Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 60

Thread: Frank Sinatra's To Be Perfectly Frank radio show

  1. #1

    Frank Sinatra's To Be Perfectly Frank radio show

    Does anyone know any details about this radio series? There are songs on Nancy's new Jazz appreciation show from it!

    Here's what I know so far. It was really a DJ show where Frank played records (mostly CAPITOL records) by many artists. The interesting part was once or twice a show Frank would play a pre-recorded new Frank Sinatra recording. These were done with small combos and they included songs that Frank never recorded or recorded in much different arrangements. Frank Sinatra at the peak of his powers just at the beginning of the Capitol era. Awesome!! I would assume the recordings were made at a couple different sessions with multiple songs done and then spread out over the show times. (it was a twice weekly show I believe)

    So here's what I'm wondering. Is there ever a chance any of these performances could see the light of day via legit release? I'm sure there are many obstacles that would prevent such a CD. It seems like such a treasure trove of awesome UNHEARD (since the 50s)Frank Sinatra recordings. Do any of the original recording sessions survive? Were they done at Capitol records studios or a radio station? Or is everything we have today from the transcription discs that were sent to radio stations back in the day.

    Looking forward to hearing these when the Nancy for Frank Jazz appreciation show is repeated.
    Steve

  2. #2
    Guest

    To Be Perfectly Frank

    From Today in FS history:

    NOVEMBER 3, 1953: Within a month after debuting in his Rocky Fortune show, FS took on still another radio program, [To Be] Perfectly Frank, a breezy, twice-weekly, 15-minute series in which he performed as both soloist and DJ for hits from other stars. This one had an eight-month run.
    See also Video Killed The Radio Star for more information about To Be Perfectly Frank. I list some of the accompanying musicians of the "Sinatra Symphonette" in my post in the current Nancy For Frank thread for Jazz Appreciation Month: Radio and TV Tracks.

    Quote Originally Posted by stevelucille View Post
    So here's what I'm wondering. Is there ever a chance any of these performances could see the light of day via legit release?
    Like many similar questions about concert performances, I'm sure that Nancy will be unable to comment. In the meantime, listening to Nancy For Frank is a good way to hear some of these tracks. They're played often on her SIRIUS XM program.

  3. #3
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by stevelucille View Post
    it was a twice weekly show I believe
    The 15-minute program aired on NBC radio on Tuesday and Friday nights, from 8:15 to 8:30 p.m. It ran for 35 weeks (70 shows), from November 3, 1953 to July 2, 1954. It was entirely pre-recorded, in Hollywood. (I would assume at an NBC radio studio, but I have no specific information as to the site.)

    The program opened (and closed) with the theme "Walking and Whistlin' Blues" by Les Paul. That was followed by announcer Eddie King's introduction (and closing). The programs were tightly scripted and included popular records of the day, plus Frank's special unique material with the jazz quintet combo, the Sinatra Symphonette (piano, drums, bass, guitar, and reeds/flute). Scripts were by Bob Smith; the director was Andy Love of Hollywood.

    Transcriptions were broadcast by AFRS over the Armed Forces Radio Network, and I believe those transcription discs are the source of most of the surviving show material.

  4. #4
    Thanks Bob! As always THE source for knowledge of all things Sinatra!
    Steve

  5. #5
    I've heard some of these recordings, they are absolutly superb and they would be at the top of my list of 'things that i wish were released'.. there are some incredible versions of songs that FS never recorded before or since.. and it's that intimate sound that he always used so effectively, but perhaps never more then in that early-mid 50's 'in the wee small hours'-era.

  6. #6
    I do not have Sirius radio, so I didn't hear Nancy play them there, but I have heard a handful of these tracks on a public radio program which had an episode focusing on Frank's small-band jazz (or jazz-like) work.

    The program (which aired in 2007) presented mostly the Norvo 1959 material, and a track or two each from the Columbia and Capitol years, including, for instance, "Why Can't You Behave?." Then there were a few of these To Be Perfectly Frank tracks, and I've gotta say, style-wise they really get me, and as far as FS vocals, this time period is a real sweet spot.

    Like Mike, an official release of these tracks tops my FS wish list. I wonder if there's any chance of this happening. Has there been any substantive public discussion regarding an official release this material? I'd snap it up in a heartbeat!

  7. #7
    I thought I'd add some additional illumination to this discussion by pointing out that a couple of these remarkable, jazzy, small-band performances can be heard in episode 101 of The Frank Truth. You'll hear two 15-minute episodes of To Be Perfectly Frank, from April 1954. Among other songs, Frank spins versions of "Sposin'" and "Don't Blame Me" which were recorded specifically for the show, in the small-band format.

    http://franktruth.noebie.com/2008/07...tly-frank.html

  8. #8
    [QUOTE=Bob;873546]The 15-minute program aired on NBC radio on Tuesday and Friday nights, from 8:15 to 8:30 p.m. It ran for 35 weeks (70 shows), from November 3, 1953 to July 2, 1954. QUOTE]

    Great singing by Frank at his peak. I'm probably one of the few on the forum old enough to have been a regular listener to "To Be Perfectlly Frank" back in the mid '50's. I remember listening to the program at supper time as a kid and recall that it was on at about 7:15. I could be wrong but thought it was earlier than the 8:15 time listed. Maybe there was more than one NBC feed. Intimate small combo performances including many songs Frank never recorded.

    During that same period, his Capitol recordings included such as I've Got the World on a String, Don't Worry 'Bout Me, Three Coins in the Fountan, Young at Heart, Learnin' the Blues, Love and Marriage, Day in Day Out and the albums "Songs for Young Lovers,'' "Swing Easy" and "Wee Small Hours."

    A great period for Frank's music (and his movies). A CD set of his vocals from that program would be a treasure.

  9. #9
    Guest
    A comment from another thread...
    Quote Originally Posted by Harley View Post
    I want nothing more than an official release of the complete "To Be Perfectly Frank" recordings.
    It occurs to me that this would be a perfect project for a limited edition release from Mosaic Records. I wonder if Frank Sinatra Enterprises has or would consider this?

    (I'm prompted to suggest this by the recent announcement of a Bing Crosby box set from Mosaic.)

  10. Thumbs up

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    A comment from another thread...
    It occurs to me that this would be a perfect project for a limited edition release from Mosaic Records. I wonder if Frank Sinatra Enterprises has or would consider this?

    (I'm prompted to suggest this by the recent announcement of a Bing Crosby box set from Mosaic.)
    I'm all for such a project like this.

  11. << It occurs to me that this would be a perfect project for a limited edition release from Mosaic Records. I wonder if Frank Sinatra Enterprises has or would consider this? >>

    << I'm all for such a project like this >>

    +1: get Chuck, Didier and team to put it together, liner notes, photos, the whole smash.
    Gonzalo Duque "Gonzo"
    1997 Lincoln Mark VIII LSC 4.6L Cobra V8

  12. #12
    I am in agreement with Bob on this. I think Mosaic would get the project done properly, if slowly.

    I'm pretty sure this material would fit on a double disc set.

    I think the nature of the music, and the time period represented, could win such a release a good deal of attention.

    We've got something that could appeal to pop fans as well as jazz fans, and something which could quite possibly force a critical reevaluation of Frank's credibility as an excellent jazz singer. We've got something that will appeal to folks who find themselves attracted primarily to small-band recordings. We've got songs that Frank didn't record at any other time. We've got the option of having Frank personally introduce the songs. We've got the great story of a pivotal time in the career of FAS. We've got recordings which, presumably, exist somewhere in reasonably high audio quality. We've got Frank at the peak (or one of several peaks) of his vocal powers. Finally, we've got recordings which very few people are aware of, even fans of FAS.

    In other words, we've got an absolute gem!

  13. #13
    Nice summary Harley, having heard quite a few of these, I wouldnt say all were gems to be honest, but enough are to make a good set. As I think recent releases have shown, patience is often rewarded eventually.

  14. #14
    It should be noted that besides the jazz combo tracks, about 1/3 of Frank's songs were solos with Bill Miller. The titles are too numerous to mention, but many of the songs appeared later on the 1956 swing recordings.

    My all time favourite from this show is Love Is Here To Stay, done with a celeste and a rhythm section.

    There was a site on the internet 3 or 4 years ago devoted entirely to listing the songs done each week. It was far from complete, yet tantalysing to the imagination.
    NICK
    Old School Teacher

  15. #15
    This sure would be perfect (sorry) for a Mosaic set. A dandy of a companion project to the Crosby/Buddy Cole box. Essentially the same era, radio recordings etc etc
    David

  16. #16
    I do get the feeling there is a reason these songs from the show haven't been released; theres an entire boxset dedicated to radio shows, and many takes on various columbia releases, theres the Classic Duets CD of TV work but these ones don't appear anywhere on anything official. I couldn't speculate as to why, but Im sure there is a reason. The family and/or the record companies have been excellent at releasing material from the vaults and this seems to be a gap that has an explanation.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Nick_Bradley78 View Post
    Nice summary Harley, having heard quite a few of these, I wouldnt say all were gems to be honest, but enough are to make a good set. As I think recent releases have shown, patience is often rewarded eventually.
    The few that I've heard have been great, but of course some of the 60+ tunes will be lesser works. I think it makes the most sense to release everything at once.

    As for patience...well, 54 years is a long time! Let's get 'em out there!

  18. #18
    There was a lot of discussion about Mosaic Records earlier in this thread. I just wanted to say that I just picked up the June Christy/ Peggy Lee Capitol Records Transcriptions set from Mosaic and it's a knock out!!! Most of the recordings are with small jazz combos kinda like the Perfectly Frank show. In fact a lot of the songs from Frank's show turn up in this set. Very interesting to hear Peggy Lee's (and June Christy's!) takes on similar material. It's about to go out of print so grab it while you can from the Mosaic website. Just sayin'!! You won't be sorry.
    Steve

  19. #19
    [removed by moderator; links to unsympathetic websites]

  20. #20
    I agree with Bob and Harley. As I wrote earlier on this thread, I listened to this program as a kid. Great music by Frank Sinatra at his peak with a small group including so many wonderful songs he never recorded as well as very different versions of songs that he did record.

Bookmarks

Bookmarks