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…
34 — The Tender Trap
Music & Lyrics: Sammy Cahn, Jimmy Van Heusen
Recorded: 13 September 1955
Released as a Single; included in the compilation albums This Is Sinatra, The Capital Years, Sinatra 80th: All The Best, This Is Sinatra 1953-1957 [UK], and the Capital Collectors Series.
A really fun movie produces one of Frank’s signature moments, one of his best performances. The Tender Trap is perfectly suited for The Chairman because, of course, Cahn and Van Heusen wrote the lyrics and they understood him better than anybody else. This tune resonates among so many, I think, because it charts the course of falling in love so niiice.
33 — Makin’ Whoopie
Music & Lyrics: Gus Kahn, Walter Donaldson
Recorded: 16 January 1956
From the album Songs For Swingin’ Lovers
Related very closely in theme to The Tender Trap, this tune started-off as a comic number for stage comedian Eddie Cantor, whose version is a hoot.
Sinatra’s version contains some of the best Frankisms.
32 — TIE
I’ve Got A Crush On You
Music & Lyrics: George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin
Recorded: 05 November 1947
Released as a Single; included in the compilation albums Swing And Dance With Frank Sinatra [CD only – alternate take], The Columbia Years 1943-1952: The Complete Recordings, The Best Of The Columbia Years 1943-1952 [4-CD – main take], Portrait Of… [alternate take – now known as: The Essential Frank Sinatra: The Columbia Years]
Kind of sappy, kind of corny, Francis takes this tune and, along with [under appreciated] Arranger George Siravo and the band, balances the Jazz elements with the Romantic ones very well.
This recording holds a special place in your Humble Dispatcher’s heart because it reminds me of when I was falling truly, madly, deeply in love with Mrs. B….
Are You Lonesome Tonight?
Music & Lyrics: Roy Turk, Lou Handman
Recorded: 17 January 1962
From the album All Alone
Sorry Elvis fans: this version buries his version. Sinatra gets across the emotion of the music and lyrics more effectively. Listen and you’ll know the answer to the posed question: ‘Is your heart filled with pain’.
[Special mention: Sam Kinison’s great interpretation.]
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.