Sinatra 100th: The Best Performances – 61-59
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…
61 — TIE
She’s Funny That Way
Music & Lyrics: Richard Whiting, Charles N. Daniels [aka Neil Moret]
Recorded: 02 March 1960
From the album Nice ‘N’ Easy
Frank first recorded this song in 1944 and did a lovely version of it, but it works better here, for some reason I can’t explain, with him singing it in his forty-fifth year.
‘I got a woman craaazy ’bout me / She’s funny that way…’ Yeah, I know ’bout that, Frank.
Where Are You?
Music & Lyrics: Harold Adamson, Jimmy McHugh
Recorded: 01 May 1957
From the album Where Are You?
Man…talk about Love lost. Francis Albert makes you feel the loss in all of it’s sad and mournful and devastating aspects. I wonder if he was thinking of Ava when he performed it? —There’s a gal that, in previous ages, countries went to war over [Was this the face that launched a thousand ships / And burnt the topless towers of Ilium…].
Pour yourself a few fingers, straight-up, and listen…
60 — They Can’t Take That Away From Me (1953)
Music & Lyrics: George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin
Recorded: 05 November 1953
From the album Songs For Young Lovers
Jaunty [your fedora must be cocked at just the right angle] and lilting [sing it this way while you have her in your arms dancing], one of the reasons this tune works so well is that, by including the verse, Frank sets a pitch-perfect mood.
The time: the wee small hours of. The place: your apartment, after you’ve invited her up to see your etchings. The music: by the Master…
59 — The Song Is You (1947)
Music & Lyrics: Oscar Hammerstein II, Jerome Kern
Recorded: 26 October 1947
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]
Now that the two of you have moved to the couch and are enjoying a cocktail, time for some serious spooning.
This is the more grand, the more lush version recorded by Francis Albert — a marvelous declaration of Romantic intent from a Romantic Soul.
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.