Thursday, November 12, 2015

CD Review: Celebrating Frank Sinatra's 100th Birthday With Radio's Golden Voice

The immortal Frank Sinatra would have turned 100 years old this year on December 12th. To celebrate that milestone, Legacy Recordings is releasing a new 4-CD box set titled "Frank Sinatra: A Voice On Air (1935-1955)," which covers Sinatra's early brush with fame as the voice of the radio airwaves. This new box set will be released on November 20th and features over 100 rare Sinatra recordings, including 91 previously unreleased live performances that defined the "Golden Age" of radio.
The tin, scratchy sounds of the opening songs "S-H-I-N-E" and "Exactly Like You" allows the first disc to set the stage for what is guaranteed to be a step back in time. As Sinatra was starting out in the business, you can hear the tenderness in his voice as he performs the standards "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You" and "That Old Black Magic" live on the radio. He plays around with the radio host during "It's De-Lovely," showcasing his showmanship as he still gives a professional performance. Some of the undiscovered gems of this box set is Frank Sinatra being featured in radio commercials for Vimms Vitamins and Nature's Remedy and also his response to World War 2 as he dedicates "America The Beautiful" and "I'll Be Seeing You" to the troops in the war.
The second disc shows Sinatra being more comfortable in the sound booth as he gives stellar performances of "It Had To Be You" and "Long Ago And Far Away." A 30th birthday greeting for Frank Sinatra is a nice touch as this box celebrates his 100th birthday, but it is his radio banter and comedy sketches that will keep a smile on the face of listeners. The third disc is filled with one-of-kind duets as Sinatra sings "You Are My Sunshine" with Louisiana governor Jimmie Davis, "Exactly Like You" with Nat "King" Cole, "Ac-Cen-Tchu-Ate The Positive" with Johnny Mercer and "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" with Doris Day.
The fourth disc is highlighted by Dean Martin's introduction of Frank Sinatra to sing "I've Got A Crush On You." This is a friendship that will last a lifetime as the two begin the wheels turning as their group of friends will become known as The Rat Pack. You also get over half-a-dozen tunes from two of Frank Sinatra's highly successful radio shows ("Perfectly Frank" and "The Frank Sinatra Show"). The set closes with "Sam's Song (A Happy Tune)" a duet with Gary Crosby (son of Bing Crosby) and "Half As Lovely (Twice As True)," before fitting in two more rare commercials for Lucky Strike Cigarettes and White Rain shampoo. The box set is packed with over four hours of classic radio staring the one and only Frank Sinatra. Along with the 4CDs is a 60-page book that gives more insight into the recordings and how Frank Sinatra was such a pivotal role in the growth of radio. To find out more about "Frank Sinatra: A Voice On Air (1935-1955)," please visit

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