Saturday, October 03, 2015
When Sinatra Ruled: Hear Him Sing ANOTHER Oscar-Winning Song, “All the Way,” from The Joker’s Wild (1957)
By Nicholas Stix
What am I saying? Sinatra still rules! He’s like the Chabad-Lubavitch Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson (1902-1994). When the Rebbe died childless at 92, the Lubavitchers said he was irreplaceable, and didn’t even bother trying to name a successor.
The Joker is Wild was a biopic about Joe E. Lewis (1902-1971), who started out as a singer in Chicago, but whose throat was slit on the orders of Al Capone, when Lewis took a better-paying nightclub job from one of Capone’s rivals. After years of recuperation, Lewis found himself forced to switch careers to stand-up comic.
This is the picture, in which Sinatra started telling jokes, jokes which he would re-tell hundreds of times during live performances. Indeed, I realized he was going senile in late October 1992, during the first and only time I saw him perform live.
The concert at Radio City Music Hall, subsidized by a big corporation whose name I unfortunately no longer recall, had then 58-year-old Shirley MacLaine opening for Sinatra, who was about seven weeks shy of 77.
MacLaine, to a man sitting in the front: “Sir, you don’t know who the hell I am, do you?” To the crowd out back: “These are all Frank’s people, up front.”
My date was my then 62-year-old mom, who had been one of the bobbysoxers waiting on line and screaming their lungs out almost 50 years earlier, at the Paramount Theater. At the time, she recounted never getting in, because girls who got in for the early show, refused to leave. (Mom’s current story, like that of probably millions of other “girls,” is that she did get in. It’s like the millions of baseball fans who claimed to have been eyewitnesses to Bobby Thomson’s “home run heard ‘round the world.”)
A lot of those girls, between the sexual hysteria Sinatra aroused in them, and the stress on their bladders from holding it in over the course of eight shows, left their seats soaked in urine, at the end of the night.
Back to 1992: I knew Sinatra was losing it, when he told one of those old jokes, but missed the punch line.
In 1993, I believe it was, I noticed the same thing about Bob Hope, when he and his wife Dolores appeared on The Tonight Show, and Hope missed a punchline. (Hope was then 89 or 90, and lived to be 100. His widow lived to be 102!)
Before making The Joker’s Wild, Sinatra had won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for From Here to Eternity (1953), and been nominated for Best Actor for The Man with the Golden Arm (1955). In Joker, he gave one of the best performances of 1957.
All the Way
Music by Jimmy Van Heusen
Words by Sammy Cahn
When somebody loves you,
It's no good unless she loves you all the way,
Happy to be near you,
When you need someone to cheer you,
All the way.
Taller than the tallest tree is,
That's how it's got to feel,
Deeper than the deep blue sea is,
That's how deep it goes, if it's real.
When somebody needs you,
It's no good unless she needs you
All the way,
Through the good or lean years,
And for all the in-between years
Come what may.
Who knows where the road will lead us,
Only a fool would say,
But if you'll let me love you,
It's for sure I'm gonna love you,
All the way, all the way.
So, if you let me love you,
It's for sure I'm gonna love you,
All the way,
All the way.
Uploaded on June 6, 2012 by VideoBoxCover.
"All the Way" is a 1950s pop song which has since been covered by many musicians.
Frank Sinatra's version was published in 1957 by Maraville Music Corporation. The music was written by Jimmy Van Heusen with lyrics by Sammy Cahn. It was introduced in the film The Joker Is Wild. Sinatra also had the best-selling recorded version of the song. Aside from this song, he also sang "Chicago (That Toddlin' Town)" for the movie. It wound up as the flipside of "All the Way" when Capitol Records released the song as a single. The single reached #15 in sales and #2 in airplay in Billboard's charts. The track peaked at #3 in the UK Singles Chart.
The song received the 1957 [sic] Academy Award for Best Original Song. [It was 1958.]
[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’”; and
“If Frank Sinatra were Still Alive, and were Interviewed by Larry King.”]