If Frank Sinatra was alive today he’d be 102 years old.
What can you say about Sinatra in a simple blog? It would require hundreds and hundreds of paragraphs.
His immortal music by definition lives on today, but you just don’t hear it as much as you used to, and that’s sad.
Thank goodness there are continual efforts to keep Sinatra’s music alive, to be grabbed onto and enjoyed by newer, younger audiences.
Capitol Records recently released a three-disc collection titled Standing Room Only that’s a compilation of three previously unreleased concerts: At the Sands in Las Vegas in 1966 and at Philadelphia and Dallas arenas in 1974 and 1987 respectively.
The world’s first genuine pop idol, Sinatra remains unrivaled as an interpreter of standards. His smooth baritone, impeccable phrasing, jazz-inspired improvisation and heartfelt embrace of lyrics seduced millions and inspired uncountable imitators. The spell he cast in casinos and arenas is rekindled on the 57-track Capitol/UMe release, available now in digital form or as a three-CD set with a 30-page booklet.
Sinatra died in 1998 at the age of 82 after performing on more than 1,400 recordings and scores of compilations that have been issued since his death. So why all this interest 20 years later?
(From left, Nancy Sinatra, Frank Sinatra, Tina Sinatra)
So why all this interest?
“Because he was so good,” said producer-actress Tina Sinatra, 69, youngest of Sinatra’s three children. “His interpretation, his emotionality, his entire personality. Men found him as appealing as women did.
“Whenever we can give followers unreleased music, it’s always a good thing. They want this. They are constantly conveying that to us. They want what they haven’t had before. In these three independent appearances, there are only five or six songs that overlap, which is pretty amazing. He was really diversified.
“Growing up, I watched him pick through his sheet music, and his songbook was always thick. He was always working on it, in Palm Springs, in Los Angeles. I’ve seen him do it on airplanes. He and his conductor would talk on and on about it. He really did piece the puzzle together quite uniquely for each show. And the second show of the night would always be different. And a tad bluer.”
One of the concerts featured on the new CD compilation took place at the Reunion Arena in Dallas on Oct. 24, 1987.
One month before, Sinatra was scheduled to record a radio special of an eight-night engagement at Carnegie Hall in New York. But he came down with acute laryngitis so two of the shows were canceled.
With all the equipment in hand taping turned to the Reunion Arena. A radio special did result BUT not every song made the cut. The full performance of Oct. 24, 1987, is captured on the new CD, all 24 songs.
We have a couple of tracks from this new collection. Let’s begin with that 1987 concert in Dallas and an absolutely beautiful classic.
On that night here were the top five records on Billboard’s Hot 100 as Sinatra was selling out arenas.
1) Bad/Michael Jackson
2) Causing A Commotion/Madonna
3) U Got The Look/Prince
4) Lost In Emotion/Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam
5) I Think We’re Alone/Tiffany
45 years before that 1987 concert …
A young Frank Sinatra surrounded by female admirers at a party, circa 1942.
One more video!
We close with a selection from The Sands in Las Vegas on January 28, 1966. Sinatra was 50 at the time.
The Sands owner Jack Entratter put Sinatra together with Count Basie in November 1964 in the famous Copa Room. They were a huge hit so they were booked from Jan. 5 to Feb. 1 in 1966.
The new Standing Room Only CD includes the complete second show from Jan. 28, with 16 songs including the following.
I personally have grown to love the lyrics of this song.
Standing Room Only presents three remarkable complete concerts from three decades of Sinatra’s career: his January 28, 1966 second show with Count Basie at The Sands, Las Vegas (previously unreleased on CD); his October 7, 1974 concert at Philadelphia’s Spectrum arena (previously unreleased); and his October 24, 1987 concert at Dallas’ Reunion Arena (previously unreleased in its entirety). The collection’s audio is newly remixed by Larry Walsh at NBCUniversal Audio and mastered by Seth Foster at Universal Mastering Studios. The deluxe 3CD package includes a 30-page booklet with liner notes plus several rare and never-before-published photos.
CD 1: The Sands, Las Vegas – January 28, 1966 (2nd show)
1. Come Fly With Me
2. I’ve Got A Crush On You
3. I’ve Got You Under My Skin
4. The September Of My Years
5. Street Of Dreams
6. Angel Eyes
7. Fly Me To The Moon
8. “The Tea Break” (Monologue)
9. You Make Me Feel So Young
10. The Shadow Of Your Smile
11. Luck Be A Lady
12. It Was A Very Good Year
13. Where Or When
14. My Kind Of Town
15. A Few Last Words (Monologue)
16. My Kind Of Town (Reprise)
CD 2: The Spectrum, Philadelphia – October 7, 1974
2. The Lady Is A Tramp
3. I Get A Kick Out Of You
4. Let Me Try Again
5. My Kind Of Town
7. Ol’ Man River
9. I Get Along Without You Very Well
10. I’ve Got You Under My Skin
11. “The Tea Break” (Monologue)
12. Send In The Clowns
14. You Are The Sunshine Of My Life
15. What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?
16. My Way
17. Bows: My Way
CD 3: Reunion Arena, Dallas – October 24, 1987
1. Overture / Introduction
2. You Are The Sunshine Of My Life
3. What Now My Love
4. My Heart Stood Still
5. Moonlight In Vermont
6. Summer Wind
7. You Will Be My Music
8. More Than You Know
9. Mack The Knife
11. What’s New?
13. Angel Eyes
15. When Joanna Loved Me
16. For Once In My Life
17. Lonely Town
18. Theme From “New York, New York”
19. Bows: Theme From “New York, New York”
20. Where Or When
21. My Way
22. Maybe This Time
23. The Lady Is A Tramp
24. Bows: You Are There