New York, Sinatra Style
Frank Sinatra may have been born in Hoboken, New Jersey, but the Chairman of the Board always held a special place in his heart for the city that never sleeps—“The Apple,”as he called it. From a surprise appearance with Tommy Dorsey in 1955 to a 1990 concert at Radio City Music Hall, SINATRA: NEW YORK follows the singer onstage at various iconic New York City venues, living out one of his most famous lines: “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere.”
The 71 previously unreleased performances gathered here (55 on CD/16 on DVD) capture the singer giving his electricifying best, reminding listeners why Sinatra’s celebrated baritone has been hailed as the “The Voice.” The set, produced by Charles Pignone, features deluxe packaging with rare, never-before-seen photos, tributes from Martin Scorsese, Tony Bennett, Yogi Berra, and Twyla Tharp, liner notes by Nat Hentoff, and essays by William Friedkin, director of The Exorcist and French Connection; George Kalinsky, official photographer for Madison Square Garden for over 40 years; Tom Young, engineer for Sinatra; Joe & Sal Scognamillo, owners of Patsy’s Italian Restaurant in New York City; and Frank Sinatra Jr.
SINATRA: NEW YORK begins in February 1955, at the Manhattan Center, where Sinatra made a surprise appearance with Tommy Dorsey and his band during a concert celebrating the group’s 20-year anniversary. Sinatra, who first became a star singing with Dorsey in the early ’40s, sang a trio of his biggest hits with Dorsey: “Oh! Look At Me Now,” “This Love Of Mine;” and “I’ll Never Smile Again,” a song that spent 12 weeks at #1 in 1940. The remainder of the first disc was recorded in September 1963, at the United Nations. To celebrate U.N. Staff Day, Sinatra sang at the organization’s Manhattan offices, accompanied only by pianist Skitch Henderson, who incidentally played on Sinatra’s first solo recording session in 1942. During the show, the duo performed “I Have Dreamed” and “My Heart Stood Still” from The Concert Sinatra, an album released earlier that year.
Sinatra “retired” in 1971, at the age of 55, but returned in 1973, with Ol’ Blue Eyes Is Back. A year later, he launched a tour to benefit an international children’s charity that included a show at New York’s Carnegie Hall. The second disc features classics such as “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” and “Come Fly With Me.” Sinatra also performed Joe Raposo’s “There Used To Be A Ballpark” and “You Will Be My Music” from Ol’ Blue Eyes.
From October 1974, the third disc contains the first night of Sinatra’s two-night stand at Madison Square Garden. The second night was televised and dubbed ‘The Main Event’ concert. With the famous arena set up for a boxing match—complete with ringside seats—Howard Cosell introduced Sinatra before the singer took the stage wearing boxing gloves. Bill Miller conducted Woody Herman’s Young Thundering Herd as the band accompanied Sinatra on signature hits (“The Lady Is A Tramp,” “My Way”), ballads (“Let Me Try Again,” “Angel Eyes”), and “Autumn In New York.”
The final CD returns to Carnegie Hall for a sold-out June 1984 show, and Sinatra taps his extensive songbook for an eclectic evening of music that spans four decades: “Fly Me To The Moon”; “Pennies From Heaven”; “My Way”; and “Come Rain Or Come Shine.” The second half of disc four, from Radio City Music Hall in June 1990, finds Sinatra performing with an orchestra conducted by his son Frank Sinatra Jr., and includes such hits as “Strangers In The Night,” “Mack The Knife,” and “Theme From New York, New York.”
SINATRA: NEW YORK closes with a DVD containing the singer’s June 25, 1980, concert at Carnegie Hall. At the time, the two-week engagement set a record for the venue by selling out in just a day. The shows followed the release of 1980’s Trilogy, Sinatra’s ambitious triple-album comeback that featured “The Theme From New York, New York.” Sinatra mixes “Summer Me, Winter Me” from that album with his hits “I’ve Got The World On A String” and “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.” Foreshadowing the follow-up to Trilogy is “The Gal That Got Away”/“It Never Entered My Mind,” a medley that would appear on She Shot Me Down in 1981.
Five-Disc Boxed Set Features All Previously Unreleased
Live Performances Of Ol’ Blue Eyes In “The Apple”
Collection Highlights Performances Recorded Between
1955 and 1990 At Iconic New York City Venues
Available From Reprise November 3