While this may be the only album on this list that doesn't deserve the phrase "masterpiece," it's far from a throwaway. Anytime arranger — conductor Gordon Jenkins wasn't being epically sad (as on Where Are You?, When No One Cares and All Alone) or "serious" (as on September of My Years) he could be downright corny. Not, as they say on Seinfeld, that there's anything wrong with that. This 1957 holiday album (his second actually — he'd released a Christmas collection for Columbia in 1948) brought out the delightfully corny side of Sinatra — never more enjoyably than on the opener, Jenkins's gleefully dopey mock-doo-wop re-do of "Jingle Bells." Sinatra and Jenkins make beautiful music especially on those very touching "sad" Christmas songs, the ones about being separated from your loved ones during the holiday, like "I'll Be Home For Christmas" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." This is what it's like, you imagine, to spend Christmas in a bar, hanging your stockings over a rack of Jack Daniels.
By Wondering Sound Staff on 09.16.09 in Icons
Young Frank. In the span of an artistic career that encompassed six decades, Sinatra's "youth" represents a quarter of that, post-Bing and pre-Elvis, overlapping both in his accession to the throne of American song. The...
By Marc Hogan on 12.30.14 in News
When Michael Stipe appeared on CBS This Morning earlier in the month and said, "I think I'll sing again," he didn't just mean The Colbert Report's all-star swan song. The former R.E.M. frontman has performed only rarely...
By Marc Hogan on 12.09.14 in News
Bob Dylan has shed some more light on his next album, Shadows in the Night. Earlier this year, the noted Chrysler enthusiast shared his version of "Full Moon and Empty Arms," a song most famously recorded by Frank Sinatr...
By Stephen Thomas Erlewine on 10.03.14 in Features
How the chart-topping 'Cheek to Cheek' is part of a long tradition.