Archive for Frank Sinatra

I’ve Got A Crush On You

Posted in Entertainment, Music with tags , on July 25, 2013 by franksinatratribute

Frank Sinatra Tribute - Crush On You

George and Ira Gershwin wrote many memorable songs, including one that was recorded by Frank Sinatra in 1947, 1960 and 1993.  It’s a beautiful ballad called I’ve Got A Crush On You and Frank also sang it in concert many times throughout the years.  That includes a playful rendition preserved as part of Frank’s concert recorded live at the Sands in Las Vegas in the 60’s.

The song was first featured in a Broadway show called Treasure Girl in 1928, and it was later recorded by artists including Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Linda Ronstadt, Carly Simon, Steve Tyrell, and Michael Buble.  And a duet version was recorded by Rod Stewart and Diana Ross in 2005.  Even Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys recorded the song in an album titled Brian Wilson Reimagines Gershwin.

But one of the most memorable recordings of the song was the duet between Frank and Barbra Streisand for the Sinatra Duets album in 1993.  All of the duets on that album used vocals recorded separately by Frank and his duet partners that were blended together in the studio by the engineer.

But the  Sinatra/Streisand duet has a unique exchange on it that sets it apart from the other duets.  Barbra personalized her vocal by singing “You make me blush, Francis”.  Hearing that, it was decided that Frank should respond vocally.  Since his vocal had already been recorded, an unusual step was taken.  Standing backstage at a concert in Atlantic City, Frank sang into a portable DAT recorder, singing the words “I have got a crush, my Barbra, on you”.  The combination, with Frank’s line actually coming first, was then incorporated into the mix, and I’ve Got A Crush On You by Frank and Barbra is considered one of the best tracks on the two Sinatra Duets albums.

For more background on the duet, visit the Barbra Archives.  And for more stories about Frank Sinatra, visit the Frank Sinatra Tribute website, FrankTribute.com 

A Sinatra Daughter Speaks

Posted in Entertainment, Music with tags , on January 15, 2013 by franksinatratribute
Tina Sinatra

Tina Sinatra

Not many people could know Frank Sinatra as well as his family, which includes daughter Tina, Frank’s youngest child, who executive-produced the excellent TV movie Sinatra in 1992.  The film, which was an honest reflection of Sinatra’s life, received a total of seven prime time Emmy nominations, two of which it won.    Tina also wrote a wonderfully interesting peek into life in the Sinatra family in her book My Father’s Daughter, co-authored with Jeff Coplon.

For a quick introduction to Tina Sinatra, there’s an interview with Tina on the web at a site called Spinner.com.  In her conversation with Spinner, Tina covers a variety of subjects, including what it was like hanging out as a teenager with Frank’s Rat Pack associates.  She has great personal insights into the lives of Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr.  From her observations, you can tell she was close to both of them and definitely saw another side they didn’t show to the general public.  Tina shares her insight into the Rat Pack’s appeal and their enduring popularity going back those 50 years to the Rat Pack’s heyday spent in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, among other locations.

And Tina talks about the proposed feature film on her dad’s life to be brought to the screen by Martin Scorsese sometime in  the future.  The project is said to feature a favorite actor of Scorsese’s, Leonardo Di Caprio in the lead.  And although Tina declares her support for Scorsese and his judgment, she also offers some casting ideas of her own in her interview, which you’ll find at Spinner.com 

A Night Out With Frank Sinatra

Posted in Entertainment with tags , on September 5, 2010 by franksinatratribute

Tom Dreesen

Frank Sinatra’s longest running opening act, comedian Tom Dreesen preceded Frank on stage for the last fourteen years of Frank’s long career as a concert headliner.  But off-stage, Tom also spent a lot of time with Frank, where it was often the two of them alone.  According to Tom, late at night they would drive through the desert in Palm Springs or stop at a small nightspot.  One night, they were at a bar when a woman walked in and asked if there was a jukebox.  Frank said “No, but I’ll be happy to sing for you”.  The woman said “No thanks” and left.  Turning to Frank, Tom said “I don’t think she knew who you were”.  And Frank said “Maybe she did”.   

Tom Dreesen has written a book along with his former comedy partner Tim Reid, who’s starred on several TV series including WKRP in Cincinnati.    The two of them were partnered with writer Ron Rapoport for the book, called  Tim and Tom, An American Comedy in Black and White.  It tells of Tim and Tom’s beginnings as  America’s first Black and White comedy team, and it’s an excellent book, which also includes a few stories of Tom’s experiences with Frank Sinatra. 

For more information on Tim and Tom, visit the Tim and Tom Website.

For a story from Tom Dreesen about the last song Frank Sinatra performed on stage, visit the home of Frank Sinatra Tribute artist, Monty Aidem.

Frank Sinatra and the Concept Album

Posted in Music with tags on July 17, 2010 by franksinatratribute

Starting in the 50’s, Frank Sinatra embraced the notion of putting out albums that had a unifying theme.  And he continued the idea over the years with many great collections based on a single concept.  As a result, he may be more associated with the concept album than any other recording artist.

Early Sinatra concept album examples include Songs For Young Lovers and Swing Easy.  But the first full Sinatra concept album was In The Wee Small Hours Of the Morning, released in 1955.  Its songs were all specifically recorded for the album and like the title song, they were all ballads about lost love and loneliness.

The list of Frank Sinatra concept albums is extensive, with many sorrowful ballad collections like Where Are You, No One Cares, All Alone, Point Of No Return, and Only The Lonely.  That last one had an album cover featuring a tearful Sinatra that won a grammy for album cover art.

Many more Sinatra concept albums came along, including uptempo releases like Come Fly With Me, Come  Dance With Me, Songs For Swingin’ Lovers, A Swingin’ Affair, and Sinatra Swingin’ Session.   And then there was Nice n Easy, The Concert Sinatra and an ambitious project called Trilogy.

Probably the most specific of the Sinatra concept albums would be Moonlight Sinatra, which only contained songs with the word moon in the title, although it didn’t include Fly Me  To The Moon.

One of the least known Sinatra concept albums is Watertown, which actually tells a story.  It didn’t exactly become part of the mainstream, but definitely has its fans.

Later on, an inspired collection of songs sung from a mature point of view was called September Of My Years.  And of course, there was the great collaboration with one of Brazil’s finest singer/composers, which resulted in an album called simply Francis Albert Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim.  And the two of them can be seen performing together in a relaxed setting on a Sinatra TV special.

A discussion of these great concept albums is definitely relevant to a Frank Sinatra Tribute, whose contribution is kept alive by the incredible library of recordings he left, and even by all the performers who continue to perform his songs, as Frank Sinatra tribute artists or Sinatra impersonators, as they’re also known.

For those who want to catch up on most of the titles above, you might want to pick up a CD box set of Frank Sinatra concept albums available from Capitol Records, where most of them originated.

A Merry Little Christmas

Posted in Music with tags , on December 24, 2009 by franksinatratribute

Nancy and Frank at Christmas

Along with The  Christmas Song and White Christmas, one of the most popular Christmas songs of all time is Frank Sinatra’s recording of  Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, originally introduced in 1944 by Judy Garland in the movie musical Meet Me In St. Louis

The song was about to undergo some changes in 1957, as Frank was putting together a Christmas album.  He liked the song but considered the  lyrics somewhat depressing, especially for an album called A Jolly Christmas.  So before he would record it, he influenced the songwriter Hugh Martin to alter the lyrics.  For example, the line that declared that this Christmas “may be your last” and “next year we may all be living in the past” became “let your heart be light, next year all our troubles will be out of sight”.  And with a few more changes, the song made it onto Frank’s Christmas album.  And it was that revised version that ended up as the most familiar version to audiences worldwide, recorded by almost every major vocalist over the years.

Oddly enough, the brightened-up Sinatra version found its way into a setting that would have to be considered pretty depressing, when it was used during a war movie called  The Victors, starring George Hamilton, George Peppard and Eli Wallach.  One segment of the film concerns Eddie Slovik, the only U.S. deserter executed during World War II.  And the Sinatra recording of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas is heard during the execution scene. 

Merry Christmas from the Frank Sinatra Tribute Blog and Frank Sinatra Tribute Show website.

A Portrait of Frank Sinatra

Posted in Entertainment with tags on November 19, 2009 by franksinatratribute

An artist in California named Bruni Sablan has created over 1300 paintings of legendary music stars and musicians in what she calls her Jazz Masters Series.  Born in Brazil to a Sicilian Italian father and Lebanese mother, Ms. Sablan is a fine artist who was introduced to jazz by her father, and has also done some singing herself.

Among her portrait subjects are Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Peggy Lee, Nat King Cole, and even Michael Jackson.  But perhaps the subject who has inspired the most portraits is Frank Sinatra.  Each portrait of F.S. is named for one of the songs he performed, like the one above, which is called Everything Happens To Me.

To see all of the Sinatra portraits along with the many other works of Bruni Sablan, visit her website, and for a performer re-creating Sinatra on stage, visit the home of an established Frank Sinatra Tribute Performer, often known as a Frank Sinatra Impersonator.

The artist, Bruni Sablan

Frank Sinatra And The Movies He Didn’t Do

Posted in Entertainment with tags on July 20, 2009 by franksinatratribute

Sinatra EternitySome of Frank Sinatra’s acclaimed movie roles included The Man With The Golden Arm, The Manchurian Candidate, Von Ryan’s Express, and of course, From Here To Eternity, for which he won the academy award for best supporting actor.  But there are a number of other well-known films in which he might have starred but didn’t for various reasons.

For one, he originally signed on to play the lead in Carousel in 1956 opposite Shirley Jones but he walked off the set on the first day of filming after he found out that they were going to shoot each scene twice, with two different lens sizes, and was quoted as saying “I was paid to make one movie, not two”.  He was replaced by Gordon MacRae.

In 1957, he turned down the lead in The Pajama Game, which would have teamed him up with singer Janis Paige, who played the role on Broadway.  As a result, Paige lost the part to Doris  Day, who was considered a bigger box-office draw.

Sinatra was considered for the role of Nicky Arnstein in Funny Girl in 1968.  This was said to have been vetoed by Barbra Streisand, who ended up playing opposite Omar Sharif.

According to imdb.com, Frank was the first choice to play the title role in Dirty Harry in 1971, but broke his finger before shooting started and had to bow out of the production, which launched a film series for Clint Eastwood.

Finally, Frank turned down the lead role in Death Wish in 1974.  It was given to Charles Bronson, and was the role that made him an international star.

From The Frank Sinatra Tribute Blog and FrankTribute.com