For the conclusion to Derek's inquiry above, see the following thread:
Any 1935 buffs out there?
I have two original " V" discs of Frank.
Recorded sometime in WW2.
So that's between 1939 and 1945 isn't it.
Bing is on the flip side of one of them.
They are well worn, but so am I.
I was born in 1943
In today's NY Post there is an article about the soon to be Dec 2006 auction of Sinatra's first recording (record).
..Guernsey's auction house will handle the auction.
..This 1939 recording of the song "Our Love"is on a 78 speed record.
..This is the first record that Sinatra's name appears alone.
..Estimated values range from $100,000. to $1 Million ?
"Your getting to be a habit with me"...Sinatra Now & Forever!
How much would FS "V" discs be worth? On the flip side...Bing.
Earlier posts of relevance:
Unreleased Frank Recordings
The First Recording
What's the oldest known surviving Sinatra recording?
The posts by Chuck Granata and Bernhard Vogel are especially informative. The latter includes a picture of the "Our Love" record label.
From the Jersey section of today's New York Times comes an article by Kevin Coyne:
Complete article here: Sinatra’s First, Freed at LastTHE most valuable object the late Frank Mane ever owned spent decades in a jumbled drawer in the living room of his apartment here — a heavy 78-r.p.m. disc of “Our Love” that he recorded in 1939, filed casually among newspaper clippings, sheet music, letters and other mementos from his long career as a musician. In the unlikely event that a listener couldn’t recognize the unmistakable voice of the singer, Mr. Mane wrote the name on the label in his spidery black hand: “by Frank Sinatra.”
I have known about this for some time and I am skeptical. We have a copy or two of this recording. Their's is not the only one.
Nancy...I'm so happy to hear you have a copy of this recording. When I first read about it, I thought you didn't have it and I felt like an important part of your father was missing from you, it made me feel for you. Thanks for brightening my day!
Was this recorded for Nancy Sr. or Frank's mother Dolly?
One of the above posters claimed it was a gift for Dolly, but then corrected himself and stated it was a wedding gift for Nancy Sr. As Bernhard Vogel explains (see here):
For more about the "Our Love" auction, which will be held by Guernsey's on December 5th, in NYC at Jazz at Lincoln Center, see here:
Lot 25: Sinatra First Studio Recording, "Our Love" 1939
There are four photographs in that description, including one of a hand-signed letter from Frank Sinatra. (Mouse over the thumbnails to view.) The complete text description is quite fascinating.
The upcoming auction, and the fact that the link provided by Bob (thanks for that!) contains for the first time a complete list of the session personnel for March 18, 1939, inspired me to write a song portrait for "Our Love" in both German and English language for our German website this afternoon.
Although most of the info is already assembled here throughout bits of earlier links and postings, I thought I might present the English version here as well, for compact future reference. (Please notify me of any possible errors/typos/omissions etc. and I will correct them, as usual).
FRANK & FRANK:
HOW „OUR LOVE“ CAME HERE TO STAY
by Bernhard Vogel
Once Frank Sinatra had finished his working with the „Hoboken Four“ (1935/1936), which had brought him first fame through Major Bowes' Amateur Hour Show’s concert tour, he started to work for local music clubs again, and in late 1937 got the now historical engagement at the Rustic Cabin (in Englewood Cliffs near Alpine/NJ) that stretched well into 1939 and would eventually lead to him being „discovered“ and subsequently hired by Harry James.
Stage work aside, Sinatra also continued to pursue any chance to get himself aired over local radio stations, such as WAAT in Jersey City, and it was there that in 1937 he first met, and subsequently became personal friends with, Frank Mane (1904-1998), a classically trained violinist from New Jersey who worked as saxophonist and clarinetist for a number of local bands at the time. In March 1939, Mane formed a group of his own, in order to lay down some demo recordings that should enable him to apply for a newly formed Swing band’s reeds section at the West Coast. Having assembled ten musicians for that purpose, Mane rented a small recording studio in New York City (Harry Smith’s, at 2 West 46th St in Manhattan) for a March 18th date.
The previous night, Mane and Sinatra met (as they did often) at the „Sicilian Club“ in Bayonne/NJ (where Mane lived at the time), a location both of them had frequented often in the past, with Sinatra himself reportedly having performed there earlier as well. Sinatra, as Mane later recalled, asked him whether it would be possible to attend the studio session at Harry Smith’s – Mane agreed, and so, Sinatra was present when things got rolling there the next day.
Mane and his band recorded three instrumentals, each one of it being laid down on an individual 12-inch, 78rpm Lacquer Disc, as was common these days for demo recordings (or also, recordings for radio transcriptions, then usually in 16-inch-format). Aside from a piece titled „Eclipse“ (I have no further info on this tune – anybody has a clue?), Mane recorded „The Flight Of The Bumblebee“ (the most famous orchestral piece composed by Nikolai Rimski-Korsakov in 1899/1900 for his opera „The Tale Of Tzar Saltan“) and an instrumental version of Sonny Clap’s song „Girl Of My Dreams“, which had been performed by Gene Austin, Louis Armstrong and others since 1927 (Bing Crosby, in June 1939, would make a recording of it with Scott Trotter’s orchestra).
When the recordings were in the can, Frank Sinatra suddenly realised his chance – there was still some amount left from the booked studio time, the musicians were assembled, and there was space on the Lacquer disc containing „Eclipse“. So, he stepped up to the microphone and laid down his very first studio recording – March 18, 1939, therefore must have been a dream come true for Sinatra, who had onged to work with an orchestra that way for some time. (Two months later, for instance, in a similar way, he attended some concert rehearsal by the Bob Chester Orchestra at New York City’s Steinway Hall and successfully insisted on being given the chance to sing some numbers with the band, just for the experience of it.)
Given the fact that throughout his life, Frank Sinatra was a great fan, and connaisseur, of classical music, and counted Russian genius Piotr Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) among his most favourite composers in that area, I think it is a very poignant footnote to the Sinatra Story that Frank’s very first studio-recorded song actually was a piece adapted from Tchaikovsky: OUR LOVE is based on Tchaikovsky’s famous „fantasy overture“ „Romeo and Juliet“ (Tchaikovsky op.18), that the composer conceived in late 1869, setting to music Shakespeare’s famous drama.
(Aside note: Among several later songs performed by Sinatra that were based on themes from classical composers, there would be two other Tchaikovsky-adaptions in particular gaining Sinatra fame: „None But The Lonely Heart“ and „Moon Love“. A third one, „The Things I Love“, that Sinatra performed with Dorsey in 1941 but didn’t record in the studio, remains largely unknown).
Another aspect of Sinatra’s recording with Mane that one might name as forshadowing future events/schemes, is the fact that with „Our Love“ Sinatra was covering the Billboard chart topper of the time.
Larry Clinton (1909-1985), a trumpeter and trombonist from New York City, who had proven his arranging skills for the legendary „Casa Loma“-orchestra and also worked for Tommy Dorsey before forming his own band in 1937, had written the musical adaption of Tchaikovsky’s theme, and had in early 1939 just issued a recording of it on RCA Victor, with his own orchestra (which by then was among the most popular dance bands in America) and vocals by young Bea Wain (*1917). The single rocketed to the Billboard charts (10 weeks) and reached #1 position. And Bea Wain would be chosen by Billboard as „most popular vocalist“ for 1939. (A title soon to be conquered by Frank Sinatra...)
The simple yet charming lyrics to „Our Love“ were provided by the team of Buddy Bernier and Robert Emmerich, who had seen a modest hit with their 1937 song „The Big Apple“ that Tommy Dorsey had recorded with his „Clambake Seven“ (including Emmerich himself at the piano, and with vocals by Edyth Wright). In 1940, Bernier and Emmerich would write the English lyrics to the German song „Hör‘ mein Lied, Violetta“ (made famous in Germany by Willy Glahé’s orchestra), which then became another hit song through Dorsey-Sinatra’s recording „Here My Song, Violetta“.
Frank Sinatra himself never came back to „Our Love“ in later years – yet, there is another „Sinatra“ recording of the song!
Well, once Clinton-Wain’s recording had become so popular, as usual in those days quite a few other bands and singers picked up on it and covered the song through own recordings, and one of them was Ray Sinatra, a cousin of Frank’s (I think Ray’s father was a cousin of Frank’s father), who led his own dancefloor band with considerable success. He arranged „Our Love“ for his band singer, young Mary Martin (1913-1990), who had just gained national fame through her 1938 original version of Cole Porter’s marvelous „risqué“-classic „My Heart Belongs To Daddy“ and would later be counted as one of Broadway’s leading performers alongside Ethel Merman. (In 1940, Martin recorded her first 78-set-album „Mary Martin – An Album of Cole Porter Songs“, also accompanied by Ray Sinatra, for Decca Records).
(Another aside note – funnily enough, the aforementioned Bernier-Emmerich „Hear My Song Violetta“ by Dorsey-Sinatra was later also adapted by Ray Sinatra, and again for Martin – a young Tony Martin this time, however).
Anyway – back to „The Voice“:
Frank Sinatra’s March 18, 1939 recording of „Our Love“ with Frank Mane was pressed onto the Lacquer disc containing „Eclipse“, and the original disc remained in Mane’s private posession, while Sinatra but a few months later started his rise to stardom with Harry James. It seems logical that Sinatra himself had also been given a copy of the disc at the time, but according to Mane, this was not the case.
Several years later, a couple of 45rpm vinyl pressings (and obviously some tapes, too) were made of the recording, which subsequently (while remaining „officially“ unreleased to this date!) wound up on some unofficial collectors‘ releases. Frank Sinatra himself was presented with a copy in 1979 by Frank Mane, and in March 1980 wrote back in a personal letter to Mane (which is now part of the auction mentioned above):
Dear Frank and Mary,
belatedly but most appreciatively, I want to thank you so much for the wonderful tape. I have been on the road for the past several months, and am just now getting caught up on my mail. The tape brought back many fond memories. It was wonderful seing you, too...
That’s the story – so if you wish, the beginning was „Frank & Frank“.
And the open end, frankly, of course remains „Our Love“ (i.e.: For Frank).
Based on „Romeo & Juliet“ by Piotr I. Tchaikovsky (op. 18, 1869)
Music adapted by Larry Clinton, lyrics by Buddy Bernier & Robert Emmerich (1939)
Introduced by the Larry Clinton Orchestra (Bea Wain, vocals) in 1939
I feel it everywhere,
through the night-time it is the message of the breeze.
is like an evening prayer,
I can hear it in every whisper of the trees
And so, you're always near to me,
wherever you may be,
I see your face in stars above
as I dream on in all the magic of
Recorded by Frank Sinatra on March 18, 1939, in New York City at Harry Smith’s Recording Studio (2 West/46th St., Manhattan)
Arrangement: Frank Mane
Orchestra conducted by Frank Mane:
Jimmy Morreale, Tommy d’Agostino (trumpet); Pete Skinner (trombone); Sonny Hockstein, David Harris (saxophone); Frank Mane (alto saxophone, clarinet); Harry Shuckman (reeds); Henry Lapidus (piano); Bill Burbella (bass); Don Rigney (drums)
I've really enjoyed reading this thread.
I bet Frank had no idea about the significence of his actions on that day.The next small step in his fledgling career and yet 70 years on it is rightly now considered a landmark event.
I just hope whoever bids and aquires the LP is a Frank lover and not a money maker.
'Cause he was Sensational....Thats all!
***whoever bids and aquires the LP ***
Just to be sure, Mark - it is a 78rpm 12-inch single Lacquer disc, not an LP.
No excuses Bernhard...I'm old enough to know the difference.
'Cause he was Sensational....Thats all!
...will likely have deep pockets. It should be very interesting to see what it goes for.
(Thanks for the essay, Bernhard.)
WOW thanks Bernhard for that lovely post!! I learned so much from you as usual. Reading the lyrics I can obviously see why he would dedicate this song to his wife. Very beautiful lyrics.
That must have been such a special day for Frank. The beginning of it all.
This was released legitimately in Germany years back? So have you heard this recording Bernhard? What does it sound like very similar to the Harry James stuff?
***This was released legitimately in Germany years back? ***
Regarding the SFF policies, Melissa, let me put it rather this way: By present European laws, copyright protection has expired in 1989 (50 years after the recording), so any sort of release of the tune is "legal" over here. As far as I see aka know, none of the European LP and CD releases carrying this tune has been "legitimate" in terms of being officially endorsed by Frank Mane and/or his people, who own the recording.
(Note @all: I'm posting this for clarification purposes and most of all to AVOID it might be taken to pursue the well-known can of worms... let's keep this here thread focused on the music, okay?)
***So have you heard this recording Bernhard?***
Yes, I'm familiar with it since a couple of years, as are many others.
***What does it sound like, very similar to the Harry James stuff?***
Maybe not explicitly James - rather, I'd say, like some of the early romantic Dorsey ballads. Sinatra's talent to "float along a romantic song lyric" - hence, one of the key things that would make him so popular soon - is all there already. It's a fine recording (runs 4:24 minutes).
Me, too, I'm quite curious about the possible outcome of the auction.
Original Lacquer discs surviving in good & playable shape always attract high biddings (several such discs made for 40s radio transcriptions survive from various shows/artists, including Sinatra, and usually get high prices) already, but given that this is a unique original (much much rarer than, say, an original copy of the Brunswick 4332 shellack carrying Sinatra's first commercial studio recording with Harry James issued on record in 1939), I'd expect a very high price. I hope the Lacquer will be bought by someone (or an institution) able to ensure professionally protective conservation, plus professionally digitalisation from the disc for official release purposes.
Thanks so much Bernhard.
You are lucky you heard the recording, I bet it sounded beautiful.
I'm sure this is going to go for a very HIGH price!!!