Good Read: Sinatra! The Song is You by Will Friedwald
Frank Sinatra remains the greatest entertainer of our age, invigorating American popular song with innovative phrasing and a mastery of range and emotion. Drawing upon recent interviews with hundreds of his collaborators as well as with “The Voice” himself, this book is the only full-length work to chronicle, critique, and celebrate his five-decade career. Friedwald examines and evaluates all the classic and less familiar songs with the same astute, often witty, perceptions that earned him acclaim for Jazz Singing. With an authoritative discography and rare photos of recording sessions and performances, Sinatra! is an invaluable resource for enthusiasts and an unparalleled guide through his vast musical legacy.
Todd Hill says:
Excellent book about the singing career of Frank Sinatra. Skips the all-too-often sensationalized aspects of his personal life and concentrates on his apprenticehip as a band singer (with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey), the era of “The Voice” on his Columbia Recordings with arrangements and orchestras led by Axel Stordahl, the Capitol Recordings with Nelson Riddle, Billy May and Gordon Jenkins and the Reprise years with diverse writers/leaders such as Neal Hefti, Johnny Mandel, Quincy Jones and Count Basie. If you only know the Sinatra of “Strangers in the Night,” “My Way” and “New York, New York” – not to mention the dreadful and over-produced “Duets” CDs of the 1990s – then educate yourself with this book and seek out the worthy recordings. Sinatra, more than any other performer, defined the “Great American Songbook” and many of his recordings are definitive.
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