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(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.

Anything Goes – Sinatra and Bennett

By | 2017-06-10T00:19:33+00:00 March 20th, 2015|Categories: Articles|Tags: , , , , , |

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.

Tony Bennett Lady Gaga Anything Goes

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 to Honor Frank Sinatra, 3 December 1990

By | 2017-06-10T00:19:33+00:00 April 7th, 2013|Categories: Articles|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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.

Society Of Singers Frank Sinatra

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.

Jo Stafford Society of Singers Frank Sinatra

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.

Peggy Lee Frank Sinatra

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 – Frank Sinatra (Theme From New York New York)

By | 2017-06-10T00:19:34+00:00 January 22nd, 2013|Categories: Songs|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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.

Theme from New York New York Frank Sinatra

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

[Uhlmann, Sinatra’s secretary] to find out what was happening, and she said, ’It’s on the turntable. He’s getting to it.’ It took him a while, but he finally got to it, and now it’s probably the most popular thing he’s ever done.”

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

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.

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.

Frank Sinatra – My Way (Song)

By | 2017-06-10T00:19:37+00:00 April 17th, 2012|Categories: Songs|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

My Way can be considered as the most popular song of Frank Sinatra, just like Strangers In The Night can be. My Way is actually an English version of the French song “Comme d’habitude”, the French and English lyrics are not related to each other though.

The earlier English version of “Comme d’habitude” was “Even A Fool Learns To Love” by David Bowie, but he could not record it as it was not accepted.

Months later, this time,  Frank Sinatra’s “little Arab friend” Paul Anka wrote lyrics of My Way from “Comme d’habitude”.  Here is a quote of him:

“I had a house in France, which was where I heard the Claude Francois record. I liked the melody, but not the words so much. I knew the French publisher and they gave me the song, and I thought I would re-construct the feel of the song. I met Frank where he was filming Tony Rome, and he said he was retiring. The song became a composite of my life and his, but mostly his. I made a demo with a session singer, called him; I said that I thought I had something pretty sensational. Don saw the worth of it – Frank stayed cool, but I knew he liked it. Three, four, five weeks later, I had a phone call and they said ‘listen to this’ and played the record over the phone to me. They were very excited! I’d never had a song quite of that substance. It was pressed up. but they threw the first run copies away because they didn’t like the mix” (Sinatra, Richard Havers).

Written by Paul Anka, based on the music of French song “Comme d’habitude”, Frank Sinatra recorded the song “My Way” on 30Th of December, 1968. It then became the title song for Sinatra’s 1969 Reprise Album, My Way.

My Way Frank Sinatra

My Way was not a worldwide hit when it first came out, but as Frank Sinatra got older, and as Sinatra’s fans got older, My Way became much more important. Though it was Frank Sinatra’s signature song, also called as “the national anthem”, Sinatra himself never liked the song, but he also did not hate “My Way” as much as he hated “Strangers In The Night”.

Barbara Sinatra: Songs like “Strangers In The Night” or “My Way”, which he’d been asked to sing over and over again since 1960s, did absolutely nothing for him. He always said the words were not subtle enough, too “on the nose.” Knowing that he’d still have to sing them at every concert, he’d try to lighten the experience by joking with the auidence that those tunes had kept him in pizza for years.

Sinatra sang My Way in many of his concerts. It is hard to think of a concert after 1970’s without My Way, as it was probably the most requested song. Here is one of the many great versions.

What Did Frank Sinatra Say About My Way?

Frank Sinatra: This of course was written by Paul Anka, and orchestrated by the late Don Costa, and it was very good to me, the first time we recorded it. ( ?? )

Frank Sinatra: This song represents the best part of Paul Anka’s talent. (25 May 1975 Frankfurt)

Frank Sinatra: We can’t do a show without this song. Paul Anka wrote it, Don Costa orchestrated it. (21 November 1993, Ledyard)

Frank Sinatra: Now, we are going to do the national anthem, but you needn’t get up. Why are you laughing? I am very serious. (13 June 1974, Caesars Palace)

Frank Sinatra: Well, here comes the old chestnut. It is a marvelous piece of music. I wish the hell I knew it. (24 April 1994, RCMH)

Frank Sinatra: This is either getting better or I am getting used to it, I think. (5 October 1991, Frankfurt)

Frank Sinatra: I hate this song, oh I hate this song. Hey you sing it for 8 years, you would hate it too! Don’t give me that jazz. Sure I love it, I’d like to get one every week. (5 May 1978, Caesars Palace)

Frank Sinatra: This is a song that has got a great deal for my career, and it was brought to me by my little friend, Mr. Paul Anka. (??)

Frank Sinatra: This is Paul Anka and a much more serious Frank. (27 August 1977, Caesars Palace)

Frank Sinatra: Here’s a song we like you to hear, possibly for the first time you have ever heard it. Paul Anka’s great song. (12 December 1990, Meadowlands Arena NJ)

Frank Sinatra: You know, I would like to do a song for you that was born in this building. The daddy was Paul Anka, and the mother was a French composer named Jacques Revaux. I would say, of the end of my lifetime, as a performer, as a singer, I’ve had the fortune of singing wonderful wonderful songs, from great talented people. And this particular song is one of the highlights of my career. (26 March 1975, Caesars Palace)

Frank Sinatra: We have something here that has become a big favorite, in the world as a matter of fact. It’s about 7 years old. It was written by young Paul Anka, and arrangement by Don Costa. If you please.  (27 November 1975, Israel)

Frank Sinatra: We will now do the national anthem, but you needen’t rise. (10-13-1974, Madison Square Garden)*

Frank Sinatra: But I figure, I’ll do a request, my own request because you did this evening your way, we’re gonna do it my way. (4-8-1974, Carnegie Hall)*

Frank Sinatra: This is a song we can never leave out, written by Paul Anka, and orchestrated by uh … Tom Mix. I don’t know who orchestrated the song. Hugiption that did it … Don Costa did the orchestration. (12-10-1993, American West Arena)*

Frank Sinatra: Oh yes, unfortunately … Paul Anka’s greatest song, and Don Costa’s
marvelous arrangement. (11-13-1975, London Palladium)*

Frank Sinatra: So tonight, it’s hats off to the tunesmith! That gallant and immensely talented breed, that has ever given everyone in the world who has ever lived a chance to say, “They’re playing my song.” Doesn’t it get you right there? (?. 1969)*

Frank Sinatra: Something by Paul Anka who is, com quite of a composer, a singer, a lyricist, and also as a great performer. (5-29-1975, Royal Albert Hall)*

Frank Sinatra: I’ve been doing the song for 7 years! I’ve had it up to here! I’ve had it up to hear! (12-31-1975, Chicago Stadium)*

*Thanks to Michael Wind for his contributions for the famous Frank Sinatra song, My Way

 

Information About Interviews

By | 2017-06-10T00:19:37+00:00 March 26th, 2012|Categories: Articles|Tags: , , |

There will be many interviews posted on www.thefranksinatra.com in the following months, and I would like to give some information about them.

I am and will be conducting interviews with jazz musicians. Some of them have decades of experience in music industry, some are the musicians of 2000’s.

These interviews are conducted via email. I cannot interview them in person due to my location. I am not interviewing them via phone due to following reasons:

Firstly, I want the musicians to think about the questions as long as they want, and come up with their best answer. This way, they can add information they might forget to. Secondly, English is my second language, and I might be unable to understand what is told from time to time.

I prepare around 5 questions for each artist, and these are well studied questions for one’s personality and career.

I believe these interviews will be a very great and important part of thefranksinatra.com, as they reflect the thoughts of very important musicians’s about Frank Sinatra.

My intention is to interview not only with jazz musicians but also with other famous artists in time.

Hope you find them interesting and worthy.

Ben Sidran Interview – Frank Sinatra

By | 2017-06-10T00:19:37+00:00 March 20th, 2012|Categories: Articles|Tags: , , , , , |

The jazz pianist, vocalist and song writer Ben Sidran has been kind enough to answer my questions about Frank Sinatra through an interview.

Ben Sidran, interview about Frank Sinatra

Ben Sidran

Hello Ben Sidran. I am Ozgun Akalin, owner of TheFrankSinatra.com. First of all, I would like to thank you for accepting to interview with me. I believe the readers of my site shall be quite interested in your answers about Sinatra, as you are a very talented artist. And the opinions of a great and world-wide popular artist such as you shall be highly respected and found worthy. Let me start with my first question.

As a great pianist and musician, you create your own music and sing/play them most of the time. And we clearly can see that you have tried to avoid singing and playing famous jazz pieces throughout your career. What is your personal opinion about artists’s covering songs instead of writing their own and where do you see yourself in this argument? Do you like singers covering famous Sinatra songs over and over?

The reason people continue to cover songs that Sinatra made famous is because Sinatra had impeccable taste and the songs he sang included all the great songs of the era. These songs are still — fifty years later — the greatest vehicles to express everyday human emotions, and so it is understandable that people continue to sing them. Sinatra is the standard for how they should be sung because of his great talent and his unique style that made every listener believe he was singing to them. I do not try to cover old songs but from time to time, I find myself doing it because the songs “call me”.

But there are still few songs that Frank Sinatra had sang and you have covered. Everything Happens To Me, which you had included in your album “Sentimental Journey”, is one of them. In fact, Everything Happens To Me was first recorded by Frank Sinatra in 1941 with Tommy Dorsey’s orchestra. What do you think about Sinatra’s and your version, how would you compare them?

I believe “Everything Happens to Me” was from my album “Too Hot to Touch” which also included “On the Sunny Side of the Street”. It was recorded in 1989 and although I could never compare my version to Sinatra’s, I did feel I found a sincere and relaxed place to sing them and very personal arrangements to support that.

Has Frank Sinatra somehow affected you at any point in your musical/personal life?

Frank Sinatra was very important to me from the first time I heard him sing “Birth of the Blues” back in the 50s and all throughout my college years; “Only the Lonely” remains one of the greatest records ever made.

And when listening to music, do you prefer Sinatra? If yes, which songs of Sinatra do you prefer?

I have so many choices these days, I usually put my computer on “shuffle” and just let the music wash over me but I am always happy when it turns up Sinatra.

We have come to last question. What do you think about Frank Sinatra? It can be about his style, career, influence on music industry or anything.

Frank was simply a modern man with great empathy and courage and his style of singing and living shaped a generation and then another and then another.

Mr. Sidran, thank you again for interviewing with me. I am sure Frank Sinatra fans will be quite satisfied. I wish you success and ultimate creativity in your life and music. Interviewing with you was a pleasure.

Ben Sidran Frank Sinatra Interview

Ben Sidran has some very nice songs, and I love that he includes lots of saxophone parts in his songs. Saxophone is simply my favourite instrument in jazz music.

For further reference and information about Ben Sidran, please refer to following links. There are also many great live performances of him on YouTube.

http://www.bensidran.com/bios/index.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Sidran