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Thread: The first Recording "Our Love"

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2001

    The first Recording "Our Love"

    I was just listening this evening to the Sony Harry James/ Sinatra recordings cd from a few years back, and was wondering what the oldest surviving Sinatra performance is.

    Any ideas? Is it in the hands of the Sinatra family? I imagine it's a radio transcription.

    Any ideas?

  2. #2
    I could be wrong, but I think that the earliest recording is the song "Shine" that he performed with the Hoboken 4 in Major Bowes. That was in the mid to late 30's. I haven't listened to the CD in a while, but I think Nancy included it on the CD that came with "An American Legend" I am hoping someone proves me wrong, but I believe that's the earliest

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    New York City

    Earliest Recording

    You're right! I think? It was preserved by Major Bowes, SHINE and CURSE OF AN ACHING HEART. There was also
    a film of Frank doing SHINE but (and forgive me if I'm wrong) it is not known to have survived. The date, September 1935.
    Politically incorrect? Yep, I guess so, but who knew in 1935?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2002

    First record

    The Demo "Our Love" which FS did with the Frank Manne orchestra in 1939 was actually a record and was the first I believe. The songs "Shine' and 'Aching Heart" while made earlier (1935) were not actual recordings but were taken off the air. Splitting hairs maybe but true. Then of course "From The Bottom Of My Heart" and the flip side "Melancholy Mood" were the first 'official' recordings FS ever made, in 1939.
    Jim L

  5. #5
    pal joey Guest
    Apparently a home recording of Frank with an unknown accompanist performing "Roses Of Picardy," from sometime before 1939, survives. It's in lousy shape (I've heard a .wav recording of part of it) and the last I heard, which was a year or two ago, work was being done to try to improve the sound. Does anyone else have any info about this historic recording?


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    New York City

    Hi Jim,

    Yes, SHINE and CURSE were airchecks preserved from live radio performances. Do you think I have a clue what that
    means? My memory is good, but technologically I'm still in the stone age. The question asked about
    a recorded performance,and I suppose an aircheck qualifies, unless it's something they do to the tires at a filling station.
    Hmmmmmm come to think of it, I my tires are due for an aircheck, and the car could use a shine too. We city folks
    just don't know much about those things.

    P.J., this could be the start of something big, but nope, I never heard tell of a recording of ROSES by Sinatra prior
    to the GREAT SONGS FROM GREAT BRITAIN album. The song was kicking around since WW1, so it could be possible that it was sung at some informal occasion. But I wonder why.Very interesting, and if you say you heard it, of course I
    believe you.Keep us posted.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    New Jersey

    Airchecks/first FS recording

    Hi All,

    Well, an air check is something you MIGHT have done at the filling station! But, when it comes to recordings, "airchecks" are the disc recordings made of broadcast (aired) radio performances. These are also commonly called "transcriptions."

    During the pre-tape 1940s, the only way of providing a pre-recorded program to multiple stations within a radio network (CBS, ABC, NBC) was to record it on 16-inch acetate discs. Copies of those discs were made and distributed to the network affiliates around the country, who played them at the appropriate time in their broadcast schedules.

    Since the shows were performed and recorded "live" (in real time, from start to finish), the artists needed to gather together in a radio studio at least once a week. This bothered Bing Crosby, who much preferred to be on the golf course! Then, Crosby was bugged that often, a comedy sketch from the pre-broadcast rehearsal was superior to that which occured during the aired show. When he heard of the flexibility of magnetic recording tape in 1947, he was intrigued. Tape, he realized, would allow him the flexibility of taping when he wanted, AND the opportunity to edit out inferior performances. His interest and financial investment in tape recording technology was essential in bringing tape recording into the studios in the late 1940s.

    As for Frank's first known recording, it is the Major Bowes recording. The "Roses Of Picardy" disc from 1939 is the property of the owner, a citizen of Hoboken. I believe they donated the disc itself to the Hoboken Historical Society, who is preserving it. Perhaps someday it will be cleaned up and legitimately released...

    Chuck Granata

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2002

    I stand corrected

    I must defer to Chuck Granata's superior knowledge in matters of this sort. And by the way Chuck, kudos to you and your associates for the brilliant Hollywood Years package.
    Jim L

  9. #9

    The first Recording [merged]

    I don't know if this is the appropriate thread to ask,but here I go...

    What is the first recording of Frank Sinatra? As far as I know is FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART or maybe OUR LOVE.Can anyone answer this question and provide a date of recording?

    Thank you very much.

  10. #10
    Our Love was a private recording Frank made to give his mother. I believe it was made in 1937. Frank joined Harry James the next year so From The Bottom came later.

  11. #11

    Thumbs up sinatra's first.

    hi stefano, sinatra's first studio recording was done on july 13, 1939 in new york with harry james and his orchestra.
    the first song was 1] from the bottom of my heart #b25057-1 and on the flip side 2] melancholy mood #b25059-1.
    in all sinatra recorded 10 songs with harry james in his 6 month stay with the band.
    all the songs as well as some alternate takes and live radio performances, are available on the 1995 columbia/legacy CD harry james and his orchestra, featuring frank sinatra [CK-66377]
    sinatra sounds young and great. thanks, joe...

  12. #12
    Our Love was also a studio recording made, as I said, prior to Bottom. So it is actually Frank's first. Columbia "borrowed" the Sinatra-James airchecks from a Hindsight CD I compiled from Harry's private aircheck transcription discs to use on the CD. They never asked permission, by the way.


  13. #13
    Peter, are you referring to Hinsight HCD 263? Those tracks are different to the Columbia FS-Harry James issue or had been issued before on other CDs.

    "Our Love" was done on 03-18-1939 with the Frank Mane orchestra. It was no Sinatra original, but a song Larry Clinton had recorded before with Bea Wain on vocals. The tune itself is for the most part an adaption from Tchaikovsky's "Romeo and Juliet". Frank Mane (1904-1998), who conducts the orchestra here for FS, and Sinatra had met the night before at the Bayonne Sicilian club.

    The recording was made as some kind of 'demo record' I understand, at a New York City studio, Larry Smith's Recording Studio at 2 West 46th Street (Manhattan), on that date.
    Personnel included Harry Shuckman (reeds) and Don Rigney (drums).

    At the same date, three more songs were recorded, none of them featuring vocals by Sinatra: "Flight Of The Bumbee", "Eclipse", and "Girl Of My Dreams".


  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Peter: How are you? Will we ever get the Complete Capitol that the late Pete Welding promised back in the early 1990's? I understand Hindsight has more material on Sinatra?

    How about another Sinatra:Like Never Before?Or a new version of the Kat Whisker box with the Our Love on it.? Best, Ron.

  15. #15



    On the Columbia single James/Sinatra CD there are airchecks along with the studio performances. Those airchecks were the same as previously released on Hindsight. Hindsight has no more James/Sinatra material. The original air check transcriptions were returned to the James Estate. The combined 16 tracks released on the Big Band Memories box set and the single CD All Or Nothing At All on Hindsight are of all the songs Frank sang during the live appearances. The songs were repeated at different venues/broadcasts and I tried to pick the best versions -except when only one such as Star Dust was available.

    Thanks for the correct date on "Our Love".

    Hi Ronald, the Kat Wisker 8 LPs were for the radio show Frank Sinatra: Biography In Song. It was only licensed for radio broadcast. If you have a copy you're lucky. I no longer work at Capitol so have no say in what they do. Almost all the Sinatra recordings have been released by them except for one or two and some alternate takes. Pete Welding passed away about 6 years ago.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Peter: Your work is always of course excellent. The passing of Pete Welding was of course a tragedy. Best, Ron.

  17. #17

    slight confusion re Hindsight vs Columbia

    *** On the Columbia single James/Sinatra CD there are airchecks along with the studio performances. Those airchecks were the same as previously released on Hindsight. Hindsight has no more James/Sinatra material. The original air check transcriptions were returned to the James Estate. The combined 16 tracks released on the Big Band Memories box set and the single CD All Or Nothing At All on Hindsight are of all the songs Frank sang during the live appearances. ***

    Hello Peter,

    maybe we are talking about different CDs? I had in mind the following:

    The Hindsight CD „All Or Nothing At All“ (HCD 263) has the following airchecks featuring Sinatra vocals:

    07-13-39 New York City, Roseland Ballroom
    I Poured My Heart Into A Song (#11)

    07-31-39 Atlantic City, Steel Pier Marine Ballroom
    To You (#10)

    08-05-39 Atlantic City, Steel Pier Marine Ballroom
    From The Bottom Of My Heart (#8)
    Let’s Disappear (#16)

    08-10-39 New York City, Roseland Ballroom
    My Buddy (#2)
    Melancholy Mood (#6)

    08-31-39 New York City, NY World’s Fair, Flushing Radio Building
    All Or Nothing At All (#4)
    Here Comes The Night (#13)

    11-09-39 Hollywood, Victor Hugo’s
    On A Little Street In Singapore (#15)

    Where as Columbia/Legacy CD „Harry James & Orchestra“ featuring FS (CK 66377) has the following airchecks, which are different from the Hindsight CD:

    07-08-39 New York City, Roseland Ballroom
    Stardust (#15)
    Wishing Will Make It So (#16)

    07-10-39 New York City, Roseland Ballroom
    If I Didn’t Care (#17)
    The Lamp Is Low (#18)

    07-24-39 Atlantic City, Steel Pier Marine Ballroom
    My Love For You (#19)

    08-10-39 New York City, Roseland Ballroom
    Moon Love (#20)
    This Is No Dream (#21)

    I don’t have the Big Band Memories Box set, so I assume the Columbia tracks are all on that Hindsight Box (since they are not on the HCD-263)? Do you have the catalogue number at hand? Would love to locate that box somewhere. (Or is it the HBCD-503 3 CD set mentioned in the HCD-263 liner notes?)

    Great notes and layout on the Hindsight HCD 263 by the way. A well done CD in my opinion. (Same goes for the Columbia one, too). "Produced and compiled by Pete Kline" Congrats!


    PS: There is one more track adding to the above 16, "All Or Nothing At All" from 07-19-39 (NYC Flushing), released on MastersOfJazz MJCD 53, but of course the song itself is already featured.

  18. #18

    thanks a lot

    thanks to all of you for your answers.Well,It seems you are too well informed.I think I will learn a lot from you.I' m glad to join this web site!

  19. #19

    Sorry about my confusion. The airchecks that Columbia used on their CD were from the HBCD-503 "Bandstand Memories" box set (available from The CD you have contains additional songs from the James archive and came out after the box set. The original transcriptions were so noisy that in 1979 when Hindsight was founded by Wally Heider, they could not be used. Wally was friends with Harry and Harry licensed the air checks (or sometimes know as air shots!) to Hindsight. The material was given originally to the Library of Congress by Harry. They copied down all the songs and sent back the original transcription discs to Harry. By the time I joined Hindsight in 1992, the label had Sonic Solutions' digital No Noise equipment in their studio. We were able to salvage the Sinatra and Dick Haymes vocals which had been almost inaudible underneath all the hash.
    Glad you liked the packages. I'm particularly proud of the box set. We missed being nominated for a Grammy in the historic category by one vote I am told. Must have been a hanging chad!


  20. #20
    Thanks very much, Peter, for the additional background info re Hindsight and the licensing! Just ordered the Bandstand Memory box.


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