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Thread: First Australian Concert Tour....

  1. #1
    Guest

    Question First Australian Concert Tour....

    With Sinatra's career on the upswing he made a concert trip to Australia in January, 1955 and by all accounts the trip was highly successful.
    Was any recordings made of this concert tour that's available ?
    Thanks, Joe....

  2. #2
    Guest
    Hi Joe,

    I copy in a short piece on the 1955 tour that I wrote two years ago for a European magazine. Nothing from the tour has been officially released.

    Bernhard.

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    Having arrived at Smith Airport in Kingsford the day before, on January 17, 1955, Frank Sinatra (39) performed in Australia for the first time. He opened at West Melbourne Stadium for what was dubbed „The Big Tour“, featuring female vocalist Anne McCormack and comedian Frank D’Amor who following his solo act would introduce the singer.

    Two nights before the tour started, back in the States, the film musical „Young At Heart“ (Warner Bros.) starring Sinatra and Doris Day had opened at the movie theatres – and on stage, as the reports have it, Sinatra sounded just that!

    Being on his first concert trip abroad since the partly desastrous European tour of 1953, the singer appeared to have regained both confidence and performing powers, following almost two years of recording for Capitol. For many music lovers to this day, the early Capitol years define the absolute peak of Sinatra’s vocal artistry, when a matured singer with impeccable interpretative skills could do anything he wanted with his voice. In addition to his studio recordings for Capitol, Sinatra had done some more excellent recording work with small group for his NBC radio show „To Be Perfectly Frank“, that started in the fall of 1953 and was well into its second season on air (now sponsored by ‚Bobbi Home Permanents‘) when Sinatra came to Australia in 1955.

    Backed by the local Dennis Collinson orchestra augmented by Frank‘s regulars Bud Shank on saxophone, Max Albright on drums, Nick Bonny on guitar and of course, Bill Miller on piano, who also did the conducting, Sinatra would perform a bunch of recently recorded Capitol chestnuts, including the title song of his new movie, as well as some songs from the Columbia catalogue.

    Sinatra talked to the local press and radio personalities extensively, doing long interviews at Melbourne’s Savoy Plaza Hotel on January 19 before the show, and in spite of the occasional hostile remark he received a very friendly welcome throughout.

    His daughter Nancy (14) accompanied Sinatra on the trip, and fourty years later she shared some bitter-sweet memories in her book "An American Legend", indicating that her father had a short affair with Miss McCormack.

    After four nights and six shows in Melbourne, the entourage moved on to Sydney for two nights, then back to Melbourne for an additional five shows, to close on January 25 at the Town Hall, since the Stadium had been destroyed by fire in the interim.

    In retrospect, these concerts added a footnote to Sinatra history because at the closing of the tour, Sinatra would perform his Columbia chestnut „The Music Stopped“ for the last time on a concert stage. The music didn’t stop, of course, and back home in early February, Sinatra and Nelson Riddle would start recordings for their legendary album „In The Wee Small Hours“.

    (written in 2002)

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  3. #3
    Guest

    Thumbs up Thank You, Bernhard.....

    Bernhard, Thanks for the very imformative follow-up on my question, it sound like Sinatra was in top form and it's interesting to find out there was something recorded from this concert tour.
    I would hope to see something officially put together and released for us fans sometime in the future.
    Thanks again for the effort, Joe....

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