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Gordon Jenkins - Don't Do Something to someone else

Sun Oct 02, 2011 8:03 pm

I came across this on youtube today. A very good and much missed friend once gave me this song on a batch of 78s when I was a kid and it was one of the songs I took a liking too. Sadly it doesnt appear to be on CD or download, so it was nice to across it on the 'tube. It's a fun danceband number from the 40s, with a hint of gospel thrown in by the vocal chorus.

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I had no idea who Gordon Jenkins was back then, but now know his name through his marvellous work as arranger for the likes of Sinatra on September Of My Years and numerous more. He was also the arranger for Judy Garland's finest studio album: the "Alone" LP. He was also a fine composer.

But this is simply a very personal nostalgia trip.

This beautiful rendition of My Foolish Heart was the A-side of the record - just wallow in that one-finger piano, and those glorious harmonies and orchestration. Jenkins was a true genius

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Re: Gordon Jenkins - Don't Do Something to someone else

Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:45 pm

Gordon Jenkins truly was a brilliant composer and arranger, whose vast body of work excels at nigh-on every turn . . . His work with Sinatra stands out, of course, his three albums with Frank at Capitol and a further five at Reprise represent some of my favourite albums, whilst his score for The First Deadly Sin would have been Oscar worthy on a higher profile film. Yet, in many respects, Jenkins final album with Sinatra, She Shot Me Down, feels almost like a musical counterpoint to Sinatra's final starring role -- the dark, lush strings and emotional depths that are world-weary, wistful and suffused with a tapestry of introverted colours.

And that's what both men truly specialised in, although they excelled in making music of innumerable styles, moods and themes -- A Jolly Christmas From Frank Sinatra being a contender for the finest Christmas album ever made, whilst Where Are You? and All Alone represent, with brilliance, themes of introversion, loneliness and contemplation over love lost . . . Yet, Jenkins worked with Sinatra in creating musical masterworks that represented pivotal moments and landmark recordings in the career of Frank Sinatra -- with the aforementioned recorded during Sinatra's prime years at Capitiol, September of My Years recorded as the singer approached his 50th year, Ol' Blues Eyes is Back cementing a much heralded return to the recording studio, the "Future Suite" of Trilogy: Past, Present and Future brimming with creative zest and astonishing sci-fi themes, whilst She Shot Me Down is film noir on record, as the elder Sinatra's experience as a singer, a man of advanced years and a brilliant actor join to create an album so very sublime.

Going back to the 1940s, Jenkins masterpiece, Manhattan Tower, remains one of the most cinematic and alluring suites of its sort -- the imagery created and use of strings, sounds, song and the spoken word is wholly engrossing . . . Jenkins recorded Manhattan Tower on three separate occassions, with the 1956 version standing out in many respects. A great companion-piece is Mel Torme's superb California Suite . . .

Jenkins work with Nat Cole was also excellent -- especially Love is the Thing and The Very Thought of You, whilst recordings with Judy Garland, such as Alone and The Letter, found great depths in Garland's artistry and creativity, with The Letter remaining quite underrated, IMO -- Watertown is almost akin to being the male equivalent.

An excerpt from Manhattan Tower

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Lonely Town, from the brilliant Where Are You? A song heard in the Broadway version of On the Town, but not included in the classic big screen adaptation . . .

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Re: Gordon Jenkins - Don't Do Something to someone else

Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:55 pm

I have to say I was quite surprised when it finally clicked today that the records I linked to were by the Gordon Jenkins. I hadn't heard them for years, and so was quite shocked when I found out - although that recording of My Foolish Heart certainly has hints of his later work with Sinatra, especialy the use of vocal chorus in the Christmas album and Future, as well as in Garland's Alone and The Letter - the latter has always been a little too esoteric for my tastes, but is still a remarkable album.

Re: Gordon Jenkins - Don't Do Something to someone else

Sun Oct 02, 2011 10:03 pm

I would very much like to find the score for The First Deadly Sin released on CD some day -- it's among the finest scores in any Sinatra picture, IMO. Jerry Goldsmith's score for Contract on Cherry Street has made its way to CD, even though the movie hasn't been released on DVD -- other than WB's CD-R. That's also a terrific score, however.

Re: Gordon Jenkins - Don't Do Something to someone else

Sun Oct 02, 2011 11:34 pm

greystoke wrote:I would very much like to find the score for The First Deadly Sin released on CD some day -- it's among the finest scores in any Sinatra picture, IMO. Jerry Goldsmith's score for Contract on Cherry Street has made its way to CD, even though the movie hasn't been released on DVD -- other than WB's CD-R. That's also a terrific score, however.


I haevn't seen Contract To Cherry Street sadly.

I think Future in Trilogy has been a tough time over the years, especially in Friedwald's excellent book on Sinatra's music (if only someone with that much knowledge, opinion and style could write a similar book about Sinatra's music). While the piece is a bit of a mess in many ways, there are some fine moments within it such as World War None, I've Been There and that beautiful vocalise passage. The harmonies and arrangements are very Ravel or Stravinsky-like in passages (as is the arrangement of I'm Not Afraid over a decade earlier, but not sure of the arranger of that off-hand).

Oddly I've never caught on to Sinatra's seasonal efforts. they never manage to warm the cockles of my heart, so to speak. I'm not sure why, just one of those things I can't explain - and the capitol effort is the worst of the three for me! I find the Sinatra Family Christmas album from the late 60s the most enjoyable of the bunch and Nancy Sinatra's song Such A Lonely Time Of Year is, bizarrely, a highlight of that I think. It's a gorgeous song.

Re: Gordon Jenkins - Don't Do Something to someone else

Sun Oct 02, 2011 11:57 pm

poormadpeter wrote:
greystoke wrote:I would very much like to find the score for The First Deadly Sin released on CD some day -- it's among the finest scores in any Sinatra picture, IMO. Jerry Goldsmith's score for Contract on Cherry Street has made its way to CD, even though the movie hasn't been released on DVD -- other than WB's CD-R. That's also a terrific score, however.


I haevn't seen Contract To Cherry Street sadly.

I think Future in Trilogy has been a tough time over the years, especially in Friedwald's excellent book on Sinatra's music (if only someone with that much knowledge, opinion and style could write a similar book about Sinatra's music). While the piece is a bit of a mess in many ways, there are some fine moments within it such as World War None, I've Been There and that beautiful vocalise passage. The harmonies and arrangements are very Ravel or Stravinsky-like in passages (as is the arrangement of I'm Not Afraid over a decade earlier, but not sure of the arranger of that off-hand).

Oddly I've never caught on to Sinatra's seasonal efforts. they never manage to warm the cockles of my heart, so to speak. I'm not sure why, just one of those things I can't explain - and the capitol effort is the worst of the three for me! I find the Sinatra Family Christmas album from the late 60s the most enjoyable of the bunch and Nancy Sinatra's song Such A Lonely Time Of Year is, bizarrely, a highlight of that I think. It's a gorgeous song.


Contract on Cherry Street seems to have fallen off the radar the past decade, or so . . . It was well received when first broadcast and garnered a great deal of hype, given it was Sinatra's return to acting after a seven year gap. And although he played a detective on numerous occassions, he brought something new and different to each portrayal of such, and Cherry Street is one of his best. However, I also rate highly his performance in Magnum P.I., in what was a grimy, dark and quite frank affair for prime-time TV and a show usually lighter in tone.

I agree that Jenkins/Sinatra's Future Suite has gotten it tough over the years, but don't find it to be a mess at all -- I actually find it very captivating and fascinating, along with being brave and superbly sung and arranged. There's certainly an air of Ravel, Stravinsky and even Rachmaninoff abound here . . . And, again, I do love Sinatra's seasonal efforts -- last Christmas I played Frank, Bing and Fred Waring and His Pennsylvanians' more than any other season music.

Re: Gordon Jenkins - Don't Do Something to someone else

Mon Oct 03, 2011 12:55 am

greystoke wrote:
poormadpeter wrote:
greystoke wrote:I would very much like to find the score for The First Deadly Sin released on CD some day -- it's among the finest scores in any Sinatra picture, IMO. Jerry Goldsmith's score for Contract on Cherry Street has made its way to CD, even though the movie hasn't been released on DVD -- other than WB's CD-R. That's also a terrific score, however.


I haevn't seen Contract To Cherry Street sadly.

I think Future in Trilogy has been a tough time over the years, especially in Friedwald's excellent book on Sinatra's music (if only someone with that much knowledge, opinion and style could write a similar book about Sinatra's music). While the piece is a bit of a mess in many ways, there are some fine moments within it such as World War None, I've Been There and that beautiful vocalise passage. The harmonies and arrangements are very Ravel or Stravinsky-like in passages (as is the arrangement of I'm Not Afraid over a decade earlier, but not sure of the arranger of that off-hand).

Oddly I've never caught on to Sinatra's seasonal efforts. they never manage to warm the cockles of my heart, so to speak. I'm not sure why, just one of those things I can't explain - and the capitol effort is the worst of the three for me! I find the Sinatra Family Christmas album from the late 60s the most enjoyable of the bunch and Nancy Sinatra's song Such A Lonely Time Of Year is, bizarrely, a highlight of that I think. It's a gorgeous song.


Contract on Cherry Street seems to have fallen off the radar the past decade, or so . . . It was well received when first broadcast and garnered a great deal of hype, given it was Sinatra's return to acting after a seven year gap. And although he played a detective on numerous occassions, he brought something new and different to each portrayal of such, and Cherry Street is one of his best. However, I also rate highly his performance in Magnum P.I., in what was a grimy, dark and quite frank affair for prime-time TV and a show usually lighter in tone.

I agree that Jenkins/Sinatra's Future Suite has gotten it tough over the years, but don't find it to be a mess at all -- I actually find it very captivating and fascinating, along with being brave and superbly sung and arranged. There's certainly an air of Ravel, Stravinsky and even Rachmaninoff abound here . . . And, again, I do love Sinatra's seasonal efforts -- last Christmas I played Frank, Bing and Fred Waring and His Pennsylvanians' more than any other season music.


I only got that as a complete album in the middle of this year - I only had Frank's tracks from it prior to that - so that will be played in a couple of months for the first time! To be fair to Frank I don't play much seasonal music except for the albums I grew up with: Elvis (the 1st one, rarely the 2nd), Nat Cole & Dean Martin (on music for pleasure. bliss. The Dean Martin reprise one is fun too), Perry Como (his 50s Christmas outing is bliss), Chet Atkins. Johnny Cash's I avoid like the plague. I never even got tuned into Bobby Darin's effort. And I normally do a CDR of the best bits from harry Connicks christmas albums (I think there are four now!). And Ella. Her two christmas albums are really gorgeous!

Re: Gordon Jenkins - Don't Do Something to someone else

Mon Oct 03, 2011 6:49 pm

poormadpeter wrote:
greystoke wrote:
poormadpeter wrote:
greystoke wrote:I would very much like to find the score for The First Deadly Sin released on CD some day -- it's among the finest scores in any Sinatra picture, IMO. Jerry Goldsmith's score for Contract on Cherry Street has made its way to CD, even though the movie hasn't been released on DVD -- other than WB's CD-R. That's also a terrific score, however.


I haevn't seen Contract To Cherry Street sadly.

I think Future in Trilogy has been a tough time over the years, especially in Friedwald's excellent book on Sinatra's music (if only someone with that much knowledge, opinion and style could write a similar book about Sinatra's music). While the piece is a bit of a mess in many ways, there are some fine moments within it such as World War None, I've Been There and that beautiful vocalise passage. The harmonies and arrangements are very Ravel or Stravinsky-like in passages (as is the arrangement of I'm Not Afraid over a decade earlier, but not sure of the arranger of that off-hand).

Oddly I've never caught on to Sinatra's seasonal efforts. they never manage to warm the cockles of my heart, so to speak. I'm not sure why, just one of those things I can't explain - and the capitol effort is the worst of the three for me! I find the Sinatra Family Christmas album from the late 60s the most enjoyable of the bunch and Nancy Sinatra's song Such A Lonely Time Of Year is, bizarrely, a highlight of that I think. It's a gorgeous song.


Contract on Cherry Street seems to have fallen off the radar the past decade, or so . . . It was well received when first broadcast and garnered a great deal of hype, given it was Sinatra's return to acting after a seven year gap. And although he played a detective on numerous occassions, he brought something new and different to each portrayal of such, and Cherry Street is one of his best. However, I also rate highly his performance in Magnum P.I., in what was a grimy, dark and quite frank affair for prime-time TV and a show usually lighter in tone.

I agree that Jenkins/Sinatra's Future Suite has gotten it tough over the years, but don't find it to be a mess at all -- I actually find it very captivating and fascinating, along with being brave and superbly sung and arranged. There's certainly an air of Ravel, Stravinsky and even Rachmaninoff abound here . . . And, again, I do love Sinatra's seasonal efforts -- last Christmas I played Frank, Bing and Fred Waring and His Pennsylvanians' more than any other season music.


I only got that as a complete album in the middle of this year - I only had Frank's tracks from it prior to that - so that will be played in a couple of months for the first time! To be fair to Frank I don't play much seasonal music except for the albums I grew up with: Elvis (the 1st one, rarely the 2nd), Nat Cole & Dean Martin (on music for pleasure. bliss. The Dean Martin reprise one is fun too), Perry Como (his 50s Christmas outing is bliss), Chet Atkins. Johnny Cash's I avoid like the plague. I never even got tuned into Bobby Darin's effort. And I normally do a CDR of the best bits from harry Connicks christmas albums (I think there are four now!). And Ella. Her two christmas albums are really gorgeous!


I hope you enjoy the 12 Songs of Christmas -- the harmonies and choice of songs are really wonderful to my ear. I am also very fond of Dean and Nat's Christmas music -- does it get any better than Nat Cole's version of The Christmas Song? Sinatra also cut a fine version, and a couple of beautiful versions of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. But Judy's recording for Meet Me In St. Louis is hard to beat . . .

Re: Gordon Jenkins - Don't Do Something to someone else

Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:30 pm

greystoke wrote:
poormadpeter wrote:
greystoke wrote:
poormadpeter wrote:
greystoke wrote:I would very much like to find the score for The First Deadly Sin released on CD some day -- it's among the finest scores in any Sinatra picture, IMO. Jerry Goldsmith's score for Contract on Cherry Street has made its way to CD, even though the movie hasn't been released on DVD -- other than WB's CD-R. That's also a terrific score, however.


I haevn't seen Contract To Cherry Street sadly.

I think Future in Trilogy has been a tough time over the years, especially in Friedwald's excellent book on Sinatra's music (if only someone with that much knowledge, opinion and style could write a similar book about Sinatra's music). While the piece is a bit of a mess in many ways, there are some fine moments within it such as World War None, I've Been There and that beautiful vocalise passage. The harmonies and arrangements are very Ravel or Stravinsky-like in passages (as is the arrangement of I'm Not Afraid over a decade earlier, but not sure of the arranger of that off-hand).

Oddly I've never caught on to Sinatra's seasonal efforts. they never manage to warm the cockles of my heart, so to speak. I'm not sure why, just one of those things I can't explain - and the capitol effort is the worst of the three for me! I find the Sinatra Family Christmas album from the late 60s the most enjoyable of the bunch and Nancy Sinatra's song Such A Lonely Time Of Year is, bizarrely, a highlight of that I think. It's a gorgeous song.


Contract on Cherry Street seems to have fallen off the radar the past decade, or so . . . It was well received when first broadcast and garnered a great deal of hype, given it was Sinatra's return to acting after a seven year gap. And although he played a detective on numerous occassions, he brought something new and different to each portrayal of such, and Cherry Street is one of his best. However, I also rate highly his performance in Magnum P.I., in what was a grimy, dark and quite frank affair for prime-time TV and a show usually lighter in tone.

I agree that Jenkins/Sinatra's Future Suite has gotten it tough over the years, but don't find it to be a mess at all -- I actually find it very captivating and fascinating, along with being brave and superbly sung and arranged. There's certainly an air of Ravel, Stravinsky and even Rachmaninoff abound here . . . And, again, I do love Sinatra's seasonal efforts -- last Christmas I played Frank, Bing and Fred Waring and His Pennsylvanians' more than any other season music.


I only got that as a complete album in the middle of this year - I only had Frank's tracks from it prior to that - so that will be played in a couple of months for the first time! To be fair to Frank I don't play much seasonal music except for the albums I grew up with: Elvis (the 1st one, rarely the 2nd), Nat Cole & Dean Martin (on music for pleasure. bliss. The Dean Martin reprise one is fun too), Perry Como (his 50s Christmas outing is bliss), Chet Atkins. Johnny Cash's I avoid like the plague. I never even got tuned into Bobby Darin's effort. And I normally do a CDR of the best bits from harry Connicks christmas albums (I think there are four now!). And Ella. Her two christmas albums are really gorgeous!


I hope you enjoy the 12 Songs of Christmas -- the harmonies and choice of songs are really wonderful to my ear. I am also very fond of Dean and Nat's Christmas music -- does it get any better than Nat Cole's version of The Christmas Song? Sinatra also cut a fine version, and a couple of beautiful versions of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. But Judy's recording for Meet Me In St. Louis is hard to beat . . .


That scene of the film always makes me cry! It's fine till margaret o'brien knocks the heads off the snowmen!

Re: Gordon Jenkins - Don't Do Something to someone else

Tue Oct 04, 2011 7:46 pm

poormadpeter wrote:
greystoke wrote:
poormadpeter wrote:
greystoke wrote:
poormadpeter wrote:
greystoke wrote:I would very much like to find the score for The First Deadly Sin released on CD some day -- it's among the finest scores in any Sinatra picture, IMO. Jerry Goldsmith's score for Contract on Cherry Street has made its way to CD, even though the movie hasn't been released on DVD -- other than WB's CD-R. That's also a terrific score, however.


I haevn't seen Contract To Cherry Street sadly.

I think Future in Trilogy has been a tough time over the years, especially in Friedwald's excellent book on Sinatra's music (if only someone with that much knowledge, opinion and style could write a similar book about Sinatra's music). While the piece is a bit of a mess in many ways, there are some fine moments within it such as World War None, I've Been There and that beautiful vocalise passage. The harmonies and arrangements are very Ravel or Stravinsky-like in passages (as is the arrangement of I'm Not Afraid over a decade earlier, but not sure of the arranger of that off-hand).

Oddly I've never caught on to Sinatra's seasonal efforts. they never manage to warm the cockles of my heart, so to speak. I'm not sure why, just one of those things I can't explain - and the capitol effort is the worst of the three for me! I find the Sinatra Family Christmas album from the late 60s the most enjoyable of the bunch and Nancy Sinatra's song Such A Lonely Time Of Year is, bizarrely, a highlight of that I think. It's a gorgeous song.


Contract on Cherry Street seems to have fallen off the radar the past decade, or so . . . It was well received when first broadcast and garnered a great deal of hype, given it was Sinatra's return to acting after a seven year gap. And although he played a detective on numerous occassions, he brought something new and different to each portrayal of such, and Cherry Street is one of his best. However, I also rate highly his performance in Magnum P.I., in what was a grimy, dark and quite frank affair for prime-time TV and a show usually lighter in tone.

I agree that Jenkins/Sinatra's Future Suite has gotten it tough over the years, but don't find it to be a mess at all -- I actually find it very captivating and fascinating, along with being brave and superbly sung and arranged. There's certainly an air of Ravel, Stravinsky and even Rachmaninoff abound here . . . And, again, I do love Sinatra's seasonal efforts -- last Christmas I played Frank, Bing and Fred Waring and His Pennsylvanians' more than any other season music.


I only got that as a complete album in the middle of this year - I only had Frank's tracks from it prior to that - so that will be played in a couple of months for the first time! To be fair to Frank I don't play much seasonal music except for the albums I grew up with: Elvis (the 1st one, rarely the 2nd), Nat Cole & Dean Martin (on music for pleasure. bliss. The Dean Martin reprise one is fun too), Perry Como (his 50s Christmas outing is bliss), Chet Atkins. Johnny Cash's I avoid like the plague. I never even got tuned into Bobby Darin's effort. And I normally do a CDR of the best bits from harry Connicks christmas albums (I think there are four now!). And Ella. Her two christmas albums are really gorgeous!


I hope you enjoy the 12 Songs of Christmas -- the harmonies and choice of songs are really wonderful to my ear. I am also very fond of Dean and Nat's Christmas music -- does it get any better than Nat Cole's version of The Christmas Song? Sinatra also cut a fine version, and a couple of beautiful versions of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. But Judy's recording for Meet Me In St. Louis is hard to beat . . .


That scene of the film always makes me cry! It's fine till margaret o'brien knocks the heads off the snowmen!


Meet Me In St. Louis is such a wonderful, warm and enchanting movie . . . The Blu-ray is released in November, which I'm very much looking forward to.

Re: Gordon Jenkins - Don't Do Something to someone else

Wed Oct 05, 2011 1:48 am

This means i can cry in HD now!