#Sinatra100 – Bob Belvedere’s Songs For Swingin’ Sinatra Fans!
Cue theme music…
DEZI ARNEZ, Bandleader: It’s Bob Belvedere’s Songs For Swingin’ Sinatra Fans!…starring that King Of The Hill, A-Number One Sinatra Fan himself: Bob Belvedere. And here he comes, just like he came out of the womb, cigarette in one hand, a Jack-on-the-rocks in another [laughter] …heeerrreee’ssss BOB! [applause and cheers]
BOB: Hey, Swingin’ Lovers…thank you…thank you very much…how did everybody get in my room? [laughter]
This is you hep-cat pilot, Bob Belvedere, and we’re gonna soar way-up in that stratosphere, where the air is rarefied, to celebrate the 100th Birthday of The Chairman Of The Board, Ol’ Blue Eyes, The Voice — Mr. Francis Albert Sinatra. [applause]
[Bill Miller-sh piano starts playing I Get A Kick Out Of You] You know a sign that you’re considered one of the greats in Music is when you can be referred to by one name and everybody knows exactly who’s being talked about. And Frank Sinatra certainly fits that bill — and I’m sure he paid it too. [laughter]
Seriously…how many other musicians or composers can be so easily recognized? Not many, I’ll wager. Well, Mr. S. was one of the few, the very, very few, like Bach and Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Mozart, Martin and Lewis. [laughter]
He influenced more singers than any other singer has ever done in the whole history of this marvelous thing called Music.
Frank brought a Ring to the Ding-Ding, a Dooby to the Do, a Koo to the Koo — all with a talent unmatched before or since. Many have tried…and all have failed.
We’re gonna honor The Man and His Music tonight — not with some modern singers attempting and failing to decently cover the tunes Frank made his own, singers that will be forgotten by the time their big Century Day rolls around — no, we’re gonna feature The Man himself in all his glory, from here to eternity, if you please. So let’s get this Party flyin’ with the first recording played on the moon, by Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong…
This song was written by Mr. Bart Howard, arranged and conducted by Quincy Jones, with the Count Basie and His Orchestra layin’ down some solid chords…
BOB: Love that Count Basie touch at the end — that’s one high flyin’ combo.
[piano starts playing Young At Heart] Over the years, Frank recorded nearly 1,500 tunes, but it all started back in 1939, March 18th to be exact, when he asked bandleader Frank Mane if he could join him in the studio and lay down a vocal to one of the songs being waxed…
BOB: It wasn’t long before Young Frankie was noticed by a big-leaguer — Mr. Harry James — and asked to join his new Orchestra. Everyone knows the hit record he made with the band, All Or Nothing At All, but here’s another track that is my particular favorite from Frank’s stint with the great Harry James [whose birthday we’ll be sure to celebrate here in the near future]:
BOB: Oh, man…what a pairing.
Here’s another paring that was pure magic…
BOB: We’ll be right back with more of this Swingin’ Affair after this commercial:
BOB: Welcome back, young at heart lovers. [applause]
What say we look for a moment at Mrs. S. at work in the studio. He was meticulous and hardest on himself when it came to recording a performance. And he kept at it until his vocals met his high standards. When he was initially laying down the tracks for his greatest album, Songs For Swingin’ Lovers, Frank started with a different arrangement for the Johnny Mercer tune, I Thought About You, one that he would discard eventually in favor of the one we’ve come to know and love. Here it it, thanks to James McEwan:
BOB: And now a word from Mr. Steve Wynn:
BOB: Ain’t that a kick? [laughter]
BOB: What is Dez, old buddy old pal?
DEZI: I have a problem that only you can solve.
BOB: What is it, my old bandleader friend?
DEZI: Well, as you know, I’ve been seeing this lady…
BOB: Yeah, and I must say, she’s quite the gal.
DEZI: You see, Bob, I’m head-over-heels for her and, well…
BOB: Spit it out, dear boy, like you do in your trumpet and all over the bandstand. [laughter]
DEZI: Well, ever since I fell in love with Gertrude…
BOB: ‘Gertrude’?!?…I thought that name was banned. [laughter]
DEZI: …I’ve got this itch that’s driving me nuts.
BOB: I hate to ask this, but: Have you two made any Hey-Hey yet?
DEZI: Oh no!…she’s a Ringerterain.
BOB: A ‘Ringertarian’.
DEZI: No Hey-Hey until I put a ring on her finger. [laughter]
BOB: Well then, I don’t know…
DEZI: Oh no.
BOB: …Wait a minute! Wait just a darn minute! Hold your horses…
DEZI: Ah, Bob, you know the track closed down last Tuesday. [laughter]
BOB: I didn’t mean that literally…listen: Doctor Sinatra, I’m sure, can diagnose this affliction…
BOB: How do you feel now, Dez?
DEZI: Like I’ve got the world on a string! [laughter]
BOB: Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Dennis Miller:
BOB: You know, whether you’re young or old, no matter if you’re feelin’ sad or feelin’ glad, Frank Sinatra can make everything all right. Especially if you’re on the antique side of life, a little Francis Albert is better than any pill the Doc prescribes you…
[piano plays My Way]
BOB: When it comes to Frank Sinatra, and thanks to the miracle of recorded music, the celebration will never end. The swingin’ times, the sad times, the romantic times will always be there — Frank will always be there to keep the party hoppin, to pop the champagne when new Love is born, and to pour you another when that gal goes away…
BOB: Well…all good times must come to and end. And we’ve reached the end of this brief episode. Just remember: With a song in your heart, it’s the oooonly way to fly, buster. And don’t forget that, in the words of the late, great Irving Berlin: The song is ended / But the melody lingers on…
BOB: Goodnight everybody! [applause and cheers]
DEZI: Bob Belvedere’s Songs For Swingin’ Sinatra Fans. Produced, Written, and Directed by Robert Belvedere. Songs For Swingin’ Sinatra Fans is a production of TCOTS International, Limited. All rights reserved; patent pending, the music never-ending.
DEZI: Yes, Bob?
BOB: We can’t end it like that…you know with a kinda sad one.
DEZI: I bet you’ve got something in mind.
BOB: You bet your sweet bippy I do…hit it Frank!…
-Happy Birthday, Francis.