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Thread: Frankie's Singles Discography

  1. #1

    Frankie's Singles Discography

    When asked about which aspect of music (recording, performing, songwriting, conducting) he was most passionate, Frankie expressed serious dedication:

    Among Frankie's compositions is "Black Night," a film noir-style masterpiece that he described as "an essay." The song debuted on his eclectic second album, Spice (1971), and in a slightly altered form it would become the A-side of the LP's only single. In the 1960s, '70s and '80s, the 45-rpm record was a leading format for promotion and distribution in the music industry. Frankie's singles are especially important in his body of work; his LP and CD releases tell only part of the story. At least a dozen singles contain tracks that have never been issued on any domestic album.

    Last edited by AndrewT; 02-07-2019 at 06:45 PM. Reason: New introductory image with text.

  2. #2

    Part One: Reprise, U.S. Films (1962, 1965, 1968)

    In 1962, 18-year-old Frankie conducted tracks for a single by Reprise vocalist Russ Arno. Frankie also arranged the B-side.

    Reprise R-20,130 You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You [by Russ Arno] (James Cavanaugh - Russ Morgan - Larry Stock) / In The Valley Of The Sun [by Russ Arno] (Russ Arno - Henry Sanicola - Bill D. Williams) (c. December 1962)
    ________Arrangers: Bill Holman / Frank Sinatra Jr.
    ________Conductor: Frank Sinatra Jr.

    In June 1965, Frankie's debut single as a recording artist featured the Jimmy Bowen-produced non-album track "You Were Meant For Me" b/w future Young Love For Sale (Reprise 6178) LP cut "Too Close For Comfort."

    Quote Originally Posted by Billboard: June 5, 1965
    Frank Sinatra Jr. has joined dad and sister Nancy as an artist on Reprise. Vocalist's debut disk is "You Were Meant For Me" backed by "Too Close for Comfort." Sonny Burke did the a&ring. The company will watch the reaction to this initial single before mapping any future plans. But projects could include teaming both Franks, father and son and Nancy, or a brother-sister combination. For the past several years the young Sinatra has been touring the country with the Tommy Dorsey Band and has played many of the country's top night clubs.
    Reprise 0381 You Were Meant For Me (Nacio Herb Brown - Arthur Freed) / Too Close For Comfort (Jerry Bock-Larry Holofcener-George Weiss) (June 1965)
    ________Producers: Jimmy Bowen / Sonny Burke
    ________Arranger and Conductor: Ernie Freeman (A-Side)

    Quote Originally Posted by Billboard Review: June 12, 1965
    The oldie ["You Were Meant For Me"] is brought up to date via this bright sing-a-long treatment marking the record debut of Sinatra Jr. Good vocal, strongly supported by the strings and chorus of Ernie Freeman. Flip: "Too Close for Comfort"

    Source: YouTube

    Frankie composed music for the 1965 beach party/horror movie The Beach Girls And The Monster. A promotional 45 issued by distributor U.S. Films currently commands triple-digit prices among collectors.

    U.S. Films 45-128 Frank Sinatra Jr.'s Music In "Beach Girls And The Monster" (Vocal) (Frank Sinatra Jr. - Joan [Gardner] Janis) / Frank Sinatra Jr.'s Music In "Beach Girls And The Monster" (Dance Version) (Frank Sinatra Jr. - Joan [Gardner] Janis) (September 1965)
    ________Arranger and Conductor: Chuck Sagle

    Source: YouTube

    Following his two-year tenure at RCA Victor (covered in Part Two), Frankie returned to Reprise to collaborate on The Sinatra Family Wish You A Merry Christmas album. Although the songs had been recorded in July and August of 1968 and a pre-LP single was issued in December, the album would not be released until September 1969.

    Reprise 0790 Whatever Happened To Christmas [by Frank Sinatra] (Jimmy Webb) / I Wouldn't Trade Christmas [by The Sinatra Family] (Sammy Cahn - James Van Heusen) (December 1968)
    ________Producers: Sonny Burke / Don Costa
    ________Arrangers and Conductors: Don Costa / Nelson Riddle

    Quote Originally Posted by Billboard Single Review December 7, 1968
    The master [FS] takes on a new Jim Webb ballad and brings it to life with his unique brand of excitement, and it should prove one of the holiday season's most important sales items. Flip is bouncy item featuring the entire Sinatra Family that should come in for a good share of airplay and sales.

    Source: YouTube

    Source: YouTube

    Last edited by AndrewT; 02-05-2019 at 07:19 AM.

  3. #3

    Part Two: RCA Victor (1967-1968)

    Quote Originally Posted by Cash Box article "RCA Releases First Sinatra Jr. Single": April 29, 1967
    NEW YORK—Frank Sinatra Jr.'s first RCA Victor single has been released. The young singer was recently signed to a long-term exclusive contract by the label. The single, "Shadows On A Foggy Day" b/w "(As Long As You’re Not In Love With Anyone Else) Why Don’t You Fall In Love With Me," was produced on the West Coast by Ivan Mogull. An album is planned for release soon.

    For the past couple of years Sinatra has been working in many of the major supperclubs in the country, getting excellent notices, such as "The experience has made him a professional entertainer, and the class showed in last night's show in the Blue Room of the Roosevelt Hotel." ("New Orleans States—Item," Jan. 7, 1967); "He demonstrates promanship as well as showmanship ..." ("Variety," Jan. 5, 1967); and "From rousing swinger to smooth crooner, he projected a talent that has combined the best of his famous father and some personal ingenuity." ("New Orleans Times-Picayune," Jan. 6, 1967).

    Sinatra, who just closed (17) a week's engagement at the Americana Supper Club in Cleveland is heading for the West Coast to tape the "Smothers Brothers Show" which airs on CBS-TV on May 7.

    Cash Box article: April 29, 1967

    Frankie's first two RCA Victor single "plug" sides competed with versions by other artists at the time of their release. Canadian singer Tony Roman's version of "Shadows On A Foggy Day" was also issued in April 1967.

    RCA Victor 47-9181 Shadows On A Foggy Day (Gary Knight - Eddie Rambeau) / (As Long As You're Not In Love With Anyone Else) Why Don't You Fall In Love With Me (Al Lewis - Mabel Wayne) (April 1967)
    ________Producer: Ivan Mogull
    ________Arrangers and Conductors: Herb Bernstein / Frank Owens

    Quote Originally Posted by Cash Box Single Review: April 22, 1967
    This one might easily prove a top-of-the-chart deck for Frank Sinatra Jr. The side is a smooth, melodic, easy-going, pulsating romp, called "Shadows On A Foggy Day." On the back side, is a thumping, pulsing, up-beat, sprightly romp for the romantically inclined.

    Source: YouTube

    Recorded by Connee Boswell, Dinah Shore and other artists for 1942 singles, "(As Long As You're Not In Love With Anyone Else) Why Don't You Fall In Love With Me" was composed by Mabel Wayne ("It Happened In Monterey"), an inductee of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, where she is credited as being "one of the first women composers to publish a hit song." Lyricist Al Lewis co-wrote "Blueberry Hill" (Fats Domino) and "Tears On My Pillow" (Little Anthony & The Imperials).

    Source: YouTube

    RCA Victor 47-9282 Building With A Steeple (Gene Allan - Ron Dante) / I've Been Lookin' (Sonny Curtis) (August 1967)
    ________Producer: Ivan Mogull
    ________Arrangers and Conductors: Herb Bernstein / Frank Owens

    "Building With A Steeple" was co-written by Archies lead singer Ron Dante ("Sugar, Sugar"). Dante would later co-produce Barry Manilow's string of hit singles and albums in the 1970s, including the Even Now LP (1978) which contains a song that Frankie would cover on his That Face album (2006): "I Was A Fool (To Let You Go)." "Building With A Steeple" had been released by The Village East, with production by writers Dante and Gene Allan (aka Gene Allen), a few weeks prior to Frankie's version. The Eighth Day would cover the song the following year.

    Source: YouTube

    B-side "I've Been Lookin'" was written by post-Buddy Holly Crickets band member Sonny Curtis. Curtis is perhaps best known as the writer and singer of "Love Is All Around," the theme for The Mary Tyler Moore Show. "I've Been Lookin'" had been recorded by Rick Nelson for Decca in 1964, but would remain unheard until its release forty years later on the Rick's Rarities CD. Vic Damone's version appeared on his 1965 album You Were Only Fooling.

    Source: YouTube

    Quote Originally Posted by Cash Box article "Sinatra, Jr. In Europe": October 28, 1967
    NEW YORK—Frank Sinatra, Jr. journeyed to Europe last week to record for RCA Victor Records in Rome, Italy in Italian and in Berlin, Germany in German, and to make TV appearances. He will be in Europe until Nov. 1. His manager, Tino Barzie, is accompanying him. Sinatra, Jr.'s Italian and German sessions are being produced by Ivan Mogull.
    RCA Victor N 1533 Quando tanti soldi avrò (Dario Farina - Franco Migliacci - Piero Pintucci) / E' questa la mia vita (Rossini Pinto) (Italy, October 1967)
    ________Producer: Ivan Mogull
    ________Conductors: Piero Pintucci / Amedeo Tommasi

    Source: YouTube

    Source: YouTube

    Frankie's final single for RCA Victor brought his first recordings with Nelson Riddle.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie in his liner notes for the "Spice" LP
    I think the greatest compliment I can personally pass on to Nelson comes from a very, very strange source. Not so long ago as I sat in the Frontier Hotel coffee shop in Las Vegas with friends like Jack E. Leonard and Jerry Vale, the name of Nelson Riddle came up in conversation. At that time, Fat Jack, The Sultan-of-Insult, The Mouth-That-Roared, as he has been called, said, "when Nelson writes a waterfall, you can see it!"
    RCA Victor 47-9551 Nothing Is More Important Than Love (Alan Bernstein - Victor Millrose) / I Want To Hear It From You (Gordon Lightfoot) (June 1968)
    ________Producer: Ivan Mogull
    ________Arranger and Conductor: Nelson Riddle

    Sheet Music

    Quote Originally Posted by Billboard "Special Merit Spotlight" Review: June 15, 1968
    The younger Sinatra turns in a top performance of a good new rhythm ballad with an exceptional Nelson Riddle arrangement.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cash Box Single Review: July 13, 1968
    Bright, springy salute to love is delivered in top fashion by Frank Sinatra Jr. Plenty of good music spins in store for this side. Flip: "I Want To Hear It From You"

    Source: YouTube

    Gordon Lightfoot's "I Want To Hear It From You" had been introduced on the singer-songwriter's third studio LP, Did She Mention My Name?, in the spring of 1968. Lou Rawls' cover was released on his You're Good For Me album at the time of Frankie's single.

    Source: YouTube

    Last edited by AndrewT; 03-14-2019 at 02:32 PM. Reason: Added notes regarding "Why Don't You Fall In Love With Me" and "I Want To Hear It From You."

  4. #4

    Part Three: Cozy, Daybreak/RCA, MGM/Daybreak (1971-1973)

    In August 1971, Frankie was guest on Once Upon A Tour, a 60-minute TV variety special starring Dora Hall, along with Ben Blue, Rosey Grier, Phil Harris, Rich Little and Oliver. Frankie would also perform on Hall's Rose On Broadway TV special a few years later.

    Chicago Tribune "TV Week": August 7-13, 1971

    The special's soundtrack LP includes Frankie's rendition of The Turtles' "Happy Together," and a collaboration with the cast for the "Rock Medley." The latter also became a single B-side. In the medley, Frankie covers the Bee Gees' "To Love Somebody" and Blood, Sweat And Tears' "Spinning Wheel."

    Source: YouTube

    Cozy 71000 Blue Suede Shoes [by Dora Hall] (Carl Perkins) / Rock Medley [by Cast] ("To Love Somebody" by Barry Gibb - Robin Gibb; "Spinning Wheel" by David Clayton-Thomas) (c. August 1971)
    ________Producer: A Solo Cup Production

    "Rock Medley" Elements:
    With A Little Help From My Friends - Dora Hall
    To Love Somebody - Frankie
    Rocky Raccoon - Ben Blue and Rich Little
    Eli's Coming - Oliver
    I Like It Like That - Dora Hall
    Long Tall Sally - Phil Harris
    Spinning Wheel - Frankie
    Sugar, Sugar - Oliver
    Hey Jude - Dora Hall and Cast

    Source: YouTube

    Frankie joined the recently formed Daybreak Records in 1971. In addition to Frankie, Daybreak's roster included Count Basie, Bing Crosby, Laurindo Almeida, Don Ho, and the Nelson Riddle Orchestra. Frankie's Spice album, produced by Daybreak founder Sonny Burke, was among the label's first three LPs.

    Daybreak Records trade ad and Spice LP

    Quote Originally Posted by Cash Box article "Daybreak, Into Publishing": July 17, 1971
    HOLLYWOOD–As part of the plans for the expansion of Daybreak Records–to be distributed nationally this fall–president and founder Sonny Burke announced that Daybreak Music has been launched as a member of ASCAP. Accordingly, initial material features three songs with words and music by Frank Sinatra, Jr., entitled "Black Night", "Believe in Me" and "Spice". The Sinatra, Jr., material is featured in his first LP for Daybreak, backed by the Nelson Riddle charts and orchestra.

    Cash Box: July 17, 1971

    Daybreak/RCA D-1003 Black Night (Single Edit) (Frank Sinatra Jr.) / Spice (Frank Sinatra Jr.) (December 1971)
    ________Producer: Sonny Burke
    ________Arranger and Conductor: Nelson Riddle

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie in his liner notes for the "Spice" LP
    "Black Night" must be considered as a short story, known to every man. How many times do we hear love-songs wherein the moon is romantic, and the trees sway softly as the night wind sings a haunting melody? "Black Night" is entirely opposite—the night is not pleasant, the wind is not beautiful and the moon is lousy! Lyrically, "Black Night" portrays all the anguish of a disheartened lover as he asks the question of the girl who finally shows up in the very end. Since the lyrics of "Black Night" convey the evil and the dismay of that particular setting, MSM [Master Spice Mixer Nelson Riddle] has come up with an equally evil arrangement. The guitar all alone at the beginning, and the strings, show a little bit of the loneliness, and then you hear the evil sound of the contra-bass-clarinet. As we get on into the arrangement, Nelson permits the large orchestra to show the agony of our disheartened lover, and perhaps the most exciting part of the piece is when Walt [Borys] reaches for his driving baritone saxophone solo.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cash Box Single Review: January 1, 1972
    Will be his biggest to date.
    Quote Originally Posted by Billboard Special Merit Spotlight: January 8, 1972
    Culled from his new LP, Sinatra, Jr. bows on the Sonny Burke label with a driving classy ballad loaded with MOR play and sales potential.

    Source: YouTube

    Cash Box: October 30, 1971

    Daybreak releases had been initially manufactured and distributed in the U.S. by RCA Records. Following Frankie's second LP for the Daybreak label (1972's His Way!), a single was issued on the MGM/Daybreak imprint under the aegis of Mike Curb & Don Costa in 1973. Around that time, Curb-Costa produced records for MGM artists Petula Clark, Sammy Davis Jr. ("Candy Man"), Donny Osmond, and Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme. The A-side of Frankie's release, "Calendar Girl," had originally been a 1961 hit by its composer, Neil Sedaka.

    MGM/Daybreak K 14641 Calendar Girl (Howard Greenfield - Neil Sedaka) / Seagull (Warner Wilder, pseudonym of Warner Weidler) (1973)
    ________Producers: Mike Curb & Don Costa
    ________Arranger and Conductor: Don Costa

    Source: YouTube

    Last edited by AndrewT; 06-16-2019 at 10:41 AM. Reason: Additional details for "Once Upon A Tour."

  5. #5

    Part Four: Churchill (1977-1978)

    Most of the album's songs, including the tracks for the first single, were published by Frank & Nancy Music. Nancy and her dad had joined music publishing executive and erstwhile Elvis Presley song screener Freddy Bienstock to form the Nashville-based company in 1975. Bienstock handled administration and business supervision for the firm. It's Alright album producer and arranger/conductor Billy Strange was president, in charge of creative development.

    Billboard: June 11, 1977

    Churchill CR 7702 It's Alright (Single Mix) (Rusty Strange) / 31 Summers & Too Many Falls (Benny Williams) (September 1977)
    ________Producer: Billy Strange
    ________Arranger and Conductor: Billy Strange

    Quote Originally Posted by Record World Single Review: September 3, 1977
    Sinatra could find himself a new audience among country listeners as a result of this appealing, up-tempo cut. Watch for it.
    "It's Alright's" single release employed a significantly different mix than the version that would be heard on the LP a few months later.

    Source: YouTube

    Another album-related single, the duet version of "Cry A Little" by Frankie with country artist Jan Gray, was released in 1978.

    Churchill CR 7716 Cry A Little [Frank Sinatra Jr. with Jan Gray] (Jim Owens) / Cry A Little [Frank Sinatra Jr. with Jan Gray] (Jim Owens) (October 1978)
    ________Producer: Billy Strange
    ________Arranger and Conductor: Billy Strange

    Article right: Billboard: October 21, 1978
    Last edited by AndrewT; 02-05-2019 at 07:22 AM.

  6. #6

    Part Five: MOR (1982)

    Stuart Glassman (left) at Radio Doctors in Milwaukee in 1979

    In 1982, Frankie joined Milwaukee record shop owner Stuart Glassman's fledgling label, MOR.

    Quote Originally Posted by Billboard article "Glassman Bows MOR Records": February 13, 1982
    LOS ANGELES–Longtime owner of Radio Doctors, Milwaukee one-stop, Stuart Glassman is operating a new label, MOR Records, 17596 Corbel Ct., San Diego 92128. As the name indicates, thrusts of its a&r is middle-of-the-road music by a mixture of new and established acts. Thus far, Glassman, who now makes his home in San Diego, has signed Patti Andrews, J.P. Morgan and the Pied Pipers for future releases.

    Billboard: February 13, 1982

    Having been introduced by Alice Faye in the 1943 movie Hello, Frisco, Hello and recorded by FS for a 1943 single, "You'll Never Know" provided Frankie's first MOR single's A-side. B-side "The Colors Of My Life" had been part of Barnum, a Broadway musical starring Jim Dale and Glenn Close. Perry Como interpreted the song for a single and his self-titled 1980 LP.

    MOR 12-26 You'll Never Know (Mack Gordon - Harry Warren) / The Colors Of My Life (Cy Coleman - Michael Stewart) (1982)
    ________Producer: Dan P. Milner

    Billboard ad: December 4, 1982

    Source: YouTube

    Frankie's second MOR single featured widely covered standard "As Time Goes By" (also recorded by both FS and Nancy) b/w "Old Friend," a song originally performed by Gretchen Cryer (as Heather Jones) in the off-Broadway production of I'm Getting My Act Together And Taking It On The Road.

    MOR 12-30 As Time Goes By (Herman Hupfeld) / Old Friends (Gretchen Cryer - Nancy Ford) (1982)
    ________Producer: Dan P. Milner

    Last edited by AndrewT; 02-05-2019 at 07:11 AM.

  7. #7

    Part Six: Chrysalis (1988)

    Frankie recorded "Wedding Vows In Vegas" for Was (Not Was)'s 1988 album, What Up, Dog? The song initially appeared as a non-LP bonus track on the CD and cassette editions, and as the domestic B-side of the 7-inch vinyl and cassette editions of the single for "Walk The Dinosaur."

    Chrysalis VS4 43331 Walk The Dinosaur [by Was (Not Was)] (David Was - Don Was - Randy Jacobs) / Wedding Vows In Vegas (David Was - Don Was) (November 1988)
    ________Producers: Don Was & David Was

    Chrysalis VST 43331 [Cassette] Walk The Dinosaur [by Was (Not Was)] (David Was - Don Was - Randy Jacobs) / Wedding Vows In Vegas (David Was - Don Was) (November 1988)
    ________Producers: Don Was & David Was

    Frankie performed "Wedding Vows In Vegas" with Was (Not Was) on the March 23, 1989 broadcast of NBC's Late Night With David Letterman. Dave asked Frankie about the genesis of the collaboration.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie in his interview on "Late Night With David Letterman"
    I was at home in Los Angeles one day, and an agent who we deal with in Chicago, very nice man by the name of Tom Cassidy, called me up and he said, "Are you sitting down?" And I said, "Why, should I be?" He said, "There's a rock band that wants to record with you." I said, "With me? ... Are you sure they have the right guy?" ... I said, "Ask him to send the material." And I liked the song, so we recorded it. ... I'd work with Don and Dave and the fellas anytime.

    Source: YouTube

    In an interview published by the August 10, 1990 Gavin Report, a San Francisco-based radio industry trade publication, Don and David Was recounted "Wedding Vows In Vegas."

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Was
    The fact is we gave it to our singers and they didn't quite capture the pathos built into the song. We tried to cast it like a film. Who could sing this thing as a protagonist from experience? Frank Jr. seemed to be the consummate guy to do it.
    Quote Originally Posted by David Was
    Frank Sinatra Jr. is a very serious cat. He lent it with an aura of sadness that was so apropos.

    Source: YouTube

    Last edited by AndrewT; 02-05-2019 at 07:11 AM.