Sinatra / Capitol Sound Quality (and general discussion): Singles, Soundtracks, Etc.

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by MLutthans, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff Thread Starter

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Arkoffs sent along a clip from the 1966 Forever Frank LP, and it uses wet tapes. Bob F sent along clips from Frank Sinatra Sings the Select Johnny Mercer and the Norberg remaster of Point of No Return, and those tracks are all Norberg-y to one degree or other.

    I think that pretty much wraps up the April 2, 1953 session, huh? Results remain here: http://www.11fifty.com/Site_108/1953_-_SinglesEtc.html.

    Let's move on the the next session, which is April 30, 1953, with its four excellent Nelson Riddle tracks: I've Got the World on a String, Don't Worry 'Bout Me, I Love You, and South of the Border.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2013
  2. Arkoffs

    Arkoffs sitting in the back of a car


    Swing Easy
    '62 uses a reverb added tape for "Lean Baby" ... this one's pretty obvious on listening.
     
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  3. Bob F

    Bob F Forum Resident

    Thursday, April 30, 1953

    Four weeks after Frank Sinatra's first Capitol recording session, he was back at the Melrose Avenue studios for a second set of singles recordings. This time, the arranger/conductor was a new one for FS: 31-year-old Nelson Riddle. The four tracks created between 8 and 11:30 p.m. this evening were the first of nearly 400 studio collaborations between Sinatra and Riddle!

    The first two Nelson Riddle charts recorded by FS would become staples of his concert repertoire for the next forty years:

    I've Got the World on a String - Take 10
    (Music by Harold Arlen; lyrics by Ted Koehler)
    (From the Cotton Club Parade revue of 1932, as sung by Aida Ward)

    Don't Worry 'Bout Me - Take 14
    (Music by Rube Bloom; lyrics by Ted Koehler)
    (From the Cotton Club Parade revue of 1939, as sung by Cab Calloway)

    The final two songs this evening had been scheduled to be arranged by Billy May. May was on the road with his band and couldn't make the session, so Riddle did the charts "in the Billy May style" (although May received credit on the record labels):

    I Love You - Take 7
    (Music by Harry Archer; lyrics by Harlan Thompson)
    (From the 1923 musical, Little Jessie James, as sung by Ann Sands & Jay Velie)

    South of the Border (Down Mexico Way) - Take 9
    (Music & lyrics by Jimmy Kennedy & Michael Carr)
    (Introduced in 1939 by Gene Autry while on tour in the UK)

    All four songs were released as singles and appear in The Complete Capitol Singles Collection (disc 1 of 4). Three tracks were first issued on the 1956 compilation LP, This Is Sinatra!, while "I Love You" was added to the 1962 12" LP reissue of Swing Easy!, and hence all may be found in the UK 21-disc box set, The Capitol Years. These may also be heard in various compact disc compilations, and some are bonus tracks on concept album reissues.

    Musicians (17): Conrad Gozzo, Mannie Klein, Mickey Mangano, Zeke Zarchy (trumpet); Si Zentner, Joe Howard, Jimmy Priddy, Milt Bernhart (trombone); Skeets Herfurt, Jack Dumont, Ted Nash, Ted Romersa, Joe Koch (saxophone & woodwinds); Bill Miller (piano); Al Hendrickson (guitar); Phil Stephens (bass); Alvin Stoller (drums).

    0337_1466.jpg
    [ Photo of Frank Sinatra and Nelson Riddle at a Capitol session ]

    [EDIT] Note: That photo is from a much later time period. The caption at MPTV says "c. 1953", but those are often misdated. That's the Capitol Tower, not Melrose Ave., which would make it post-1956. I chose it because it's a nice shot of FS and NR and one of the only color photos of both men from the Capitol years on that site. —Bob F
    __________________
    ~ Frank's Albums
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2013
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  4. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff Thread Starter

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    ....and two of those recordings from the first session were already out and making some noise, plus, since production closed on FROM HERE TO ETERNITY on May 5, it's very possible (anybody know?) that Frank had finished his work on the film, and had a good buzz on. He just sounds like a man possessed -- in a good way -- on this session. The confidence is there in spades, and he's a fully focused performer, grabbing the bull by the horns. (IMO, of course.)
     
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  5. Bob F

    Bob F Forum Resident

    The filming took place in Hawaii (in March and April), so by April 30th, Frank had certainly completed his production work. Two days later, on May 2nd, he would be back at Capitol to record the theme song (which he did not sing in the movie) for commercial release. But that's a subject for the next session. The film and song tie-in would premiere in August 1953.
     
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  6. rangerjohn

    rangerjohn Forum Resident

    Location:
    chicago, il
    Thanks, Matt and Bob.

    Frank certainly was on fire at this session. He must have known that "Eternity" would put him back on top, and thus he could sing "I've Got the World On a String" with such verve and conviction. No one else at the time would have said that about Frank given the state of his career, marriage, etc.

    The arrangement of "Don't Worry" is a masterpiece. Riddle counterposes the music to the narrator's emotional restraint and attempt to appear ok with the breakup: the orchestra practically collapses on the singer at the musical break signifying his inner emotional devastation. Wow.

    According to the Kaplan FS biography, Sinatra took Riddle aside for a long and rather stern talking-to about one or more of the arrangements at this session, in response to which Riddle made important changes to the charts. He doesn't say which song/s. I'll double check, and, indeed, confirm whether it was this session in fact he's writing about.

    In the meantime, has anyone else wondered whether FS recorded "Don't Worry" with a verse at the beginning, which was subsequently edited? Its a strange "cold" start, and he did sing the song with the full verse in concerts during this era (Blackpool, for instance).
     
  7. rangerjohn

    rangerjohn Forum Resident

    Location:
    chicago, il
    Nope, according to Kaplan, FS dressed-down Riddle over the arrangement of "Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams." Apologies for the confusion.
     
  8. Bob F

    Bob F Forum Resident

    Even if the Kaplan reference had been to this session, I find his bio to be very unreliable. Lots of unsubstantiated innuendo copied out of context from other sources.
     
  9. Bob F

    Bob F Forum Resident

    Sinatra almost never sang a verse (if any existed) on a single. Concerts (and albums) permitted a more extended performance. I think Will Friedwald mentions this in his essay for the book in The Complete Capitol Singles Collection.
     
  10. Bob F

    Bob F Forum Resident

    Billboard ad, June 20, 1953:
    Billboard-Jun-20-1953-p29.jpg

    Billboard review, June 27, 1953:
    Billboard-Jun-27-1953-p26.jpg

    First charted in Billboard, July 4, 1953:
    Billboard-Jul-4-1953-p34.jpg

    Note: Although Capitol's ad may have been aiming otherwise, the deejays picked "World on a String" as the hit. (The flip side, "My One and Only Love" would be recorded at the next Capitol session in two days.) Same thing for the earlier single, with "Walking Behind" getting more airplay than "Lean Baby," now surpassed on the jockeys' chart.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2013
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  11. MMM

    MMM Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Lodi, New Jersey
    The warbler?
     
  12. Bob F

    Bob F Forum Resident

    Before they had the Internet, some singers warbled. Today, they tweet.

    [​IMG]
    "Frankie"
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2013
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  13. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff Thread Starter

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Billboard sure seemed to use shorthand/hipster speak in their writing. I often see references to "ork" for orchestra, "waxing" for making a studio recording, "platter" for record, etc. Today, they would be talking about "vinyls."
     
  14. paulmock

    paulmock Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    EWWW!!!

    Speaking of "vinyls"...any word about the Dell LP's? Have you listened to them yet?
     
  15. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff Thread Starter

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    If you are referring to the Dell LPs that contain tracks from the first session, then yes. Swing Easy's track (Lean Baby) was El Wetto, as was The Rare Sinatra (Don't Make a Beggar of Me). The Dell CDs were nice and properly dry for "I'm Walking Behind You" and "Day In, Day Out," but wet for the other two. (All the verdicts -- and a few clips -- are here.)

    Or are you asking about something else entirely and I just brain farted all over this thread? (Wouldn't be a first!)
     
  16. Bob F

    Bob F Forum Resident

    This is Sinatra!

    I'm not sure how we can avoid discussing Sinatra's first compilation LP at this point. Capitol T-768 was not released until November 1956, but three of the singles from the session of April 30, 1953 were included, along with others to follow soon after. For reference, here's some artwork...

    This-is-Sinatra!-LP.jpg
    This-is-Sinatra!-LP-1.jpg This-is-Sinatra!-LP-2.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2013
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  17. paulmock

    paulmock Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    N
    NOPE my bad! I thought it was Bob's quote and I knew he just bought the Dell LP's. I am not paying attention, sorry!
     
  18. Bob F

    Bob F Forum Resident

    Haven't listened yet, Paul. Still savoring the minty fresh vinyl. I may take This is Sinatra! for my first spin of the set, though. (That's not the Alan Dell issue pictured above, of course.)
     
  19. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff Thread Starter

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Such a great set of songs, and IMO, a glaring, glaring omission from the MFSL box. Probably my second favorite "This Is...." experience, beaten out only by the 1952 original:
    A70-7328.jpeg
     
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  20. rangerjohn

    rangerjohn Forum Resident

    Location:
    chicago, il
    One could argue that this is the very best collection of individual vocal performances by Sinatra. Of course, it doesn't hang together like the "concept" albums, but there are some amazingly exquisite and powerful performances here. Take, for instance, the thoroughly underrated "Rain."
     
  21. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff Thread Starter

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    As far as compilation albums go, I'd agree. I think the only one that gives it a run for its money is This is Sinatra, Volume Two.
     
  22. rangerjohn

    rangerjohn Forum Resident

    Location:
    chicago, il
    Slightly lower quality of material there, in my opinion, but the vocals are certainly top-shelf!
     
  23. MLutthans

    MLutthans That's my spaghetti, Chewbacca! Staff Thread Starter

    Location:
    Marysville, WA
    Official song title question: Is it Don't Worry About Me or Don't Worry 'Bout Me? The Capitol 45 uses "About."

    Matt
     
  24. MMM

    MMM Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Lodi, New Jersey
    Thanks Matt (and Bob). I don't hear how that pertains to Frank on the part of this writer, but to each their own.
     
  25. MMM

    MMM Forum Hall Of Fame

    Location:
    Lodi, New Jersey
    You bought a turntable, Bob? You'll be on the way to the asylum with Matt. ;) I'm already there...
     

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