For a complete listing of Sinatra's radio appearances, check out SongsbySinatra

NOTE: Frank Sinatra was the hardest-working man in showbusiness, as evidenced by his remarkable output in film, television, recordings, and finally, in radio.  His remarkable output in this last field, with both guest shots and hosting duties, literally adds up to thousands of hours.  From the nail-biting storylines in Suspense to his own detective show Rocky Fortune, Sinatra honed his acting chops as well as the expected performing duties on shows like the Old Gold and Lite Up time shows.  Everything from song and laughs to pathos and drama can be found here, giving listeners a remarkable look back at Sinatra's vast repetoire in a simpler time.

Frank Siantra and Friends: 60 Greatest Old-Time Radio Shows
Radio Spirits [Cassette];
Released May 1, 2000

  • A thirty-volume set containing 60 full original old-time radio shows that Frank recorded from 1943-1954.
  • Includes appearances by Jack Benny, George Burns & Gracie Allen, Lucille Ball, Humphrey Bogart, Judy Garland and more! 
  • Digitally remastered for best-ever sound.
  • Contains several live performances of some of Sinatra's greatest hits.
  • 64-page booklet included with full show details and history.
  • Available in Cassette Only
  • REVIEW: An awesome set for fans and collectors, Radio Spirits has collected 60 full-length radio shows and put them in this 30-CD (now on cassette only) set, with great sound, notes, and lots of surprises.  Included are appearances on the Jack Benny program, Abbott and Costello, Suspense, the Bob Hope show, Lux Radio Theater, Screen Guild Players, Bing Crosby Show, Rocky Fortune, G.I. Journal, Burns & Allen show, Ray Bolger Show, Command Performance, Fred Allen Show, Bill Stern Sports Reel, and much more.  These are the full length shows as well, so you can enjoy the humor, drama, comedy and variety shows in unedited versions.  There are historic shows here, like Frank's award-winning "The House I Live In," which is a plea for religious and racial tolerance, several episodes of his starring role in "Rocky Fortune," appearances by other notable performers, like Groucho Marx, Danny Kaye, Rudy Vallee, Dinah Shore, Mary Pickford, Jimmy Durante, Charlie McCarthy, Red Skelton, Esther Williams, Gene Kelly, Edward G. Robinson, and even President Truman!  The 64-page booklet by Anthony Tollin carries notes on each program, and contains pictures, history and various interesting facts.  The only hangup I have about the set are the plastic sleeves that the CD's are carried in - they are remarkably difficult to extract the CD's from!  I've found it easier to buy a CD wallet at the store, and transfer the discs into it, rather than fight with this monster each time I want to listen to a show.  The package is out of print on CD now, but the set is readily available on cassette tape, and well worth seeking out.  This is a remarkable time-capsule of some of Frank's most essential live appearances.


    The Unheard Frank Sinatra Vol. 1: 
    As Time Goes By - Actual Rehearsals and Broacasts, 1946-1946
    Vintage Jazz Classics VJC-1004-2; [CD];
    Released February 15, 1990

    1. Your Hit Parade Theme (Brown/DeSylva/Henderson) - 1:12
    2. I've Heard That Song Before (Cahn/Styne) - 3:04
    3. As Time Goes By (Hupfield) - 1:17
    4. As Time Goes By (Hupfield) - 4:04
    5. Let's Get Lost (Loesser/McHugh) - 3:00
    6. If You Please (Burke/VanHeusen) - 3:35
    7. Pistol Packin' Mama (Dexter) - 2:38
    8. I'll Be Seeing You (Fain/Kahal) - 2:44
    9. I Love You (Archer/Thompson) - 2:24
    10. Your Hit Parade End Theme [excerpt] - :14
    11. Everything I Have Is Yours (Adamson/Lane) - 2:50
    12. Can't Get Out of This Mood (Loesser/McHugh) - 2:41
    13. Miss Annabelle Lee (Clare/Pollack) - 2:35
    14. Too Much in Love (Gannon/Kent) - 2:38
    15. Amor (Ruiz/Skylar) - 3:37
    16. As Long as There's Music (Cahn/Styne) - 2:49
    17. Dancing in the Dark (Dietz/Schwartz) - 4:00
    18. It Could Happen to You (Burke/VanHeusen) - 3:01
    19. Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are (Cahn/Styne) - 2:17
    20. It Had to Be You (Jones/Kahn) - 2:30
    21. If Loveliness Were Music (Reisfeld/Stoner) - 3:28
    22. More and More (Harburg/Kern) - 2:20
    23. More Than You Know (Eliscu/Rose/Youmans) - 3:14
    24. Easter Parade (Berlin) - 1:51
    25. Candy (David/Kramer/Whitney) - 2:33
    26. This Is Always (Gordon/Warren) - 1:59
    27. You Keep Coming Back Like a Song (Berlin) - 2:00
    28. End Theme: Put Your Dreams Away (Lowe/Mann/Weiss) - 1:58
    29. They Say It's Wonderful (Berlin) - 1:42

    REVIEW: Containing rare radio rehearsals and broadcasts from the years 1942-1946, this limited edition CD was produced by the Canadian group Vintage Jazz Classics, and rescued several shows from the Lucky Strike-sponsored ("So round, so full, so fully packed...") Your Hit Parade radio shows, with great sound, and fine music from the Columbia era, when Frank was at his smoothest.  The first 10 tracks on this disc are in-studio rehearsals, with little snippets of dialogue present, often with Frank discussing the arrangement with the conductor, and several false starts and stops as the singer and orchestra work through each song.  It's fascinating listening for fans who have wanted a behind-the-scenes look at how Frank worked in the studio.  Among the tracks here are the languid "As Time Goes By" with Frank jokingly inserting a lighthearted "Shaddup!" during the chorus!  Or a similar gaffe during "If You Please" when Sinatra makes up his own lyrics to the melody by singing "Somebody took my copy!" in a frustrated moment.  These a priceless glimpses into the private workings of Sinatra.  Tracks 11-29 are all actual broadcasts, with several performances that never were recorded in any other form, including "Everything I Have Is Yours," "Can't Get Out Of This Mood," "Miss Annabelle Lee," "If Loveliness Were Music" and "More and More."  There are also alternate versions of songs that Sinatra released elsewhere, often with different arrangements than what Sinatra recorded commercially.  In sum, this CD (and the following) are all essential listening for fans of the Columbia era.  


    The Unheard Frank Sinatra Vol. 2:  
    "The House I Live In"  Early Encores: 1943-'46
    Vintage Jazz Classics VJC-1007-2; [CD];
    Released May 28, 1991

    1. Vimms Vitamins Presents The Frank Sinatra... - :39
    2. (There'll Be A) Hot Time in the Town of... (Bushkin/DeVries) - 2:38
    3. The Song Is You (Hammerstein/Kern) - 3:28
    4. Where or When (Hart/Rodgers) - 3:30
    5. America the Beautiful (Bates/Ward) - 2:24
    6. Nancy (With the Laughing Face) (Silvers/VanHeusen) - 2:52
    7. She's Funny That Way (Moret/Whiting) - 2:38
    8. It Could Happen to You (Burke/VanHeusen) - 3:04
    9. I'll Be Seeing You (Fain/Kahal) - 3:58
    10. Begin the Beguine (Porter) - 3:59
    11. Speak Low (Nash/Weill) - 2:05
    12. Max Factor Presents The Frank Sinatra Show - :32
    13. It's Only a Paper Moon (Arlen/Harburg/Rose) - 1:41
    14. I Fall in Love Too Easily (Cahn/Styne) - 3:28
    15. Someone to Watch over Me (Gershwin/Gershwin) - 2:23
    16. Two Hearts Are Better Than One (Kern/Mercer) - 1:52
    17. I Fall in Love With You Every Day (Stept) - 1:45
    18. The Charm of You (Cahn/Styne) - 3:01
    19. Oh Bess, Oh Where's My Bess? (Gershwin/Gershwin/Heyward) - 3:09
    20. It Might as Well Be Spring (Hammerstein/Rodgers) - 3:38
    21. The House I Live In (Lewis/Robinson) - 3:30
    22. The Coffee Song (They've Got an Awful Lot... (Hilliard/Miles) - 2:51
    23. Lost in the Stars (Anderson/Weill) - 3:38
    24. Closing Theme: Put Your Dreams Away (Lowe/Mann/Weiss) - 1:39
    25. I Saw You First [*] (Adamson/McHugh) - 1:38
    26. A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening [*] (Adamson/McHugh) - 1:46
    27. I Couldn't Sleep a Wink Last Night [*] (Adamson/McHugh) - 2:13

    REVIEW: The second volume of the Unheard series takes performances from The Frank Sinatra Show (sponsored by Max Factor) and The Frank Sinatra Program (Sponsored by Vimms Vitamins).  Included in these fine-sounding transcriptions are some of Sinatra's most popular hits of the era, with carry-overs from his Dorsey years in the form of "The Song Is You" and "I'll Be Seeing You" as well as several of his newest hits that he was having for Columbia, including "Nancy (With The Laughing Face)," "I Fall In Love Too Easily," and the uber-patriotic "The House I Live In."  Listening to these live shows reveals how important to American audiences Sinatra was during the war.  His constant references to the war effort, with assurances that any breaking news would immedately be broadcast to the audience, as well as taking requests from soldiers for songs, show that Sinatra became a middleman to the families at home and the G.I.'s involved in the escalating conflict.  Several of the songs here, although familiar to fans of this era, find new readings here, with additional or completely different orchestrations, backing choirs, and new interpretations by Frank, such as the high falsetto note he hits at the end of "The Song Is You," or the choir that adds a heavenly backing to "Where Or When."  Also included is an informative 16-page booklet with pictures and text from several sources, may of them news articles from the times which reveal how public opinion of Sinatra was perceived.  Overall a charming program on a full, 70-minute disc that deserves to be put back in print.


    The Unheard Frank Sinatra Vol. 3:
    Long Ago And Far Away: Radio Rarities 1943-1949

    Vintage Jazz Classics VJC-1030-2; [CD];
    Released July 29, 1991

    1. Long Ago And Far Away  
    2. I Should Care  
    3. What Makes The Sunset?  
    4. If I Loved You  
    5. Ol' Man River  
    6. No Love, No Nothin'  
    7. My Heart Tells Me (Should I Believe My Heart?)  
    8. Shoo Shoo Baby  
    9. Oh, What A Beautiful Morning  
    10. Is You Is Or Is You Ain't (My Baby)  
    11. Sunday  
    12. Day After Forever, The  
    13. Swinging On A Star  
    14. And Then You Kissed Me  
    15. Paper Doll  
    16. Lover, Come Back To Me  
    17. Fellow Needs A Girl, A - (#1)  
    18. I Understand  
    19. Stars Will Remember, The  
    20. So Far - (#1, incomplete)  
    21. So Far - (#2 complete)  
    22. Fellow Needs A Girl, A - (#2)  
    23. Time After Time  
    24. Girl That I Marry, The  
    25. Soliloquy  
    26. Theme: Night And Day  
    27. It All Depends On You  
    28. Again  
    29. Fluff Take Of "What'll I Do", The - (bonus track)

    REVIEW:  The third in the series of rare radio performances and outtakes gets its material from several different sources, including two separate performances from the Hollywood Bowl, some scattered radio transcriptions of otherwise unrecorded songs which Frank never captured in the studio, some ultra-rare a capella performances with nothing but Frank and a microphone, and the audition show for Frank's Light-Up Time radio program from 1949.  The first five tracks are taken from a 1945 concert at the Hollywood Bowl, and Frank has them screaming in the isles with his croonalicuous readings of "I Should Care," "What Makes The Sunset" and "If I Loved You."   He introduces "Ol' Man River" as a tribute to its composer, Jerome Kern, although the performance of it doesn't match the power and drama of other performances.  Part two of the disc documents various songs taken from 1943-44, when Sinatra was featured on Lucky Strike Presents Your Hit Parade, and the original incarnation of Songs By Sinatra.  Taken from glass-based line transcription discs, the sound is very good, although for their age, some crackle and hiss is normal.  The performances are all stellar, with the stand-out for me being the suprisingly hot and bluesy take on "Is You Is Or Is You Ain't (My Baby)" which sounds as down and dirty as Frank ever sounded during his Columbia Years.  Also great to have is the only known recording of the Kern/Hammerstein standard "Lover, Come Back To Me" which he performed in duets before, but this is the only extant solo take there is.  The third section of the CD is the most mysterious, with six tracks of Frank singing without accompianment in the studio.  The sound for these a capella tracks is the worst of any of the Unheard series, but the rarity and mystery surrounding their existance makes them a real find for collectors.  Part Four of the album documents songs taken from an August, 1948 return engagement at the Hollywood Bowl as part of a "Music For The Wounded" charity event.  The final section is the audition disc for the proposed Lucky Strike Light Up Time series with Dorothy Kirsten.  Easily on par with the other CDs in this series, this is a treasure for collectors.


    The Unheard Frank Sinatra Vol. 4:  
    The Songs Of World War II: Unrecorded Songs and Arrangements, 1943-'44
    Vintage Jazz Classics VJC-1051; [CD];
    Released October 20, 1993

    1. Opening Theme And Announcement
    2. There'll Be A Hot Time In the Town of Berlin
    3. If Lovliness were Music
    4. I've Had This Feeling Before
    5. It Had To Be You
    6. San Fernando Valley
    7. Long Ago and Far Away
    8. I'll Be Seeing You
    9. Sweet Lorraine
    10. It Could Happen To You
    11. Amor
    12. I'll Walk Alone
    13. Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby
    14. Porgy and Bess Medley
    15. All of Me
    16. Together
    17. The Trolley Song
    18. With A Song In My Heart
    19. Begin the Beguine
    20. Here Comes The War Bond Man
    21. Opening Announcements and Theme: This Love Of Mine
    22. Night And Day
    23. The Music Stopped
    24. My Heart Tells Me
    25. Speak Low
    26. I Couldn't Sleep A Wink Last Night
    27. Closing Announcements and Theme: Put Your Dreams Away

    REVIEW: The last volume of the fine Unheard series focuses, as has the others in the series, on songs that Sinatra never recorded commercially, or songs that he recorded later, but in vastly different arrangements.  The first three songs (tracks 2-4) were never recorded by Sinatra, and so these radio transcriptions are the only way to hear Sinatra tackle these particular arrangements (although "Hot Time..." was recorded as a V-disc, and can be found in those collections), while tracks 5-18 focus on outtakes from both the Vimms Vitamin show and Your Hit Parade, all taken from 1944.  The song "Together" was recorded by Sinatra in 1962 for his rare All Alone album, and "It Had To Be You" didn't show up again in Sinatra's discography until 1979's Trilogy!  Other rarities include a unique arrangement of "I'll Be Seeing You" and slightly different arrangements of the songs "Sweet Lorraine" and "All Of Me" from the ones that appeared on his Columbia records.  Track 19 is taken from the AFRS Mail Call show, and is a significantly different mid-tempo arrangement of "Begin the Beguine" which many believe is superior to his Columbia version.  the final seven songs are all charitable recordings, with track 20 dating from 1943 in an effort to encourage citizens to buy war bonds, and tracks 21-27 all taken from a March of Dimes disc recorded in special studio sessions (possibly at Liederkrantz Hall,) without an audience.  A very good, and interesting disc that deserves to be put back in print.


    Frank Sinatra and Guests: Songs By Sinatra - The Old Gold Shows Volume 1
    On The Air 101976 [CD];
    Released 1997

    Disc 1:
    1. 0:45 Introduction
    2. 1:47 Frank Sinatra - Stars In Your Eyes
    3. 0:44 Talk
    4. 2:27 Martha Tilton - There's No You
    5. 2:24 Old Gold Commercial
    6. 2:13 The Pied Pipers - Gotta Be This Or That
    7. 2:35 Frank Sinatra - If I Loved You
    8. 4:38 Frank Sinatra & The Crosby Kids - Talk With Music
    9. 2:05 Frank Sinatra & Martha Tilton - Embraceable You
    10. 1:10 Old Gold Commercial
    11. 5:15 Talk With Music "Songwriters of the 40's"
    12. 1:10 Frank Sinatra - White Christmas
    13. 1:49 Closing
    14. 0:57 Introduction
    15. 2:37 Frank Sinatra - On The Atchison,Topeka And The Santa Fe
    16. 2:14 The Pied Pipers - I'll Buy That Dream

    17. 1:39 Skit
    18. 0:55 Old Gold Commercial
    19. 2:45 Frank Sinatra - My Melancholy Baby
    20. 0:28 Talk
    21. 2:39 Frank Sinatra & Peggy Lee - You Was Right
    22. 2:18 Frank Sinatra & The Pied Pipers - The Surry With The Fringe On Top
    23. 1:35 `Frank Sinatra - I Fall In Love Too Easely
    24. 1:29 Old Gold Commercial
    25. 4:24 Talk
    26. 3:19 Frank Sinatra - The House I Live In
    27. 1:42 Closing
    28. 2:04 Frank Sinatra - You'll Never Know
    29. 2:59 Frank Sinatra - As Time Goes By

    Disc 2:
    1. 1:04 Introduction
    2. 0:58 Frank Sinatra - Aren't you glad you're you
    3. 2:08 Talk
    4. 2:26 Frank Sinatra - It might as wel be spring
    5. 1:03 Talk
    6. 2:05 Old Gold Commercial
    7. 2:14 The Pied Pipers - In the middle of may
    8. 1:39 Frank Sinatra & June Hutton - Button up your overcoat
    9. 2:37 Talk
    10. 2:53 Frank Sinatra - Day by day
    11. 1:43 Old Gold Commercial
    12. 2:28 Frank Sinatra - Lily Belle
    13. 3:42 Frank Sinatra - Ol' man river
    14. 1:25 Frank Sinatra - Closing
    15. 0:33 Introduction
    16. 1:22 Talk
    17. 2:26 Frank Sinatra - There's no you
    18. 2:31 Francis Longford - Paris, aye aye
    19. 2:12 Old Gold Commercial
    20. 3:10 Ginny Simms - It's been a long time
    21. 2:22 The Pied Pipers - It's only a paper moon
    22. 2:48 Frank Sinatra & The Pied Pipers - All the things you are
    23. 1:31 Old Gold Commercial
    24. 6:39 Skit with music
    25. 1:56 Closing
    26. 1:46 Frank Sinatra - Two hearts are better than one
    27. 1:40 Frank Sinatra - Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

    REVIEW: The Old Gold shows released by On The Air I consider to be the gold standard for how these fine old radio shows should be released.  Double-disc packages, with fine pictures and liner notes, presenting two complete, uncut shows on each disc with bonus tracks.  The sound in excellent, and the overall package is very professional.  Regular performers include Axel Stordahl conducting the orchestra, The Pied Pipers, and the occasional appearance from Mel Blanc.  The first disc in this series is taken from September 12, 1945, and has a zingy Martha Tilton as guest artist, singing the lush, romantic "There's No You."  Frank joins Martha on the lovely "Embraceable You", and Frank steps out solo for a brisk reaindg of "Stars In Your Eyes".  Mel Blanc shows up as peaked "Piccolo Pete" (who sounds suspiciously like Elmer Fudd).  The banter between the stars is fun to listen to, and Frank has a natural gift as show host.  He trades banter during the Pied Pipers appearance singing "Gotta Be This Or That" and The Crosby Kids show up to twit Frank about comparisons with their famous father, Bing.  The only downside to these shows is the repeated interruptions by the sponsor, Old Gold Cigarettes - although it's grimly amusing to hear the constant plugs for tobacco in this day and age, the constant battering of the sponsor is annoying.  The second show on the CD, taken from September 19, 1945, brings singer Peggy Lee on board, who gets a chance to perform "You Was Right" but strangely doesn't share a mic with Frank during the show.  It's Sinatra solo for "On The Atchison, Topeka And The Santa Fe", "My Melancholy Baby", and "I Fall In Love Too Easily" and joins with the Pipers in a cover of "The Surrey With The Fringe On Top."  Bonus tracks (from December 26, 1943)include "You'll Never Know"  and "As Time Goes By."

    The second CD takes its first show from December 12, 1945 (Frank's Birthday) and has June Hutton joining Frank for a duet of "Button Up Your Overcoat" while Frank sings five numbers solo: "Aren't You Glad You're You", "It Might As Well Be Spring", "Day By Day", "Lily Belle", and "Ol' Man River."  The second show comes from October 10, 1945 and has Frances Langford and Ginny Simms as guests.  Each of the guests has a single number they sing: Frances sings the slightly goofy "Paris, Aye, Aye" and Ms. Simms gives a great reading of "It's Been A Long, Long Time."  Frank chimes in with "There's No You" and the Hammerstein/Kern classic All The Things You Are."  Also during this show the Pied Pipers make their obligatory appearance singing "It's Only A Paper Moon".  As bonus tracks, the producers include two more numbers, "Two Hearts Are Better Than One" from April 10, 1946, and the Sammy Cahn/Jule Styne classic "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow" from a December 1, 1945 broadcast.  It's all great fun, with fantastic music, great sound, and excellent liner notes in the enclosed booklet. 


    Frank Sinatra and Guests: Songs By Sinatra - The Old Gold Shows Volume 2 
    On The Air 101977 [CD];
    Released 1997

    Disc 1:
    1. Introduction
    2. Frank Sinatra - That's For Me
    3. Talk
    4. Frank Sinatra & Patty Andrews - A Kiss Goodnight
    5. Old Gold Commercial
    6. The Pied Pipers - We'll Be Together Again
    7. Frank Sinatra - How Deep Is The Ocean
    8. Talk
    9. The Andrews Sisters - Begin The Beguine
    10. Skit with music: "At The Paramount"
    11. Old Gold Commercial
    12. Frank Sinatra - Empty Saddles
    13. Closing
    14. Introduction
    15. Frank Sinatra - I'll Buy That Dream
    16. Talk
    17. Tommy Dorsey - Never Too Late Too Pray
    18. Old Gold commercial
    19. The Pied Pipers - Tampico
    20. Talk
    21. Frank Sinatra - Without A Song
    22. Talk with music
    23. Old Gold commercial
    24. Frank Sinatra, Tommy Dorsey & The Pied Pipers - I'll Never Smile Again
    25. Closing
    Bonus Tracks:
    26. Frank  Sinatra - I Begged Her
    27. Frank Sinatra - I Fall In Love With You Everyday

    Disc 2:
    1. Introduction
    2. Frank Sinatra - Great Day
    3. Talk
    4. Bob Mitchell Boys Choir - Good King Wenceslas/The Wassail Song
    5. Old Gold Commercial
    6. The Pied Pipers - Embraceable You
    7. Frank Sinatra - Symphony
    8. Skit with music: "Father Time"
    9. Frank Sinatra - Lullaby
    10. Old Gold commercial
    11. Frank Siantra & Bob Mitchell Boys Choir - Let's Start The New Year Right
    12. Frank Sinatra - You'll Never Walk Alone
    13. Closing
    14. Introduction
    15. Frank Sinatra - America the Beautiful
    16. Talk
    17. Marilyn Maxwell - But I Did
    18. Old Gold commercial
    19. The Pied Pipers - A Stranger In Town
    20. Frank Sinatra - Till The End Of Time
    21. Talk
    22. Louis Prima - Felicia No Capicia
    23. Louis Prima - Some Sunday Morning
    24. Skit with Music
    25. Frank Sinatra - The House I Live In
    26. Closing
    Bonus Tracks:
    27. Frank Sinatra - You Keep Coming Back Like A Song
    28. Frank Sinatra - This Is Always

    REVIEW: Starting off his shows with the seminal "Night and Day" Frank effortlessly tackles different guest artists, and on this November 14, 1945 show he welcomes the Andrews Sisters, first with a saucy give and take with Patty Andrews on "A Kiss Goodnight".  Then The Pied Pipers pay their piper with a segue into an Old Gold commercial before moving into a dreamy reading of "We'll Be Together Again".  Frank turns Uber-romantic with "How Deep Is The Ocean" then chats about his Uncle Mariscino(?) to introduce the Andrews Sisters singing their hit "Begin The Beguine".  Frank and the Sisters do a small parody of the grind of working at the Paramount theater, where Frank and the Pied Pipers are performing.  Short music clips include "Kiss Me Once" "On The Atcheson, Topeka, And The Santa Fe", "I Fall In Love Too Easily", "The One I Love (Belongs To Somebody Else)", before shifting into yet another Old Gold commercial.  Frank closes the show with the Country & Western weeper "Empty Saddles".  The second show on the disc brings back Frank's old boss Tommy Dorsey, and the two trade friendly barbs, and courteous compliments throughout.  Frank sings "I'll Buy That Dream" and his old Dorsey-era hit "Without A Song", while the Pied Pipers chime in with "Tampico".  Tommy Dorsey inserts "Never Too Late To Pray" and then all three groups get together to recreate "I'll Never Smile Again".  Bonus tracks include Frank singing "I Begged Her" (from October 17, 1945), and "I Fall In Love With You Every Day" (from April 10, 1946).

    The December 26, 1945 show brings on the Bob Mitchell Boys Choir to add a festive air to the day after Christmas show.  Frank mostly eschews holiday sentiment, instead choosing to begin the program with the optimistic paean "Great Day".  Frank then lets the Boys Choir bring in the Christmas cheer by having them sing pulpy versons of "Good King Wenceslas" and "The Wassail Song".  The Pied Pipers quote the Gershwin brothers' "Embracable You" and Frank sings the panoramic "Symphony" (starting off with tongue firmly planted in cheek).  Then a dream-like skit begins with the Pipers singing "Dream" and then Father Time (hey!) makes an appearance and asks for a little "1945 music" to help him pass the remnants of the year, so Frank obliges by singing "Too-Ra-Loo-Ra-Loo-Ra", and the Pied Pipers join Frank for "Ac-cen-tu-ate The Positive".  The Pipers tackle a slow, swinging take on "I'm Beginning To See The Light," and Frank croons a few seconds of "If I Loved You" - then the Pipers take off with "Sentimental Journey".  Then they hand off to Frank for "Saturday Night".  Listening to this program makes me realize how many of these great tunes have survived thanks to Frank.  They close the skit with Frank singing "Laura" and "Lily Belle".  Frank then continues the show by singing "Lullaby" to the new baby 1946, before bringing on the Bob Mitchell Boys Choir to sing "Let's Start The New Year Right" and Frank closes the show with a reverential "You'll Never Walk Alone."  The second show on the CD, from November 21, 1945, takes a patriotic turn, with Frank singing both "America The Beautiful" and "The House I Live In" during the program, while Marilyn Maxwell and Louis Prima join the show for the Thanksgiving festivities.  Frank disses Van Johnson during his and Marilyn's patter ("I bet he can't crack his knuckles"), and Louis Prima brings an Italian flavor to the show with "Felicia No Capicia".  Bonus tracks are taken from the December 11, and October 6, 1946 broadcasts, respectively.  The sound on the final show here is a little muddy in places, but still listenable, and great, retro fun.


    Frank Sinatra and Guests: Songs By Sinatra - The Old Gold Shows Volume 3 
    On The Air 101979 [CD];
    Released 1997

    Disc 1
    1. 1:08 Introduction
    2. 1:49 Frank Sinatra - Chickery Chick
    3. 1:15 Talk
    4. 2:52 Frank Sinatra - Dearest darling
    5. 1:51 Old Gold Commercial
    6. 3:05 The Pied Pipers - I can't love you anymore
    7. 2:31 Frank Sinatra & The Pied Pipers - It's been a long, long time
    8. 1:05 Talk
    9. 3:21 Peggy Lee - Waiting for the train to come in
    10. 1:42 Old Gold Commercial
    11. 1:43 Frank Sinatra & Peggy Lee - You brought a new kind of love to me
    12. 3:58 Frank Sinatra - Over the rainbow
    13. 2:10 Closing
    14. 1:07 Introduction
    15. 2:42 Frank Sinatra - Some sunday morning
    16. 2:18 The Pied Pipers - What a deal
    17. 2:30 Old Gold Commercial
    18. 1:37 Frank Sinatra - Shamrock song
    19. 1:33 Talk
    20. 3:29 Nat King Cole trio - Route66
    21. 1:48 Frank Sinatra & Nat King Cole trio - Exactly like you
    22. 1:24 Old Gold Commercial
    23. 1:13 Talk
    24. 3:59 Skit - The house i live in
    25. 3:16 Frank Sinatra - The house I live in
    26. 2:31 Closing
    27. 1:37 Frank Sinatra - Just one of those things
    28. 1:25 Frank Sinatra - My ideal

    Disc 2
    1. 0:57 Introduction
    2. 1:37 Frank Sinatra - One more dream
    3. 2:52 Frank Sinatra - Talk with music
    4. 2:37 Frank Sinatra & The Benny Goodman sextet - I only have eyes for you
    5. 1:41 Old Gold Commercial
    6. 2:03 The ied Pipers - Waiting for the train to come
    7. 2:31 Frank Sinatra - It might as well be spring
    8. 3:42 Talk with music
    9. 3:02 Benny Goodman sextet - Runnin' wild
    10. 2:30 Old Gold Commercial
    11. 2:36 Frank Sinatra - Home on the ranch
    12. 2:03 Closing
    13. 0:59 Introduction
    14. 1:38 Frank Sinatra - Sweet Lorraine
    15. 0:57 Talk
    16. 2:46 Frank Sinatra - All through the day
    17. 0:32 Talk
    18. 2:12 Old Gold Commercial
    19. 2:21 The Pied Pipers - Should I
    20. 3:42 Talk
    21. 3:50 Jimmy Durante - The strutaway
    22. 1:54 Talk
    23. 2:26 Frank Sinatra & Jimmy Durante - Far away from you
    24. 2:38 Frank Sinatra - Day by day
    25. 2:06 Closing
    26. 2:46 Frank Sinatra - My heart tells me
    27. 2:46 Frank Sinatra - That old black magic

    REVIEW: The four shows included on Volume 3 of the Old Gold series contain some of the classiest guest artists Frank ever had on his show. The first program here, from January 2, 1946, has Peggy Lee on for a second appearance, where she sings a lazy "Waitin' For The Train To Come" and pairs up with Frank on the light, swinging "You Brought A New Kind Of Love To Me". Frank throws away his lead-in song "Chickery Chick" and also has to warble through the sappy "Dearest Darling" before getting all mushy with the Pied Pipers on "It's Been A Long, Long Time". The Pipers also get to swing through the forgettable, but pleasant pop of "I Can't Love You Any More (Any More Than I Do)". But Frank gets to let himself go on a lush reading of the Harburg/Arlen classic "Over The Rainbow". The second show on the disc, from March 13, 1946, brings on the Nat King Cole Trio who play their hit "(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66" and back Frank up on "Exactly Like That" with Nat himself playing piano and adding his distinctive vocals to Sinatra's. The Pipers get their Irish up with another version of "Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ra" which interpolates a reference to Frank's green outfit, then lightly bounce with "What A Deal". Frank sings "Some Sunday Morning" and has to hawk Old Gold cigarettes himself by singing their jingle. Then he chooses the schmaltzy "Shamrock Song" to mark St. Patrick's Day, and once again pulls out "The House I Live In" skit and song for a rare live performance. Bonus tracks on this disc include"Just One Of Those Things" from November 28, 1943, and "My Ideal" from the December 19, 1943 broadcast.

    CD Two invites the Benny Goodman Sextet onto the show, who join Frank for "I Only Have Eyes For You" and go solo for a performance of "Runnin' Wild". Frank sings the melodic "One More Dream" and also has to warble out "Home On The Range" (and there's only so much you can do with that song). The Pied Pipers are fine on "Waitin' For The Train To Come" (compare it to Peggy Lee's languid reading on the previous disc) and the Old Gold spokesman pokes his nose in everywhere. The second show brings in funnyman Jimmy Durante to do his schtick and sing "The Strutaway" (more of a throwaway) and join Frank to sing a comedy version of "Far Away From You". Frank gets to sing "Sweet Lorraine", Jerome Kern's "Allo Through The Day", and finishes off the show with "Day By Day", while the Pied Pipers shine on "Should I (Reveal)". Bonus tracks include "My Heart Tells Me" and "That Old Black Magic". Each disc times out at a generous 61 minutes of playing time for lots of old-time radio nostalgia.


    Frank Sinatra and Guests: Songs By Sinatra - The Old Gold Shows Volume 4
    On The Air 101980 [CD];
    Released 1998

    Disc 1
    1. 1:45 Introduction
    2. 1:33 Frank Sinatra & The Pied Pipers - Zip a dee doo dah
    3. 1:36 Frank Sinatra - Let it snow
    4. 1:26 Old Gold Commercial
    5. 0:44 Talk
    6. 3:29 The Pied Pipers - A gall in gallico
    7. 1:38 The Page Cavanaugh trio - Crazy rhytm
    8. 3:54 Frank Sinatra - Medley - Pretty baby/I used to love you/Put on your old grey bonnet
    9. 0:39 Talk
    10. 3:01 Jane Powell - Kiss me again
    11. 2:36 Frank Sinatra & Jane Powell - The song is you
    12. 1:32 Old Gold Commercial
    13. 4:02 Frank Sinatra - When day is done
    14. 1:31 Closing
    15. 1:28 Introduction
    16. 1:34 Frank Sinatra - Gimme a little kiss, will ya huh?
    17. 1:36 Old Gold Commercial
    18. 2:22 The Pied Pipers - You won't be satisfied

    19. 6:52 Frank Sinatra & Bob Crosby - Skit with music
    20. 1:23 Talk
    21. 1:33 Skinny Ennis - Remember me
    22. 0:57 Frank Sinatra & Skinny Ennis - Whispering
    23. 2:09 Talk
    24. 2:53 Carlos Ramirez - Maria my own
    25. 1:07 Frank Sinatra & Carlos Ramirez - Figaro
    26. 1:14 Old Gold Commercial
    27. 2:17 Frank Sinatra - I'm always chasing rainbows
    28. 2:21 Closing
    29. 2:43 Frank Sinatra - What makes the sunset
    30. 1:26 Frank Sinatra - Five minutes more

    Disc 2 
    1. 1:21 Introduction
    2. 1:13 Frank Sinatra - Personality
    3. 1:22 Talk
    4. 2:24 The Pied Pipers - Shoo-fly pie and apple pan bowdy
    5. 3:48 Old Gold Commercial
    6. 2:56 Frank Sinatra - Embraceble you
    7. 7:29 Frank Sinatra & Vance Johnson - Talk/Skit with music
    8. 2:21 Old Gold Commercial
    9. 3:06 Frank Sinatra - From this day forward
    10. 3:45 Closing
    11. 1:30 Introduction
    12. 1:20 Frank Sinatra - I'm an old cow hand from the rio grande
    13. 1:47 Talk with music
    14. 2:25 The Pied Pipers - Ragtime cowboy Joe
    15. 1:43 Old Gold Commercial
    16. 1:29 Talk
    17. 2:32 Ella Mae Morse - Skycab boogie
    18. 2:19 Frank Sinatra - Along the navaho trail
    19. 1:49 Talk with music
    20. 2:44 The Vagabonds - You are my sunshine
    21. 1:29 Old Gold Commercial
    22. 2:34 Talk with music
    23. 3:07 Frank Sinatra - White chrismas
    24. 2:29 Closing
    25. 2:00 Frank Sinatra - Day by day
    26. 3:02 Frank Sinatra - The charm of you

    REVIEW: What I find interesting about Sinatra's radio shows is that even if the show is on a major  holiday (like the Christmas Day 1946 show that kicks off this set), Sinatra makes little concession to the holiday in his programming.  I mean, sure you have Jane Powell on the stage (who I would've loved to have under my tree Christmas morning), but the songs are strictly hit parade: from Frank and the Pied Pipers run through of "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah" to the Page Cavanaugh Trio's riffing on "Crazy Rhythm" to Jane Powell asking the audience to "Kiss Me Again", the program only makes one nod to the day - with Frank performing "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow" for the umpteenth time.  Otherwise, it's business as usual, with Frank Sinatra singing a medley of "Pretty Baby", "I Used to Love You But It's All Over Now" (how's that for Christmas cheer?) and "Put On Your Old Grey Bonnet".  Oh, well - I guess the listener can make their own Christmas cheer, but who knew Frank could be so P.C. in 1946?  The second show on the disc comes from March 6, 1946 and has guests Skinnay Ennis (now there's a name lost to the mists of time) Carlos Ramirez, and band leader Bob Crosby.  It's a lighter show than I'm used to hearing from Frank, with the novelty song "Give Me A Little Kiss, Will Ya Huh?" given a cold reading from Frank, the orchestra playing punchy and hot for the otherwise languid "You Won't Be Satisfied..." with the Pied Pipers.  More ribbing between Crosby in the skit, with Bob talking about "surrounding" Frank with Crosbys on the CBS radio network.  They also read several pseudo-fan letters, leading to Frank "gritting is teeth" and singing "Embraceable You", "Miserere", and even the Country and Western "Broken Song Of Love".  Ugh.  Skinnay Ennis fades from memory even as he sings "Remember Me" and then he and Frank join up for "Whispering" (with aside commentary on each other's technique).  MGM Baritone Carlos Ramirez bellows "Maria My Own" then joins Frank in a "loud" contest, singing "Figaro."  Again, ugh.

    The second CD has similarly low-wattage guest stars, the only bright spot being Van Johnson who appears on the March 20, 1946 show and creates a few good-natured rivalry sparks between himself and Sinatra during the show's skit.  Frank sings the lovely "Embraceable You" and "From This Day Forward" and the Pied Pipers pipe up with "Shoo-Fly Pie and Apple Pan Dowdy".  The second show, from December 19, 1945 is all skid marks, with Frank reduced to singing "I'm An Old Cow Hand From The Rio Grande" and "Along The Navajo Trail" while the Pied Pipers yodel "Ragtime Cowboy Joe" and Ella May Morse sings the dreadful "Skycab Boogie".  The only high point is the closing "White Christmas", again, Frank's only concession to the season.  Bonus tracks include "Day By Day" and "The Charm Of You".


    Frank Sinatra and Guests: Songs By Sinatra - The Old Gold Shows Volume 5
    On The Air 101981 [CD];
    Released 1998

    Disc 1
    1. 0:59 Introduction
    2. 1:49 Frank Sinatra - One more dream
    3. 0:58 Talk
    4. 2:45 Lillian Raymond - Thine alone
    5. 2:32 Talk/Old Gold Commercial
    6. 2:54 The Pied Pipers - Come to baby, do
    7. 2:26 Frank Sinatra - Nancy
    8. 1:20 Talk
    9. 3:02 Nat King Cole trio - Frim fram sauce
    10. 2:02 Old Gold Commercial
    11. 4:00 Frank Sinatra - Lover come back to me
    12. 1:55 Frank Sinatra & Nat King Cole trio - I found a new baby
    13. 2:13 Closing
    14. 0:44 Introduction
    15. 1:17 Skit with Andy Russel
    16. 1:27 Frank Sinatra - Aren't you glad you are
    17. 1:35 Talk
    18. 2:43 Andy Russel - I never love again
    19. 1:39 Old Gold Commercial
    20. 2:35 The Pied Pipers - Come to baby, do
    21. 2:34 Frank Sinatra - Oh what it seemed to be
    22. 5:09 Frank Sinatra & Andy Russel - Medley
    23. 3:10 Clark Dennis - All the things you are
    24. 1:37 Old Gold Commercial
    25. 3:04 Frank Sinatra - Bess, oh where's my Bess
    26. 2:33 Closing
    27. 2:16 Frank Sinatra & Peggy Mann - Embraceable you
    28. 2:10 Frank Sinatra - You always be the one love

    Disc 2:
    1. 1:28 Introduction
    2. 1:09 Frank Sinatra - Some sunday morning
    3. 1:43 Talk
    4. 2:23 Lena Romay - Daddy
    5. 1:43 Old Gold Commercial
    6. 2:21 Frank Sinatra - Slowly
    7. 2:40 The Pied Pipers - Let It Snow
    8. 1:15 Talk
    9. 1:36 Skitch Henderson - Liza
    10. 4:36 Frank Sinatra & Skitch Henderson - Medley
    11. 1:43 Old Gold Commercial
    12. 2:20 Frank Sinatra & Lena Romay - No can do
    13. 3:07 Frank Sinatra - Day by day
    14. 1:54 Closing
    15. 1:13 Introduction
    16. 1:31 Frank Sinatra - You must have been a beautiful baby
    17. 5:23 Skit with music
    18. 2:31 Frank Sinatra - Symphony
    19. 1:49 Old Gold Commercial
    20. 2:28 The Pied Pipers - Personality
    21. 5:46 Frank Sinatra & The Pied Pipers - Medley
    22. 2:29 Frank Sinatra - Goin' home
    23. 1:29 Old Gold Commercial
    24. 3:12 Frank Sinatra - Begin the beguine
    25. 2:16 Closing
    26. 3:46 Frank Sinatra - Couldn't sleep a wink last night
    27. 0:57 Frank Sinatra - Velvet moon

    REVIEW: Volume five in the Songs By Sinatra series brings on opera singer Lillian Raimondi and the Nat King Cole Trio. He begins with the swinging "One More Dream (And She's Mine)". Ms. Raimondi trills out "Thine Alone" with swirling strings and a wide vibrato. The Pied Pipers get to play train with "Come To Baby, Do" and Frank gets to be his best crooning self while singing the seminal "Nancy (With The Laughing Face)". The Nat King Cole Trio gets caught up singing "It's Only A Paper Moon" during their introduction, but Frank pulls them around to sing the southern-fried "The Frim-Fram Sauce". Frank hooks up with Lillian Raimondi to sing the overheated operetta of "Lover Come Back To Me", and Frank gets to shake himself loose joining the Trio for "I Found A New Baby." The second show on the disc, from January 23, 1946, has singer Clark Dennis on board, singing the romantic love songs that Frank used to sing, but here, he's stuck with "Aren't You Glad You're You" before getting to sink his chops into "Oh! What It Seemed to Be" and the Gershwin standard "Oh Bess, Oh Where Is My Bess". Other guest Andy Russell has a couple of snippy skits with Frank which makes Frank sound like a crotchety old man. Bonus tracks include a duet with Frank and Peggy Mann: "Embraceable You", and Frank solo on "You'll Always Be The One I Love".

    The second CD continues the lackluster material and guest artists, with Lena Romay and Skitch Henderson taking the place of any "name" artists, and Frank reduced to gulping out "hubba, hubba, hubba" and plugging Lena's brief film career. Lena's voice is nothing to write home about either, with her cupie-doll squeek adorning "Daddy" and fitting Sinatra's voice on their duet about as well as an XXL suit. The Pied Pipers have to roll out yet one more rendition of "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow" for the show, and Frank gets to sing an unenthusiastic "Some Sunday Morning". The Pied Pipers stand up to plug the Old Gold theme song, which seems to equate smoking with sucking on a throat lozenge (!) and Frank gets to croon "Slowly", but his heart doesn't seem to be in it.  Skitch Henderson plays an over-heated version of "Liza" and then joins Frank on a piano/vocal medley of "I'll Be Seeing You/Try A Little Tenderness/Somebody Loves Me/Where Or When & Blue Skies" which could've been a nice, intimate moment, but Skitch seems intent on throwing in unnecessary flourishes whenever possible, which do nothing but detract from the quiet moods set by the music.  The final show of the second disc is from January 16, 1946, and Skitch is back for a solo guest spot, featured most prominently in a medley with Frank and the Pied Pipers which includes "It Had To Be You", and other oldies-but-goodies.  Frank also gets to sing "You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby", "Symphony", "Goin' Home", and "Begin The Beguine."  The two bonus tracks are from early in the shows run, and include "I Couldn't Sleep A Wink Last Night" (November 28, 1943) and Velvet Moon (November 5, 1942).


    Frank Sinatra and Guests: Songs By Sinatra - The Old Gold Shows Volume 6
    On The Air 101982 [CD];
    Released 1999

    Disc 1:
    1. Introduction
    2. Frank Sinatra - Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow
    3. Frank Sinatra - You'll Always Be The One I Love
    4. Old Gold commercial; talk
    5. The Pied Pipers - Why Does It Get So Late So Early
    6. Talk
    7. Frank SInatra - I Concentrate On You
    8. Cy Waller (piano) - Falling In Love With Love
    9. Talk
    10. Peggy Man - A Kiss Goodnight
    11. Frank Sinatra & The Pied Pipers - talk: Thanksgiving Medley
    12. Old Gold commercial
    13. Frank Sinatra - The House I Live In
    14. Closing
    15. Introduction
    16. Frank Sinatra - Just One Of Those Things
    17. Talk
    18. Frank Sinatra - Homesick, That's All
    19. Old Gold Commercial
    20. The Pied Pipers - Aren't You Glad You're You
    21. Talk
    22. Frank Sinatra - Was the Last Time I Saw You (The Last Time)
    23. Talk
    24. Lawrence Tibbett - Strange Music
    25. Talk
    26. Frank Sinatra & Lawrence Tibbett - Camptown Races/Beautiful Dreamer
    27. Old Gold Commercial
    28. Closing
    Bonus Tracks:
    29. Close To You
    30. Put Your Dreams Away (for another day)

    Disc 2:
    1. Introduction
    2. Frank Sinatra & The Pied Pipers - Somebody Loves Me
    3. Talk
    4. Frank Sinatra - Oh, What It Seemed To Be
    5. Talk: Old Gold commercial
    6. The Pied Pipers - Easy Street
    7. Talk
    8. Skit - "Radio Station KUKU"
    9. Frank Sinatra & Jack Carson - Don't Bring Lulu (parody)
    10. Old Gold Commercial
    11. Frank Sinatra - This Song Is You
    12. ???
    13. Closing
    14. Introduction
    15. Frank Sinatra - Almost Like Being In Love
    16. Frank Sinatra - The Anniversary Song
    17. Talk; Old Gold commercial
    18. The Pied Pipers - Linda
    19. Frank Sintatra - It's The Same Old Dream
    20. Talk
    21. Jane Powell - One Kiss
    22. Talk; comedy with Frank, Jane & Bob Hope
    23. Frank Sinatra & Bob Hope - I Believe
    24. Closing
    Bonus Tracks
    25. My Heart Stood Still
    26. Night And Day

    REVIEW: The sixth issue of the series documents the Novmber 27, 1946 and November 7, 1945 shows on disc one, with Peggy Mann (who sings the bouncy "A Kiss Goodnight") and pianist Cy Waller as musical guests, Axel Stordahl waving his baton with the orchestra, and Sinatra crooning his way through several numbers, including "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow," "You'll Always Be The One I Love", "The House I Live In" and a Thanksgiving Medley consisting of "Battle Hymn Of The Republic" and "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah" (?).  The Pied Pipers are regular backing vocalists for all these shows, and their professional polish adds greatly to the show.  Sinatra is still all romanticism in his singing, lyrical and smooth as silk.  The second show on the first disc has guest Lawrence Tibbett singing "Strange Music" while Frank joins him in a medley of "Camptown Races/Beautiful Dreamer."  Frank steps out solo for "Just One Of Those Things", and "Was The Last Time I Saw You (The Last Time)".   Also tacked on are a couple of bonus tracks: "Close To You" taken from the December 26, 1943 show, and "Put Your Dreams Away" from an unspecified 1946 broadcast.

    The second CD has guest Jack Carson on the January 30, 1946 show, while Frank sings "Somebody Loves Me", "Oh, What It Seemed To Be", and "The Song Is You."  He also joins Carson in a parody of the song "Don't Bring Lulu."  The Pied Pipers chime in with "Easy Street" and the Old Gold commercial announcer butts in (no pun intended) with his annoying plugs for the sponsor's cigarettes.  The second show, from May 7, 1947 brings on powerhouse stars Jane Powell and Bob Hope who perform a comedy sketch with Frank and Bob Hope also joins Frank for a duet on "I Believe".  Frank steps out to sing "Almost Like Being In Love" from the musical Brigadoon, and also performs "The Anniversary Song" and "The Same Old Dream".  The Pied Pipers are given "Linda" to croon, and and Jane Powell is suitably sultry singing "One Kiss" (bet that sent some servicemen over the moon!)  Bonus tracks on the second disc include "My Heart Stood Still" from the November 28, 1943 show and "Night And Day" from the December 19, 1943 broadcast.  This entire series is great fun, and as said before, very professionally presented - worth seeking out for collectors.

    Legendary Song Stylist: Frank Sinatra & Jimmy Durante:
    Two Complete "Songs By Sinatra" Radio Shows from 1946

    Castle Pulse 550 [CD];
    Released Feburary 26, 2002

    1. Night And Day       
    2. Sweet Lorraine       
    3. All Through The Day       
    4. Come To Baby, Do!       
    5. Should I?       
    6. Comedy Sketch       
    7. I'm The Guy Who Found The Lost Chord       
    8. Who Will Be With You When I'm Far Away?       
    9. I Fall In Love Too Easily       
    10. Day By Day       
    11. Put Your Dreams Away       
    12. Embraceable You       
    13. It's Been A Long, Long Time       
    14. With A Song In My Heart       
    15. Over The Rainbow       
    16. Night And Day       
    17. My Sugar Is So Refined       
    18. Linger In My Arms A Little Longer, Baby       
    19. Pretending       
    20. Hallelujah       
    21. I Ups To Him, He Ups To Me       
    22. Oh, How I Miss You Tonight       
    23. Comedy Sketch       
    24. All The Things You Are       
    25. Put Your Dreams Away

    REVIEW: This legitimately released CD, coming out of England, collects two Songs By Sinatra shows from 1946, both of which feature Hollywood funnyman Jimmy Durante, who had starred with Sinatra in the hit film It Happened In Brooklyn.  The first show, from February 27, 1946, is great, with the Schnozz chewing through the comedy numbers like an old pro.  Durante is also showcased in the solo number "I'm The Guy Who Found The Lost Chord."  The show also features Frank singing "Sweet Lorraine", ribbing the Pied Pipers about their 'rosy glow' they acquired in the desert (?), and Sinatra and Durante team up for "Who Will Be With You When I'm Far Away?" and Durante makes Sinatra audition for the duet, only to keep telling him to keep moving back until he falls out of the studio window.  The Pied Piers have a couple of hot songs in "Come To Me Baby, Do!" and "Should I?" and the corny comedy gets piled deep throughout.  This particular show also shows up on the Songs By Sinatra Vol. 3 above, but the second show, from November 26, 1946, is new to CD. The rare "My Sugar Is So Refined" (refined sugar... get it?) makes an appearance, which although is a somewhat clever novelty number, evokes high-pitched screams from the audience. The Pied Pipers shimmy with the swinging "Linger In My Arms A Little Longer, Baby" (with hot brass licks courtesty of Alex Stordahl), the announcer tries to entice the audience to ignore medical studies and "smoke an Old Gold" for old-fashioned pleasure. (I didn't know lung cancer was a pleasure, old-fashioned or not.) Frank does a narrated build up for his next song: "Pretending" - a lushly romantic weeper. Andre' Previn shows up for the virtuoso piano solo "Hallelujah" and Durante shows up for the first of his two comedy sketches, first parodying "Night And Day."  Durante serves as comic foil to Sinatra's lush singing throughout the next long segment.  The announcer breaks in again to push the sponsor's poison, then Sinatra closes off with a stunningly powerful rendition of "All Things You Are" (just listen to him climb to the last note and hold it...)  The CD also includes four bonus performances between the two shows: "Embraceable You," "It's Been A Long, Long Time," "With A Song In My Heart," and "Over The Rainbow" all taken from Songs By Sinatra shows.  A fun, but non-essential listen for old-time radio lovers.

    Dick Tracy in B-Flat or For Goodness Sake Isn't He Ever Going To Marry Tess Trueheart?
    Howard International/Hollywood Sound Stage 4010 [CD];
    Released April 1, 1999


    Cast In Order Of Appearance:

    • Bing Crosby - Dick Tracy
    • Dinah Shore - Tess Trueheart
    • Harry Von Zel - Old Judge Hooper
    • Jerry Colona - The Police Chief
    • Bob Hope - Flattop
    • Frank Morgan - Vitamin Flintheart
    • Jimmy Durante - The Mole
    • Judy Garland - Snowflake
    • Andrew Sisters - Summer Sisters
    • Frank Sinatra - Shaky
    • Cass Daley - Gravel Gertie

    REVIEW:  On February 15, 1945, Command Performance got together an incredible cast of entertainers and put together this two-part musical-comedy adaption based on the popular comic strip "Dick Tracy."  The plot, revolving around the constant interruptions of Dick (played by Bing Crosby) and his sweetheart Tess Trueheart (a zingy Dinah Shore), plays fast and loose, with none of the stars even attempting to create a character, but allowing their own unique personalities to carry the day.  Bing is smooth and mellow as Tracy, Bob Hope is hopeless as Flattop, breaking up in nearly every scene he's allowed into, Frank Morgan plays a dashing Vitamin Flintheart, Jimmy Durante is his usual schnozz self as the Mole, Judy Garland is bright and giggly as Snowflake, The Andrew Sisters do a cameo as the Summer Sisters (May, June and July - leading to Bob Hope cracking a joke about swooning over July because she's "hot") and Frank Sinatra not showing up until the end as the hapless "Shakey."  If this were played straight, it might have been more interesting, but the cast simply can't keep a straight face through all the corny jokes and asides, and the show ends up resembling a wayward episode of The Carol Burnett Show, with Bob trying to break up everyone around him, and finding a croney in the susceptable Garland.  Frank here is underused, becoming the butt of several 'skinny' jokes, and singing a re-written lyric to "Sunday, Monday, and Always" (now retitled "Tracey, Shakey, and Flattop.") but it's all in good fun, with the lyrics to each of the songs being tweaked to fit the frippery, Judy Garland sings "Somewhere Over A Barrel" and Bob Hope sings "I'm The (flat)Top" to the tune of Cole Porter's "You're The Top."  The CD is split into only two tracks, one for each half of the show, and the sound is about what you'd expect for a 1945 radio broadcast.  A curiousity, and fun for fans of these classic performers. 

    On The Radio: The Lucky Strike "Lite-Up Time" Shows - 1949-1950
    Acrobat Music 013 [CD];
    Released October 21, 2008

    lucky strike
    1. The Best Things In Life Are Free 1:48   
    2. You Do Something To Me 1:47   
    3. I Only Have Eyes For You 2:49   
    4. All Of Me 1:41   
    5. Maybe It's Because 2:59   
    6. Some Enchanted Evening 3:00   
    7. Look What You've Done To My Heart 1:32   
    8. There's Yes Yes In Your Eyes 1:41   
    9. Every Time I Meet You 2:53   
    10. You're Breaking My Heart 2:07   
    11. I've Got A Crush On You 1:58   
    12. It All Depends On You 1:43   
    13. A Man Wrote A Song 2:47   
    14. A Little Bit Of Heaven 2:42
    15. Don'cha Go 'Way Mad 1:18   
    16. It Isn't Fair 3:17   
    17. Body & Soul 3:31
    18. Put Your Dreams Away For Another Day 0:51

    REVIEW:  Acrobat, the label that was responsible for three live concert CD's a few years back, have come back into view with this collection of rare live performances from Sinatra's short-lived Lucky Strike-sponsored shows. (So round!  So firm!  So fully-packed!)  The package is deceptively designed, however, using Capitol-era photographs for a Columbia-era Frank - this is Frank Sinatra at the end of his Columbia career - despite having lost much of his youth appeal by this time, The "Lite-Up Time" shows showed him still playing that role, and despite the desperation that was creeping into Sinatra's flagging career, he still worked tremendously hard on this show, and delivers on each song, from the sublime "Some Enchanted Evening" to the inane "There's Yes Yes In Your Eyes" (gee, wonder why that one hasn't entered the pantheon of classics).  Unfortunately, the Acrobat label  hasn't preserved the entire shows that these songs originated from, which were fun, personality-and-music driven variety shows, with sketches, guest artists, and LOTS of Sinatra, who was the host and main performer.  Instead we're given song outtakes, and the sound of these nearly sixty-year-old shows isn't the best I've heard - with lots of wow and flutter in the numbers, and generally flat sound.  I'd probably be more excited by this release if On The Air hadn't done such a fine job with their earlier Songs By Sinatra multi-CD sets, and in comparison, this set pales.  But still, for collectors, there's a few rare songs, some wonderful charts by Axel Stordahl, and of course, Frank, nearing his prime.

    Frank Sinatra - A Voice On Air: 1935-1955
    Columbia Legacy 888750997128 [CD];
    Released November 20, 2015

    Frank Sinatra: A Voice on Air (1935-1955), a historic 100+ track, 4-CD deluxe box set culled from an invaluable collection of rare radio broadcasts and rehearsals immaculately restored from the original recording masters for unprecedented high-fidelity sound.

    Meticulously restored and remastered in high-resolution from the original glass and aluminum radio transcription discs and magnetic tape masters these vintage, historic recordings most of them unheard since their original broadcast in the 1940s and 1950s sound more rich and vibrant than ever before. All of the warmth and vibrancy that are hallmarks of Frank Sinatra's vocal brilliance have been preserved, and showcased with unprecedented fidelity.

    REVIEW:  It's taken the major labels a LONG time to get around to documenting Frank's voluminous radio output, and while it's an impressive box - four CDs stuffed with over 100 performances - there are major caveats to enjoying this set.   First, the good stuff: the sound, documentation, and selections are absolutely wonderful - you'd be hard-pressed to tell that these recordings were sourced from glass and aluminum masters or other perishable sources, the sound is rich, full, and mostly free of extraneous noise.  From Frank's earliest recorded appearance on the Major Bowes Variety Show as part of the Hoboken Four, to a 1955 appearance on his own Frank Sinatra Show on NBC, the monophonic sound is clear and present.  And with most of the performances appearing in chronological order, it's easy to trace the arc of Sinatra from unknown to featured soloist as part of Tommy Dorsey's band, to solo star on Columbia and finally Capitol records.  It's hours of listening pleasure, especially is you're an admirer of Frank's RCA and Columbia-era voice, which is smoother and infinitely more watered down than his later persona.  More off-putting is the hack-and-slash approach which the producers used when producing this set, and the somewhat slapdash construction and design of the set itself.  From Michael Feinstein's smug introduction, which falsely claims that most of the "unofficial" radio sets previously released were of notoriously poor quality, fails to acknowledge the excellent Dorsey radio material previously released by RCA, as well as Radio Spirits excellent thirty-disc(!!!) overview of Frank's appearances on complete radio shows, which is now sadly out-of-print.  Also, I have noted on this website several superlative radio shows, captured in excellent quality, from various labels.  To claim that this set surpasses them all is simply false.  In one sense, they surpass this set in one important aspect: both Radio Spirits and "unofficial" labels present complete shows - with guest stars, skits, jokes, and more, that this set excises in order to present solo performances with a bit of chatter.  This set sacrifices context and a lot of history in order to pare everything down to a consumer-friendly four-disc set.  Also, the construction of this box is surprisingly flimsy and unappealing, with the black-heavy cover obscuring Frank's picture, and the box and booklet small and cheap-looking.  It's certainly worth getting for fans of the era, but I'd charge that the producers severely underestimated the true value of these shows, and how much fans appreciate the full experience.

    Frank Sinatra - Lost &  Found: The Radio Years

    Smithsonian/Columbia/Legacy 888751471429 [CD];
    Released November 20, 2015

    The Smithsonian has announced the exclusive release of Frank Sinatra: Lost and Found—The Radio Years in partnership with Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings. The album consists of 26 recordings done exclusively for radio in the 1940s and 1950s; 12 songs were never recorded commercially by Sinatra. The songs that he later recorded are heard on this disc with musical backings that are significantly different from those done commercially.

    The CD is available through the Smithsonian’s website and at Smithsonian museum stores.

    REVIEW:  In conjunction with the release of Columbia Legacy's four-disc set reviewed above, a "bonus" fifth disc, containing an additional twenty-six recordings previously unreleased, including twelve which Sinatra never released commercially on any of his albums.  Collector's shouldn't expect this release to be any different from what is released on the box set - in format and detail it exactly matches the box set - it literally is a fifth disc that has to be purchased separately.  The performances are perhaps a shade less essential, with such non-essential listens as "Empty Saddles" and "Powder Your Face With Sunshine" hinting at reasons why these performances didn't rate to be included in the above-mentioned box.  But otherwise, this set is another pleasant listen - not essential, but nice - with Frank in excellent voice, and showing off far more humor and self-abasing humility that he is generally given credit for.  And if he doesn't swing "I Get A Kick Out Of You"  or reach the emotive depths he later would with "You'll Never Walk Alone" and "I Should Care" he makes up for it in great measure with his long, languid phrasing, and warm tone that would later roughen and deepen.  Again, I miss the context that these performances were taken from - but as a glimpse into Frank's amazing work ethic and of the era in which they were pulled, this is a fine album, and worth picking up.

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