, it was not perfect till Nelson Riddle’s rearranged this song. Sinatra included this song in his album Songs For Swingin’ Lovers (1956), and it was a huge hit. From then on, I’ve Got You Under My Skin was to be a song he would sing all his life.

I've Got You Under My Skin Frank Sinatra

“…It took twenty-two takes of Cole Porter’s “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” to satisfy the singer. Sublimely erotic, this recording is the turning point in the Sinatra-Riddle epoch, the pivot on which all future Sinatra efforts would hinge. Ironically, it almost never came to pass, as it was added to the list of tunes for the Songs for Singin’ Lovers album shortly before the session at which it was recorded. In the forty-plus years since its waxing, the recording has become one of the most studied and admired Sinatra performances of all time…”

[Sessions With Sinatra]

Frank Sinatra was to re-perform I’ve Got You Under My Skin in 2 other albums later, in Sinatra’s Sinatra (1963) and Duets (1993) with U2’s soloist bono. Except the version with Bono, in which Bono can be considered as having ruined the song, it is very hard to find a bad version of this song. Mr. Sinatra included I’ve Got You Under My Skin in his concerts great many times, making it hard to count. And every time, he was legendary. The orchestration is very rich and highly enjoyable with a trombone solo, and Sinatra’s shouting “Don’t you know you fool, you never can win”, and stopping at a point and re-singing the chorus starting with “I would sacrifice anything…” makes it perfect.

What did Frank Sinatra say about I’ve Got You Under My Skin?

Here’s something that I don’t like leaving out because it’s a classic. And its arrangement is a classic.( 1976-05-10 Grand Ol’ Opry)

This is a Cole Porter Song. Great Song (Sinatra ’57 In Concert)

Nelson Riddle’s most identifiable orchestration I believe this would be. It’s bigger in Japan than it is here. (?,?)

Oh, here’s something we can’t leave out when we do a performance. Cole Porter’s shining hour and Nelson Riddle’s, at his best. (Main Event)

Ah! Here’s an old chestnut we can never leave out of program because people I think, sometimes we get letters say why didn’t you do it or you didn’t sing that song. This is a Cole Porter and Nelson Riddle’s wonderful orchestration, the song you know well. (Dublin, 1991)

Nelson Riddle and Cole Porter, something we never leave out. (Caesar’s Palace, 1975)

Ah, here’s a beauty. (?, 1973)

This is one of the best of Mr. Cole Porter and Mr. Nelson Riddle’s arrangements. (White House, 1973)

Cole Porter, My Way of Nelson Riddle (Royal Festival Hall, 1971)

Cole Porter and Nelson Riddle, this is a must! You don’t do this, you get hate letters. (1980-07-07 Universal Amphitheater)

 

Here’s a wonderful version of I’ve Got You Under My Skin from A Man and His Music.

I’ve Got You Under My Skin might not be as widely known as My Way, Strangers In The Night or New York New York, but surely it is known by almost everyone that knows Frank Sinatra, and I might add this is one of his greatest songs of all times.