Sunday, October 11, 2015

Sinatra Celebration News: Pennsylvania Music Newspaper Columnist Announces Releases of Rare Radio Broadcasts and Rehearsals from 1935-1955, and Provides a Lovely, Yet Succinct Introduction to the Works of “The Voice”

“Frank Sinatra would be celebrating his 100th birthday this year. SUBMITTED PHOTO” [Circa 1965.]

Re-posted by Nicholas Stix

Sinatra getting the century treatment
By Michael Christopher
10/08/15, 12:38 P.M. EDT | Updated: 3 days ago
Delaware County Daily Times

Frank Sinatra was born Dec. 12, 1915, in Hoboken, N.J.

On this his 100th birthday, there are a series of Sinatra 100 events that will be rolling out in the coming months, including music, books and various other tributes.

Following its highly acclaimed debut in New York in March, the multimedia “Sinatra: An American Icon” exhibit exploring Sinatra’s life and career will get its Los Angeles premiere at the Grammy Museum Oct. 21.

In a matter befitting the 100th birthday of an American icon, Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings has just announced the Nov. 20 release of “Frank Sinatra: A Voice on Air (1935-1955),” a historic 100-plus track, four-CD deluxe box set culled from an invaluable collection of rare radio broadcasts and rehearsals — immaculately restored from the original recording masters for unprecedented high-fidelity sound.


The set is already available for pre-order on Amazon.

Luxuriously packaged with a 60-page book, “A Voice on Air’ is an essential addition to Sinatra’s voluminous discography, offering a unique glimpse into the formative period of America’s first teen idol, the man who became known the world over as “The Voice.”

Included in the book are an introductory essay by renowned singer, pianist and archivist Michael Feinstein, a personal remembrance by Frank’s eldest daughter, Nancy Sinatra, and detailed essay by foremost Sinatra historian, author and box set producer, Charles L. Granata. The package was designed by noted art director Maria Marulanda, who created the landmark 2007 Columbia/Legacy box set “Frank Sinatra: A Voice in Time.”

In assembling this groundbreaking box set marking the first official release anthologizing Frank Sinatra’s seminal radio performances, the producers have mined treasures from their own extensive Sinatra broadcast transcription collections and the world’s most prestigious archives and sound recording repositories, including The Library of Congress, the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, the Paley Center for Media, the Michael Feinstein Great American Songbook Initiative archive and The University of Colorado’s Glenn Miller Archive.

Included are dozens of rare photographs and recording artifacts that help to illustrate the scope of Sinatra’s incredible radio career.

Meticulously restored and remastered in high-resolution from the original glass and aluminum radio transcription discs and magnetic tape masters by Granata along with three-time Grammy winning recording engineer Andreas Meyer, these vintage, historic recordings — most of them unheard since their original broadcast in the 1940s and 1950s — sound more rich and vibrant than ever before. All of the warmth and vibrancy that are hallmarks of Sinatra’s vocal brilliance have been preserved, and showcased with unprecedented fidelity.

This breathtaking overview charts Sinatra’s evolution as a vocalist, and includes samples of his radio work from the first 20 years of his amazing career, from his first radio performance in 1935, singing “S-H-I-N-E” with the Hoboken Four, to his last weekly series in 1955, “The Frank Sinatra Show,” featuring ultra-rare performances with an in-studio quintet. From beginning to end, “Frank Sinatra: A Voice on Air” envelops the listener in the atmosphere surrounding the creation of these masterful radio performances in the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s.

This box set holds special significance, both in Sinatra’s body of work, and as a special 100th birthday tribute, because it includes dozens of songs that were never officially recorded by Frank Sinatra. It also contains dozens of unusual and unrecorded arrangements of Sinatra’s most prized songs.

Among the treasures included on the collection are Cole Porter’s “Don’t Fence Me In,” Frank Loesser’s “I Wish I Didn’t Love You So,” Jerome Kern and Ira Gershwin’s “Long Ago and Far Away,” Johnny Burke and Jimmy Van Heusen’s “Aren’t You Glad You’re You” and Richard Whiting, Leo Robin and Newell Chase’s “My Ideal” — all important classics from the Great American Songbook that Sinatra never recorded.

Then, there are priceless duets with Nat “King” Cole (“Exactly Like You”), Benny Goodman (“I Only Have Eyes for You”), Peggy Lee (“You Brought A New Kind of Love to Me”), Doris Day (“Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and “There’s No Business Like Show Business”) and Milton Berle (“It’s De-Lovely”). Also included are seldom-heard program openings, closings, announcements and commercials — plus twelve surprise bonus tracks that are sure to delight even the die-hard Sinatra fan.

Throughout his nine-decade career, Sinatra performed on more than 1,400 recordings and was awarded 31 gold, nine platinum, three double platinum and one triple platinum album by the Recording Industry Association of America. He extends his record to 57 for the most top 40 albums on the Billboard 200 with this year’s new Ultimate Sinatra release.

Sinatra has had Top 40 hits on the charts for eight decades, which is as long as the Billboard charts have existed. He received nine Grammy Awards over the course of his career, including three for the prestigious Album of the Year and an Oscar. Sinatra demonstrated a remarkable ability to appeal to every generation and continues to do so; his artistry still influences many of today’s music superstars. He also appeared in more than 60 films and produced eight motion pictures.

Sinatra was awarded Lifetime Achievement Awards from The Recording Academy, The Screen Actors Guild and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), as well as the Kennedy Center Honors, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. Today, he remains a legend and an inspiration around the world for his contributions to culture and the arts.

Befitting the historical importance of these irreplaceable American musical treasures, Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings has partnered with The Smithsonian Institution to create a single CD consisting of an additional 26 rare, previously unreleased radio recordings — not available on the box set — to be offered exclusively at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and through its website.

To contact music columnist Michael Christopher, send an email to Also check out his blog at

Michael Christopher writes a weekly music column for the Daily Times. Reach the author at .

[Previously, in this series:

“Frank Sinatra: My Shining Hour (Video, from Trilogy: Past Present Future)”;

“Hear Frank Sinatra Sing Arlen & Mercer’s Come Rain or Shine”;

“Hear Frank Sinatra Sing the Quintessential Version of Harold Arlen & Johnny Mercer’s ‘One for My Baby (and One More, for the Road)’”;

“Hear Frank Sinatra Sing the Classic Harold Arlen/Johnny Mercer Torch Song, ‘Blues in the Night’”;

“Frank Sinatra: Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer’s Stormy Weather (Video)”;

“Frank Sinatra Live! Medley of The Gal That Got Away and It Never Entered My Mind, Performed in 1980 at Carnegie Hall (Great Quality Video of a Grand Performance!)”;

“Frank Sinatra: Here's That Rainy Day (Jimmy Van Heusen/Johnny Burke)”;

“Frank Sinatra’s Revelatory, 1962 Performance of Kern and Fields’ The Way You Look Tonight”;

“Paul Robeson?! Hear Frank Sinatra Give the Definitive Interpretation of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II’s Ol’ Man River (1963)”;

“The Greatest Song Ever Written? Hear Frank Sinatra Sing Rodgers & Hammerstein's Soliloquy”;

“Hear Frank Sinatra Sing the Real ‘New York, New York,’ by Leonard Bernstein, Betty Comden, and Adolph Green, from On the Town (1944/1949)”;

“The Swingingest Record You’ll Ever Hear! Fly Me to the Moon, by Frank Sinatra, Count Basie, and Quincy Jones”;

“Frank Sinatra: Autumn in New York, with the Billy May Orchestra (Video)”;

“Hear Frank Sinatra Make Rodgers & Hart Swing! ‘The Lady is a Tramp’; Live at Madison Square Garden/1974”;

“Hear Frank Sinatra and a Bunch of Little Kids Sing the 1960 Academy Award-Winning Song, ‘High Hopes’”;

“If Frank Sinatra were Still Alive, and were Interviewed by Larry King”;

“When Sinatra Ruled: Hear Him Sing ANOTHER Oscar-Winning Song, ‘All the Way,’ from The Joker is Wild (1957)”;

“Hear Frank Sinatra Sing Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn’s ‘Love and Marriage’;

“Hear Frank Sinatra’s Unique Presentation of Cole Porter’s ‘I've Got You Under My Skin’”;

“Frank Sinatra Sings ‘Young at Heart’”;

“‘A Man Alone’: How Great was Sinatra? So Great that with a Voice that was Way Past Its Prime, and Less than Stellar Material, He was Still the World’s Greatest Singer—that’s How Great He was!”;

“I'll Never Smile Again: Hear 24-Year-Old Frank Sinatra with the Pied Pipers and the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra in 1940!”;

“Frank Sinatra: ‘In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning’ (1955)”;

“Frank Sinatra: I Didn't Know What Time It was.”]

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