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Sinatra 100th: The Best Performances – 67-65

04 April 2015 @ 01:35

Ring-A-Ding-Ding, everybody!

Sinatra100th-Logo-009-250gxHere 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…

67 — TIE: Sweet Lorraine

Music & Lyrics: Mitchell Parish, Cliff Burwell
Recorded: 15 or 17 December 1946
TAKE 1: Released as a Single; included in the compilation albums The Columbia Years 1943-1952: The Complete Recordings [12-CD set] and The Best Of The Columbia Years 1943-1952 [4-CD set]
TAKE 2: Unreleased, until the compilation album Portrait Of Sinatra [2-CD set] [which was retitled in 2010 to The Essential Frank Sinatra: The Columbia Years]

Nat King Cole’s is the most remembered performance of this tune, but I think The Chairman captures the mood of the lyrics and music better than The Monarch.  This recording finds Frank singing with Buddy Rich on drums, tenor sax by Coleman Hawkins, Johnny Hodges on alto sax, Charlie Shavers solid on trumpet, and Lawrence Brown on trombone, and with none other than Nat King Cole on piano, among other known musicians of the day. What a line-up — no wonder this is a great recording in every aspect. The arrangement is by Sy Oliver and this pick-up ensemble is known as The Metronome All-Stars.

Two takes were mastered and I just can’t choose between them, so, hence, the tie.

Take 1…

Take 2…

66 — Don’t Be That Way

Music & Lyrics: Mitchell Parish, Benny Goodman, Edgar Sampson
Recorded: 19 May 1961
From the album Swing Along With Me (Sinatra Swings)

Once again [see: #91 Moonlight Serenade], Frank takes a song that was a very popular instrumental [in this case, by Benny Goodman And His Orchestra] and makes a definitive vocal recording of it.  Billy May’s arrangement, while paying compliments to Benny, is still true to the May Style.

65 — Be Careful It’s My Heart

Music & Lyrics: Irving Berlin
Recorded: 20 December 1960
From the album Ring-A-Ding-Ding

Francis Albert is known for phrasing like a trombone [specifically, like Tommy Dorsey’s], but here we find him sounding more like a trumpet.

Swing that Romance, Frank, schwing!

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

Don’t forget to also keep checking out
Pundette’s Sinatra 100 countdown,
Ms Evi’s Sinatra Celebration,
& 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.


  1. 04 April 2015 @ 10:26 10:26

    The 1946 version of “Sweet Lorriane” sounds rather like it was poorly done from an old record. It’s still very good, despite the problems.

    • 04 April 2015 @ 18:19 18:19

      The restorations done on the compilations I mentioned are great, if you hear them. Unfortunately, I’m stuck with what’s available on YouTube.

      The Columbia remasterings, when overseen by Charles Granata, are wonderful and done with the utmost care.


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