Skip to content

Sinatra 100th: The Best Performances – 43-41

30 May 2015 @ 00:27

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…

43 — I Thought About You

Music & Lyrics: Jimmy Van Heusen, Johnny Mercer
Recorded: 09 January 1956
From the album Songs For Swingin’ Lovers

The epitome of Frank’s nice ‘n’ easy romantic style, this Johnny Mercer / Jimmy Van Heusen tune can be summed-up by one word: lovely. This is the kind of song that made women want to be with Frank and guys want to be the guy doing the thinking.

Pundette covered this one back in early April.

44 — TIE

When Your Lover Has Gone

Music & Lyrics: Einar A. Swan
Recorded: Late November or Early December 1962
From the album Live At The Villa Venice, Volume I

This version, on Jazz Hour Records, is now hard to find.  It is not the version found on the Reprise CD, The Rat Pack: Live And Swingin’, but it’s from the same set of gigs. A really great version is Frank’s in the Concert For The America’s DVD.  All of these performances capture the late-night despair of the music and lyrics better than the studio version found on In The Wee Small Hours.

Mark Steyn has the fascinating story of the relationship between the composer and singer here.

I was pleasantly surprised to find the Jazz Hour version on YouTube [the ad-libs are classic Sinatra]…

Zing Went The Strings Of My Heart (Take 04)

Music & Lyrics: James Hanley
Recorded: 21 December 1960
From the album Ring-A-Ding-Ding [50th Anniversary Concord Music Group CD only]

The difference between this take and Take 01 [which was #86 on this List] is that the verse is slowed down to exactly the right tempo, which makes the impact, when the song proper kicks-in, more effective.  I have no idea why Frank thought this performance was not up to his high standards.

41 — Too Marvelous For Words

Music & Lyrics: Johnny Mercer, Richard Whiting
Recorded: 16 January 1956
From the album Songs For Swingin’ Lovers

The second Johnny Mercer song on this week’s installment [there’s also a third one covered by Mark Steyn on Friday], this tune holds it’s swing very lightly…and nicely.

Johnny Mercer at the top of his game; Frank Sinatra just reaching the Top Of the World — what a combo, what a gas.

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.


%d bloggers like this: