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Sinatra 100th: The Best Performances – 76-74

14 March 2015 @ 23:03

Sinatra100th-Logo-009-250gxRing-A-Ding-Ding, everybody!

Here at TCOTS, we’re celebrating Frank Sinatra’s 100th Birthday by counting down what I think are his 100 best performances on Vinyl and CD. All of the songs on the List have been released on either one or both mediums. Interspersed with the countdown will be Honorable Mentions that didn’t make the List and a countdown of what I think are his best albums.

Francis Albert will be your pilot and Bobby Bell your navigator.

So sit back easy in your easy chair, fasten your seatbelts, and let’s take-off in the blue…

76 — TIE: Moonlight In Vermont – Two Versions

Music & Lyrics: Karl Suessdorf, John Blackburn
Version I...
-Recorded: 01 April 1959
-From the album Live In Australia
Version II:
-Recorded: 03 October 1957
-From the album Come Fly With Me

I just can’t decide between the Nelson Riddle arrangement and the one Frank and The Red Norvo Quintet used on their 1959 gig in Australia.  The approaches are different enough to distinguish them, but close enough to make it damn tough for me to choose between the two, so I’m declaring this a TIE.

Sadly, I’ve been unable to find an audio clip of Moonlight In Vermont from the Australian gig [and the CD has gone out of print, but is available here and there on the Internet (get it!)].  This version of the song from Frank’s 1962 world tour with a sextet is close to the ’59 arrangement, so it will have to do here [recorded 07 June]:

And here’s the Come Fly With Me performance in glorious Mono [which is the best mix, IMO]…

75 — I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm

Music & Lyrics: Irving Berlin
Recorded: 21 December 1960
From the album Ring-A-Ding-Ding

Frank captures near-perfectly what it feels like to be in love, what it’s like to have the right partner of the opposite sex to weather all of Life’s storms.

74 — The Birth Of The Blues

Music & Lyrics: Lew Brown, Buddy DeSylva, Ray Henderson
Recorded: 03 June 1952
Released as a Single; included in many Columbia Legacy compilation albums such as Best Of Columbia Years 1943-52

He nursed it, then he rehearsed it, and then sent out that news: that Frank Sinatra knows The Blues.

One of the first Sinatra songs I fell in love with…

BONUS — Moonlight In Vermont

Recorded: 05 June 1966
From the TV Special A Man And His Music II

This is the best performance of the song using Nelson Riddle’s Billy May’s arrangement [thanks to Mark Steyn for pointing out my error], but it could not make the List because it has never been issued on vinyl or CD…

See you next Friday as we head-off again to Bobsville.

Don’t forget to also keep checking out
Pundette’s Sinatra 100 countdown
& Mark Steyn’s Sinatra Songs Of The Century.
It’s a swingin’ world.

If you’re having trouble tracking down any of the performances on this List, contact me at Robert[dot]Belvedere[at]gmail[dot]com and I might be able to help you.

Sinatra100th-OutLogo-001-cx

9 Comments leave one →
  1. 15 March 2015 @ 18:43 18:43

    Good stuff to listen to.

  2. 16 March 2015 @ 07:29 07:29

    Ooh, Birth of the Blues is pure dynamite. I’m surprised Frank sounded like this as early as 1952! I only knew the song from his Classic Duet with Louis Armstrong, which I love, but this is fabulous. I haven’t invested in the Columbia collection but I guess I need to take the plunge.

    Moonlight In Vermont is gorgeous, but (don’t hate me) I left it off my list. I have the Red Norvo CD but the sound quality is so poor I have trouble listening to it.

    I’ve Got My Love is one of my favorite favorites, but more on that much later.

    Thanks, Bob!

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