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To Be Perfectly Frank and FS - After Hours

Sat Jan 04, 2014 4:07 pm

Two rarities are a real bargain on ebay right now: ... 565fb3fa4b ... 5402c806f6

Songs recorded for, and excerpted from "To Be Perfectly Frank" the fifteen-minute radio program from the early 1950s. These recordings are the missing link in the transition from Columbia to Capitol. Sensational performances by Sinatra.

Re: To Be Perfectly Frank and FS - After Hours

Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:04 pm

Much of Sinatra's very best work was recorded for radio or sung live over the airways on the many shows that he fronted or appeared on as a guest -- along with appearances when he was the lead singer with the Harry James and Tommy Dorsey orchestras. To Be Perfectly Frank found Sinatra in transition, working with a small jazz combo in a uniquely quiet environment in comparison to the audience-filled shows of the forties. This is a gem of a collection from a series that ran from November 3rd, 1953 to July 2nd, 1954. During this time Sinatra was also appearing on the radio as Rocky Fortune, had found much success with the single release of Young at Heart, recorded the classic album, Swing Easy!, and was awarded his second Oscar, for his role as Angelo Maggio in From Here to Eternity. He even made a guest appearance on Major Bowes' Amateur Hour, the show on which Sinatra got his first break almost twenty years prior. And it's incredible to appreciate just what he achieved and accomplished during those years -- and with over forty more ahead of him!

Re: To Be Perfectly Frank and FS - After Hours

Sat Jan 04, 2014 11:32 pm

I think the 50+ tracks Sinatra recorded with a small combo at NBC in Los Angeles, led by Bill Miller on piano, for "To Be Perfectly Frank" are important and vastly under-rated. I read, on one of those Sinatra fansites that Nancy forced off thenet, that there were two studio recording sessions in the fall of 1953. The songs were not for album release, but to air on the program. Sinatra himself was probably the creative producer, choosing the material and working out arrangements. These recordings are among the best performances he gave in the decade. A number of songs were just Sinatra and piano. The combo varied from three to five instruments. The austerity and intimacy of the small combo brings out the best in Sinatra. These are committed, intense performances. Several of the songs he would never record again. The two CD's are bootlegs, but every home should have one of each. The sound quality is okay, and suggests a better-quality source. Sound quality issues aside, these recordings equal or surpass his work at Capitol, and that's saying a whole lot.

There is so much untapped Sinatra material in his radio appearances. Some public domain labels have scraped the surface. I've heard full episodes of "To Be Perfectly Frank" (sourced from mostly speeded up tapes of the original platters) and it is a dated program, with Sinatra introducing then-current hit records and playing them on the air, then adding one or two of his own songs. In view of the quality of the songs and of the performances it is inconceivable to me that the Sinatra family hasn't officially released them, although Nancy has played some of the songs on her Syrius radio program. The problem, evidently, is that there are no records (the paper kind) at NBC to indicate who the musicians were and what contracting had been done. The boots were sourced from radio station transcription platters sent to Armed Forces Radio, and today may only exist in private hands. What Nancy uses for a source, nobody knows. A dedicated producer and/or Sinatra collector is needed to lead the charge and pull it all together. If a public domain label can release the material (then drop out of existence) so can a legit label.

I found a guarded discussion about it here: ... how-37764/

Old-time radio sites that provide a samples and mp3's: ... ctly-frank ... 50157.html

Re: To Be Perfectly Frank and FS - After Hours

Sun Jan 05, 2014 5:15 am

Sadly Nancy forces most things off the web that aren't legit releases. Bootlegs can't even be discussed on the Sinatra family forum - not even to suggest the concert or session should be released officially. Oddly, I don't know these sessions - something's passed me by, it seems! Interestingly, these would be out of copyright in Europe, so it's odd that some of them haven't appeared somewhere.

Re: To Be Perfectly Frank and FS - After Hours

Sun Jan 05, 2014 8:40 am

The songs on "To Be Perfectly Frank" and the recording sessions from which they came are the best-kept secret in Sinatra's career. The songs are also some of the finest work he ever did. Period.

Nancy forced off all the fan sites -- the databases with concert itineraries and setlists, the discographies, the recording session-ographies, the forums. Most of the fan sites weren't about bootlegs. They were research sites, informational, appreciation sites. Nancy made sure there was no website left but her own with its "family" forum, in which noone speaks freely.

Re: To Be Perfectly Frank and FS - After Hours

Sun Jan 05, 2014 7:55 pm

I got banned from the Sinatra Family site very quickly - although I don't think that's difficult, and it was actually due to a rather candid review of Some Nice Things I've Missed.