Harold Arlen

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Come Rain Or Come Shine

By | 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.

The Hoboken Four

By | June 3rd, 2011|Categories: Articles|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

The Hoboken Four Story

So how did it all start? How did Francis Albert Sinatra became the legendary jazz and swing figure of 20th century? No doubt it all started with the Hoboken Four, or formerly known as the Three Flashes.

It was the year 1935, when Sinatra was 19. There was a local music group in Hoboken, New Jersey. Back then, he name of The Hoboken Four was “The Three Flashes” and the members of the group were named as James Petrozelli, Pat Principle and Fred Tamburro.

Frank had discovered that music meant a lot to him, and he could be nothing but a singer. He had always adored Bing Crosby and talked about how amazing Bing’s voice was. He had a picture of Crosby in his room, and he always said “I’m gonna be better than Crosby!” Well, we surely know now he was not joking.

The Three Flashes was performing at a place called “Rustic Cabin” with Harold Arlen and his orchestra.  Frank knew that to be a great singer, he had to start in some way. Frank wanted to be a member of the group, and asked them if he could join. The answer he got was, “We will think about it”, definitely not the answer he expected. Actually Frank was to be very useful to them, because the group had no car and had to use bus or even sometimes cab to go to the places where they were to perform, and Frank Sinatra with his Chrysler was whom they needed.

Frank Sinatra’s mother, Dolly Sinatra, was a very powerful person on Hoboken. He told his mom that he wanted to join the group more than anything. Dolly spoke to Fred Tamburro’s family, and Frank was in.

Sinatra and Three Flashes 1935 The Hoboken Four

Fred Tamburro later said: “We took him along for one simple reason: Frankie-boy had a car. He used to chauffeur us around.”
And Jimmy Petrozelli said: “Dolly was a big wheel in Hoboken. She kept throwing her weight around, and we finally took him.”
Those years, Major Edward Bowes’s “Original Amateur Hour” was very popular on the radio. It was a contest where singers were performing to be the winner and famous. Major Bowes wanted the Three Flashes on his show, and when the flashes said they had a new member, Bowes really liked it.

Major Bowes decided to name them as “The Hoboken Four”, and on September 8th, The Hoboken Four was on stage! They had white suits and black ties on them and were going to sing “Shine”, Sinatra doing Bing Crosby’s part.

Frank Sinatra Hoboken Four 1935 Major Bowes

Major Bowes introduced them as “singing and dancing fools” and when someone offstage asked why he said so, Bowes replied: “I don’t know. I guess because they are so happy.”
Fred Tamburro introduced himself, James and Pat, but he ignored Sinatra. When Bowes asked “What about that one”, Fred said “Oh, he never worked a day in his life.”

The Hoboken Four won the contest that night. Bowes said: “They walked right into the hearts of their audience.”

Frank Sinatra Hoboken Four Major Bowes Wins Members

The prize was a 6-month contract to perform on stage and on radio and they were earning a lot more than before.
But things were not going well for Frank Sinatra. He was the center of attention, and the other members did not like that at all.

Frank Sinatra Hoboken Four 1935
Petrozelli said: “He got so good after just a couple of months on the tour.”
Members of The Hoboken Four were beating Sinatra a lot. Actually this became a habit after a while for them. Sinatra was getting all the girls, all women simply wanted to have sex with Sinatra, while the other group members were just asked to sign few autographs. In fact, once Tamburro knocked Sinatra unconscious, and it took them an hour to wake him up.
In mid-December, after 3 months they started the tour, Frank quit as he could not stand the beatings no more. Also for a person wanting to be better than Bing Crosby, the group was not doing much. Sinatra knew he deserved more, and returned back to Hoboken.

The Hoboken Four broke up shortly after they finished the tour. Only Sinatra was going to make it as a singer…