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Sinatra 100th: The Best Performances – 28-26

10 July 2015 @ 20:01

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…

28 —TIE

When I Take My Sugar To Tea

Music & Lyrics: Sammy Fain, Irving Kahal, Pierre Norman
Recorded: 21 December 1960
From the album Ring-A-Ding-Ding

Clever word-play combines with a spiffy and sprightly laid-back attitude to produce a performance that never fails to lift the spirits [especially, if you have a bottle of spirits handy].

It seems to me that the album’s front portrait could have come from the moment when Francis was singing the word ‘zillionaires’.

Saturday Night Is The Loneliest Night Of The Week (1958)

Music & Lyrics: Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne
Recorded: 22 December 1958
From the album Come Dance With Me

This performance is rather different from the one Frank did in 1944 [#58 on this List], which is marvelously lovely.

Here he lets it all swing out — the result being one of the greatest Saturday-Night-get-up-and-dance recordings ever cut to disk.

27 — Please Don’t Talk About Me When I’m Gone

Music & Lyrics: Sam Stept, Sidney Clare
Recorded: 18 May 1961
From the album Swing Along With Me (Sinatra Swings)

When Frank worked with the great Billy May, the chemistry was like an atomic bomb exploded.  Sinatra swung harder and seemed to be having a lot more fun when Mr. May was in the room.

This is one of the best examples of the chain reaction those two cats could set-off, so, dig this…it’s reeeal nice

26 — Have You Met Miss Jones?

Music & Lyrics: Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers
Recorded: 18 May 1961
From the album Swing Along With Me (Sinatra Swings)

Recorded in the same session as #27 above, this performance is much in the same mode as When I Take My Sugar To Tea — but better, because of that bang-up chemistry between Mr. Sinatra and Mr. May.

BONUS TRACK — Have You Met Miss Jones
Different Arrangement

Music & Lyrics: Lorenz Hart, Richard Rodgers
Recorded: 20 December 1960
From the album Ring-A-Ding-Ding [the Concord 50th Anniversary CD only]

Recorded six months before the classic released version, this performance is not as jaunty, but graceful and lilting.

It’s unfinished because, as Pundette reports:

He’s clearly not pleased with it, declaring, “It sounds like a different album” (yes, it does), and, ultimately, “Pass this.”

Consider this lovely arrangement another ‘What Might Have Been’…

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.


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