Frank Sinatra and Harry James Complete Recordings

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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.

Moon Love

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

“Moon Love” is a beautiful song recorded by Frank Sinatra two times, first in 1939 with Harry James, and in 1966 in the album “Moonlight Sinatra“, arranged by Nelson Riddle (Reprise Records). The song is actually adapted from Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony, and lyrics are written by Mack David, Mack Davis and Andre Kostelanetz.

Moon Love Frank Sinatra

 

And below is the 1939 version of of this song when Sinatra was working with Harry James orchestra.

Moon Love Lyrics

Will this be moon love, nothing but moon love
Will you be gone when the dawn comes stealing through
Are these just moon dreams, grand while the moon beams
But when the moon fades away, will my dreams come true
Much as I love you, don’t let me love you
If I must pay for your kiss with lonely tears, say it’s not moon love
Tell me it’s true love, say you’ll be mine when the moon disappears

Sadly no live version of Moon Love exists, it would be nice if Frank Sinatra had sang this song at least once in his concerts.

 

Frank Sinatra and Harry James Complete Recordings

By | 2017-06-10T00:19:40+00:00 June 3rd, 2011|Categories: Albums|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Frank Sinatra and Harry James Complete Recordings is an album of Frank Sinatra songs when he was working with Harry James Orchestra.

Harry James and his Orchestra, featuring Frank Sinatra, by Columbia Records.

Frank Sinatra and Harry James Complete Recordings

Songs in Frank Sinatra and Harry James Complete Recordings:

1. From The Bottom Of My Heart
2. Melancholy Mood
3. My Buddy
4. It’s Funny To Everyone But Me
5. Here Comes The Night
6. All Or Nothing At All
7. On A Little Street In Singapore
8. Who Told You I Cared?
9. Ciribiribin (They’re So In Love)
10. Every Day Of My Life
11. From The Bottom Of My Heart
12. Melancholy Mood
13. It’s Funny To Everyone But Me
14. All Or Nothing At All
15. Stardust
16. Wishing Will Make It So
17. If I Didn’t Care
18. The Lamp Is Low
19. My Love For You
20. Moon Love
21. This Is No Dream

There are several notable songs in Frank Sinatra and Harry James Complete Recordings.

Melancholy Mood: Despite the annoying music at the beginning, very well performed by Frank Sinatra.
All or Nothing At All: Wonderful music and lyrics. His emphasis on some words are weird, but considering that this is one of Sinatra’s first records, it is quite acceptable.
Ciribiribin: One of the best songs in the album for me, and one of the undiscovered songs of Sinatra. His voice in this song is so beautiful that it makes you understand how good his voice in his early years was.
Stardust: This song gets better and better as you listen to it. It captures the absolute spirit of 1939. One one side, there is the big band, and on the other side is Frank Sinatra’s historical performance. Sinatra’s part ends at 1:22 and after that, till the end of the song, that is 4:01, you hear a marvelous work of Harry James’ orchestra. I specifically recommend focusing on between 2:43 and 4:01. If you are into big band music, you will love every second of it. This version of Stardust, with ease, is the best of its kind.
If I Didn’t Care: This is a very nice and also widely known song by Ink Spots. And listening this from Sinatra is nice.
Moon Love: The music and Sinatra’s voice are simply charming. Recommended.
The Lamp Is Low: Beautiful music and lyrics. A song very easy to enjoy despite some faults here and there.

Frank Sinatra and Harry James Complete Recordings is very important since these are the first songs Frank Sinatra recorded. It also gives us the opportunity to listen the young and amateur voice of Sinatra.

In the video below, you can listen to the song “Moon Love”,  1939 version from this Frank Sinatra and Harry James Complete Recordings album. Sinatra also recorded this song later for his Moonlight Sinatra album, in 1966.

And below is the “Stardust”. One of the best performances of those years.