With the distinctive Taxi-Down-the-Runway intro on the opening song, the next great musical relationship of Sinatra's career — with the extravagantly swinging orchestrator Billy May — got off the ground. This masterful 1958 set was pegged to a concept that was more programmatic than musical; in fact, the idea of a collection of songs about travel and far-flung international locales was already old hat by 1958. Yet Sinatra and May make it fresh and exciting. Come Fly with Me is mainly remembered for its ecstatic uptempos, like the opener (commissioned by the singer from his personal "in-house" songwriters, Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen) and the gloriously irreverent, ring-a-ding-ding treatment of Rudyard Kipling's "Mandalay" that closes the album. Yet May was no less brilliant at working with Sinatra on stunningly beautiful ballads, like the waltz "Around the World," and his amazingly introspective, descriptive reading of "Moonlight in Vermont," which soon became an all-time Sinatra classic that he would reprise in concert thousands of times.
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.