Off Topic Messages

Rare Sinatra material (updated 1 June 2013)

Mon May 20, 2013 11:17 pm

A couple of weeks ago, while investigating an old hard drive of mine, I found a large batch of Sinatra bootleg recordings that i thought I had lost a long time ago. The Sinatra bootleg world isn't remotely like the Presley one,and mostly consists of simply fans passing material back and forth. Daily Motion is the only way to share them - they get taken down on youtube - and so I will slowly attempt to post interesting material from 150 or so hours of music.

First up: The Duets albums of the mid-1990s were actually recorded by Sinatra recording full versions of the songs which were then diced and spliced with the performance by the other performer. So, here are Sinatra's full solo studio recordings of They Can't Take That away From Me, I've Got A Crush On You and I've Got You Under My Skin from 1993.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xzreu3_frank-sinatra-solos-the-unedited-duets-1993_music

More interesting, i think, is this. In 1962, Sinatra went out on a world tour with a jazz combo backing him up rather than a full orchestra. The tour was in aid of charity, with Sinatra funding the whole enterprise. A number of concerts from the tour have been released: the Paris concert was released by Reprise, and the shows from Tokyo, Hong Kong and London have appeared on grey market labels. On the bootleg circuit for years has been a group of recordings from Italy in what was thought to be a recording studio setting. There were a dozen numbers, all short, thought to have been recorded for Italian advertisements. We now know this is not the case, as video of the recordings has emerged. It appears that these recordings were for an Italian TV show (possibly weekly guest spots pre-recorded) - and here is the Sinatra segment of that show, running about 22 minutes and introduced in Italian (sorry, no subs, but it's the musical bit that counts). Enjoy.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xzsyvi_frank-sinatra-italian-tv-show-1962_music
Last edited by poormadpeter on Sat Jun 01, 2013 9:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Rare Sinatra material

Tue May 21, 2013 12:03 am

I was in the Capitol Tower on one of the days when he was in the building.

Two messages were sent out to the staff: do not try to go near the studio where they were recording. And if you did somehow cross paths with the man, do not ask questions or request autographs, and address him as Mr. Sinatra.

The final DUETS release needed a LOT of work, both with editing and pitch control. I was down the hall when they were working on it.

Re: Rare Sinatra material

Tue May 21, 2013 12:27 am

HoneyTalkNelson wrote:I was in the Capitol Tower on one of the days when he was in the building.

Two messages were sent out to the staff: do not try to go near the studio where they were recording. And if you did somehow cross paths with the man, do not ask questions or request autographs, and address him as Mr. Sinatra.

The final DUETS release needed a LOT of work, both with editing and pitch control. I was down the hall when they were working on it.


Indeed it did. I'm not sure whether the versions heard here are before or after the editing and work. 1993 wasn't a good year for Sinatra health-wise. Friedwald reports that changes to his medication made him disoriented for a number of months, and some of the shows where this happened are rather infamous now - although they are not the train wreck that they are made out to be. However, some of the material on the "Solos" bootleg does betray signs of this - Old Man River in particular, which I don't think was used at all in the project. Elsewhere, One For My Baby is stunning - I didn't include that here because it's not really edited in the same way on the Duets album.

Re: Rare Sinatra material

Tue May 21, 2013 12:36 am

That's very interesting.

By the way, good to see you posting again. You were certainly missed around here!

Re: Rare Sinatra material

Tue May 21, 2013 12:38 am

HoneyTalkNelson wrote:I was in the Capitol Tower on one of the days when he was in the building.

Two messages were sent out to the staff: do not try to go near the studio where they were recording. And if you did somehow cross paths with the man, do not ask questions or request autographs, and address him as Mr. Sinatra.

The final DUETS release needed a LOT of work, both with editing and pitch control. I was down the hall when they were working on it.


Did you get a chance to see him at that time?

Re: Rare Sinatra material

Tue May 21, 2013 12:52 am

Interesting you found old bootlegs on an old hard drive. I keep them all in one place, and not ripped to digital (yet). But many people DID rip vinyl years ago, because of how I came to appreciate him.

I might have actually heard some of this type of Sinatra material on the 'net, on an old Sinatra site during the '90s. I didn't really appreciate him until I found that site, with the RealAudio files. They had home-made mash-ups, all kinds of things. So, I "discovered" him myself, not through my parents' record collection, as they might have hoped.

I can't remember the site, but am glad I found it!

rjm
P.S. -- Hey, I followed you on Twitter last night. Just in case you didn't notice. ;)


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

Re: Rare Sinatra material

Tue May 21, 2013 12:57 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
HoneyTalkNelson wrote:I was in the Capitol Tower on one of the days when he was in the building.

Two messages were sent out to the staff: do not try to go near the studio where they were recording. And if you did somehow cross paths with the man, do not ask questions or request autographs, and address him as Mr. Sinatra.

The final DUETS release needed a LOT of work, both with editing and pitch control. I was down the hall when they were working on it.


Did you get a chance to see him at that time?


Not at the Tower but I saw him in concert at least half a dozen times between 1977 and his retirement.

The best was at Carnegie Hall in the early 1980's with Lionel Hampton. They were both on fire and it was a fantastic show.

The first time was with Dean Martin at the Westchester Premiere Theatre in May 1977. We saw both of them come in before the show. Dean stopped to sign autographs and Frank was escorted right into the building.

The last concert was at Westbury Music Fair in Long Island. He was a bit frail and needed a teleprompter. Even with it, he forgot his place a few times and his son (who was conducting) helped him to get back. It was sad.

Re: Rare Sinatra material

Tue May 21, 2013 1:08 am

HoneyTalkNelson wrote:That's very interesting.

By the way, good to see you posting again. You were certainly missed around here!


I agree. Pmp does contribute a lot of interesting and informative posts. It would nice to see a certain close trio/quartet of posters say some nice things about him, but they never seem to do it, en masse or as individuals. Credit's got to go where it's due and I think the vast majority of folks on FECC do enjoy the knowledge he shares.

Re: Rare Sinatra material

Tue May 21, 2013 1:19 am

HoneyTalkNelson wrote:That's very interesting.

By the way, good to see you posting again. You were certainly missed around here!


Thank you (and to Suds). My absence wasn't voluntary.

RJM wrote:

Interesting you found old bootlegs on an old hard drive. I keep them all in one place, and not ripped to digital (yet). But many people DID rip vinyl years ago, because of how I came to appreciate him.

I might have actually heard some of this type of Sinatra material on the 'net, on an old Sinatra site during the '90s. I didn't really appreciate him until I found that site, with the RealAudio files. They had home-made mash-ups, all kinds of things. So, I "discovered" him myself, not through my parents' record collection, as they might have hoped.

I can't remember the site, but am glad I found it!


Well, as I said, the vast majority of these concerts weren't issued in the bootleg form we associate with Elvis. There are very few pressed bootleg CDs when it comes to Sinatra, but literally hundreds of soundboard and audience recordings being passed amongst collectors - hence the reason that most are mp3 or wav files and not actual product. Talk of bootlegs is essentially banned by nancy sinatra on the main Sinatra forum!

Re: Rare Sinatra material

Tue May 21, 2013 1:33 am

Thank you (and to Suds). My absence wasn't voluntary.


That is absolutely ridiculous. Shame on the people that made such a stupid decision. The board was certainly lacking without your presence.

Re: Rare Sinatra material

Tue May 21, 2013 1:40 am

HoneyTalkNelson wrote:
Thank you (and to Suds). My absence wasn't voluntary.


That is absolutely ridiculous. Shame on the people that made such a stupid decision. The board was certainly lacking without your presence.


Let's not go there and move on...

Re: Rare Sinatra material

Tue May 21, 2013 1:47 am

Good idea.

Re: Rare Sinatra material

Tue May 21, 2013 3:03 am

I've always been fond of the Duets projects, even if they don't represent Sinatra at the peak of his powers, they were still a creative and commercial triumph. And, considering Frank's general health and moments of frailty, there are some marvellous performances there. One For My Baby in particular. But this was Sinatra fully arrived in the digital age, despite having recorded Trilogy: Past, Present and Future on 32 track digital (and analogue) in 1979. At this time, the decision was made to use the analogue tapes, due to the sheer number of tracks and the fact that digital editing was still in its infancy. The production of Duets fully embraced digital recording and a creative process that's far more commonplace now, than in 1993. Nowadays, it's rare for a duets or collaborative project to be recorded as live, with both performers singing together. Tony Bennett is one of the exceptions in this instance. His duets albums are organic products created in an environment in which he still thrives. Twenty years ago, Sinatra wasn't able to do the same -- and despite the appreciation I have for the untouched recordings from those sessions, I feel the Duets albums too often get a bad rap. Although, not from any of the singers who appeared on the Duets albums with Sinatra.

It's interesting - and coincidental - that you mention Sinatra working with small combos, PMP. Not merely because he usually thrived with such, but also because Phil Ramone originally wanted him to record with a small rhythm section in 1992, before the duets idea was settled on. And that took over a year to come to fruition. Thirty years prior, Sinatra was on sensational form when he undertook his world tour for children. The footage and recordings from this incredible event deserve better (and more official) exposure. His performances here were of the highest standard, whether in Italy, during that marvellous television special, or in London, Israel, Tokyo and beyond, from which there's more wonderful footage.

Nice to see you back, incidentally.

Re: Rare Sinatra material

Tue May 21, 2013 3:33 am

greystoke wrote:I've always been fond of the Duets projects, even if they don't represent Sinatra at the peak of his powers, they were still a creative and commercial triumph. And, considering Frank's general health and moments of frailty, there are some marvellous performances there. One For My Baby in particular. But this was Sinatra fully arrived in the digital age, despite having recorded Trilogy: Past, Present and Future on 32 track digital (and analogue) in 1979. At this time, the decision was made to use the analogue tapes, due to the sheer number of tracks and the fact that digital editing was still in its infancy. The production of Duets fully embraced digital recording and a creative process that's far more commonplace now, than in 1993. Nowadays, it's rare for a duets or collaborative project to be recorded as live, with both performers singing together. Tony Bennett is one of the exceptions in this instance. His duets albums are organic products created in an environment in which he still thrives. Twenty years ago, Sinatra wasn't able to do the same -- and despite the appreciation I have for the untouched recordings from those sessions, I feel the Duets albums too often get a bad rap. Although, not from any of the singers who appeared on the Duets albums with Sinatra.

It's interesting - and coincidental - that you mention Sinatra working with small combos, PMP. Not merely because he usually thrived with such, but also because Phil Ramone originally wanted him to record with a small rhythm section in 1992, before the duets idea was settled on. And that took over a year to come to fruition. Thirty years prior, Sinatra was on sensational form when he undertook his world tour for children. The footage and recordings from this incredible event deserve better (and more official) exposure. His performances here were of the highest standard, whether in Italy, during that marvellous television special, or in London, Israel, Tokyo and beyond, from which there's more wonderful footage.

Nice to see you back, incidentally.


Thanks GS. I only learned recently of two other songs slated for the 1988 session that produced My Foolish Heart and the off-mic rehearsal of Cry Me A River. Apparantly Softly In A Morning Sunrise and If Ever I Would Leave You had arrangements written and were ready to go. I'm not sure if even a track was put down, though.

Regarding 1962, it's such a shame that wonderful London concert isn't available on DVD. It appears to exist in reasonable condition, and I have a feeling provided the audio for the JRR double CD of the concert from way back when. I'm not sure on that though, the disc was sold back in 2005 to raise money for university!

Re: Rare Sinatra material

Tue May 21, 2013 10:04 am

I don't believe that tracks were ever put down for Softly in a Morning Sunrise or If Ever I Would Leave You. At least, they're not known to exist. But Frank did have intentions of recording a new album between 1986 and 1988, and did have a few arrangements made and tracks recorded, such as Lieber and Stoller's The Girls I Never Kissed and Jule Styne's One to a Customer -- both of which he did perform live, as you know. Unfortunately, a fourth album didn't come to fruition during the 1980s, which is a shame, because Trilogy: Past, Present and Future, She Shot Me Down and L.A. Is My Lady were all so very good. But Quincy Jones - whom Frank asked to produce the album - had commitments throughout 1986, and with some health problems and uncertainty with his voice next to strings, the impetus to cut an album never gathered enough momentum. Especially when major commercial success eluded She Shot Me Down and L.A. Is My Lady. It's also a shame that Frank didn't act in one more film around this time, because he was looking for new scripts and really excelled in his appearance on Magnum P.I. But what more can we ask of a man in his seventies, who had accomplished more than most, excelled so frequently and was able to keep challenging himself?! That's part of the reason why I have so much regard for the Duets albums. They, quite easily, could not have existed, but Frank rose to the challenge, was pleased with the results and found great success in the process. And that must have been hugely gratifying.
Last edited by greystoke on Tue May 21, 2013 3:15 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Re: Rare Sinatra material

Tue May 21, 2013 2:53 pm

greystoke wrote:I don't believe that tracks were ever put down for Softly in a Morning Sunrise or If I Would Ever Leave You. At least, they're not known to exist. But Frank did have intentions of recording a new album between 1986 and 1988, and did have a few arrangements made and tracks recorded, such as Lieber and Stoller's The Girls I Never Kissed and Jule Styne's One to a Customer -- both of which he did perform live, as you know. Unfortunately, a fourth album didn't come to fruition during the 1980s, which is a shame, because Trilogy: Past, Present and Future, She Shot Me Down and L.A. Is My Lady were all so very good. But Quincy Jones wasn't available to Frank in 1986, and with some health problems and uncertainty with his voice next to strings, the momentum to cut an album never gathered enough momentum. Especially when major commercial success eluded She Shot Me Down and L.A. Is My Lady. It's also a shame that Frank didn't act in one more film around this time, because he was looking for new scripts and really excelled in his appearance on Magnum P.I. But what more can we ask of a man in his seventies, who had accomplished more than most, excelled so frequently and was able to keep challenging himself?! That's part of the reason why I have so much regard for the Duets albums. They, quite easily, could not have existed, but Frank rose to the challenge, was pleased with the results and found great success in the process. And that must have been hugely gratifying.


There is a clip from an interview in which Sinatra talks about the forthcoming 1988 sessions and that it was to be an album of ballads in mid-tempo swing arrangements, so I think the album of brand new songs must have got shelved. There was, of course, a third song recorded but never officially released for that 1986 project, Leave It All To Me - which I like better than both of the ones that we have official versions of (albeit live).

Re: Rare Sinatra material

Tue May 21, 2013 3:13 pm

I also like Leave It All to Me, which came from Paul Anka, with a superb arrangement by Torrie Zito. One to a Customer and The Girls I Never Kissed are also very nice, and it would have been great to hear studio recordings of these, too. Not that they weren't treated to splendid readings on stage. Sinatra, after all, was on marvellous form at this time (1986 - 1988), which makes it more the pity that an album wasn't cut.

Re: Rare Sinatra material

Thu May 23, 2013 5:16 am

greystoke wrote:One to a Customer and The Girls I Never Kissed are also very nice, and it would have been great to hear studio recordings of these, too.


Sintra recorded studio versions of both songs; they are the penultimate tracks on disc 20 of The Complete Reprise Studio Recordings. I produced a remix of "The Girls I Never Kissed" with engineer Brian Blackburn; this is the new "official version," but it has yet to be issued.
Last edited by PStoller on Thu May 23, 2013 6:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Rare Sinatra material

Thu May 23, 2013 5:24 am

HoneyTalkNelson wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:
HoneyTalkNelson wrote:I was in the Capitol Tower on one of the days when he was in the building.

Two messages were sent out to the staff: do not try to go near the studio where they were recording. And if you did somehow cross paths with the man, do not ask questions or request autographs, and address him as Mr. Sinatra.

The final DUETS release needed a LOT of work, both with editing and pitch control. I was down the hall when they were working on it.


Did you get a chance to see him at that time?


Not at the Tower but I saw him in concert at least half a dozen times between 1977 and his retirement.

The best was at Carnegie Hall in the early 1980's with Lionel Hampton. They were both on fire and it was a fantastic show.

The first time was with Dean Martin at the Westchester Premiere Theatre in May 1977. We saw both of them come in before the show. Dean stopped to sign autographs and Frank was escorted right into the building.

The last concert was at Westbury Music Fair in Long Island. He was a bit frail and needed a teleprompter. Even with it, he forgot his place a few times and his son (who was conducting) helped him to get back. It was sad.


Thanks for the informative reply. Seeing a legend stays with you a lifetime.

Re: Rare Sinatra material

Thu May 23, 2013 6:13 am

PStoller wrote:
greystoke wrote:One to a Customer and The Girls I Never Kissed are also very nice, and it would have been great to hear studio recordings of these, too.


Sintra recorded studio version of both songs; they are the penultimate tracks on disc 20 of The Complete Reprise Studio Recordings. I produced a remix of "The Girls I Never Kissed" with engineer Brian Blackburn; this is the new "official version," but it has yet to be issued.


I listen more often to the live versions, and so rarely play the Complete Reprise Collection, that their existence totally slipped my mind. I'm looking forward to that remix and future plans with the Reprise catalogue.

Re: Rare Sinatra material

Thu May 30, 2013 5:58 am

My favorite era of Sinatra is the late 30s-early 60s thats the best he sounded. I used to talk to a woman that knew him and Dean personally she said Frank was a big ass hole and Dean was nice.

Re: Rare Sinatra material

Fri May 31, 2013 4:57 am

greystoke wrote:
PStoller wrote:
greystoke wrote:One to a Customer and The Girls I Never Kissed are also very nice, and it would have been great to hear studio recordings of these, too.


Sintra recorded studio version of both songs; they are the penultimate tracks on disc 20 of The Complete Reprise Studio Recordings. I produced a remix of "The Girls I Never Kissed" with engineer Brian Blackburn; this is the new "official version," but it has yet to be issued.


I listen more often to the live versions, and so rarely play the Complete Reprise Collection, that their existence totally slipped my mind. I'm looking forward to that remix and future plans with the Reprise catalogue.


The problem with the Complete Reprise set is that it is in strict chronological order, and it just doesn't work. What's the point in having A Man Alone or Watertown out of order? Neither make any sense outside of their original running order - in fact virtually all of the albums lose something by having their running order jumbled in the boxed set. Of course, it's still the go-to place for about 60 or so tracks not available elsewhere on CD, despite the lovely reissues from Universal a few years back. The fact that The Girls I Never Kissed was remixed might mean that a mopping-up exercise might still be forthcoming at some stage, and I sincerely hope that is the case.

Re: Rare Sinatra material

Sat Jun 01, 2013 4:05 am

Are there still unreleased Rca/Columbia material that hasn't been released?

Re: Rare Sinatra material

Sat Jun 01, 2013 5:21 am

ritchie valens wrote:Are there still unreleased Rca/Columbia material that hasn't been released?


I'm sure that some outtakes may well have been found since the Song Is You and Complete Columbia boxed sets were issued fifteen or twenty years ago - in fact I'm pretty certain some have surfaced on various CDs over the years. And there are certainly radio recordings from that period which would be worth hearing (some have already been released on grey market CDs). But I confess that my knowledge of the pre-Capitol years is not as good as 1953 and after - Greystoke's your man for the Columbia years.

Re: Rare Sinatra material (updated 1 June 2013)

Sat Jun 01, 2013 9:04 pm

More from the vaults! This is the relatively rarely-performed Porgy and Bess Medley from a concert in May 1982 in Buffalo. Not great sound, unfortunately, but the best we have of this medley which has never been officially released.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x10gbfp_frank-sinatra-porgy-and-bess-medley-1982_music