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Sinatra 100th: I Remember Tommy And Frankie

31 October 2015 @ 03:05

Sinatra-Dorsey-001dxThis weekend I’m taking a break from the album countdown to showcase Frank’s work with the man who was, perhaps, his most influential teacher: Tommy Dorsey.

From 1940 until the Fall of 1942, Sinatra was a member of Mr. Dorsey’s Orchestra and it was during this time that the polish on his craftsmanship began to shine.  He studied TD’s breath control and phrasing on his trombone, in the process fashioning what was soon called The Voice.

Frank also got to work with some of the finest musicians and arrangers, such as Bunny Berigan, Buddy Rich, Sy Oliver, Ziggy Elman, and the man who would be by his side throughout his solo career at Columbia: arranger Axel Stordahl.

Frank may have been the star vocalist of the Band, but he was joined by Connie Haines and Jo Stafford and The Pied Pipers, who had talent up the kazoo.

You can’t celebrate the life of the greatest singer and performer of our age, Francis Albert Sinatra, without a look at the sweet music he made with the Sentimental Gentleman Of Swing Tommy Dorsey.

The Top Ten Album countdown will return next week, but, for now, let’s journey back to the early years of the 1940’s and follow the Trade Winds, East Of The Sun and West Of The Moon, down the Street Of Dreams…

-No need to come back at all…

-Now in a cottage built of lilacs and laughter
I know the meaning of the words ‘Ever after’…

-Then I’ll reach for your hand…
Just as though…just as though you were here…

-I’ll never laugh again…

-We’ll wait for you, even ’til eternity…

-…You can bet your life I do…

-Papa, you know…

-Over and over again…


See you next Weekend as we resume the Top Ten Album countdown by taking a short helicopter-hop 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 ring-a-ding world.

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


  1. 31 October 2015 @ 23:05 23:05

    Reblogged this on That Mr. G Guy's Blog.

  2. 02 November 2015 @ 08:30 08:30

    Would there have been a Sinatra, The Voice, without Dorsey? Possibly not.

    Nevertheless, whenever I hear Sinatra’s recordings with Dorsey it always strikes me how badly Dorsey’s arrangements have aged — cf Glenn Miller’s which feel so much more timeless (for the most part) — and also how Sinatra was sort of fumbling around for his own style; on occasion, yes, he is displaying something very close to The Voice, but very (too) often he’s singing like he’s trying to be somebody else. (I’m a little bit reminded of what Mark Steyn recently wrote about Sammy Davis Jr ‘almost to the end, he still feels like a guy doing an impression of a romantic singer singing a love song, rather than the real thing’; personally, I’m sometimes reminded of Fred Astaire … and as far as singing is concerned, I don’t necessarily mean that as a compliment.)

    Take, for instance, Let’s Get Away from It All in the Dorsey version and compare to the more ‘Sinatra’ version on Come Fly with Me (an album to which I keep returning like a little homing pigeon) or Polka Dots and Moonbeams in the version linked to here and that of Sinatra … A Man and His Music.

    Dorsey, necessary stepping stone, but far from the real deal.


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