I am way excited (although that excitement is tempered by the absence of a price tag). The official word:
Shout! Factory celebrates one of the most important and beloved entertainers of our time with the November 2 release of the 7-DVD box set Frank Sinatra: Concert Collection, which contains over 14 hours of television and concert performances from the ’50s through the ’80s, including four previously unreleased specials, a box-set exclusive compilation of vintage performances, and a 44-page book featuring rare photographs and notes by Sinatra scholar Bill Zehme. Concert For The Americas, included in the set, will be released separately on December 14.
The Frank Sinatra Enterprises collection begins with Sinatra’s first television special, A Man And His Music, broadcast in 1965 on NBC to commemorate Sinatra’s 50th birthday. The spectacular performances include favorites “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” “I Get A Kick Out Of You,” “Come Fly With Me” and “The Lady Is A Tramp.”
A Man And His Music Part II, with special guest Nancy Sinatra (1966, CBS), thrills from start to finish, with unforgettable performances of signature songs such as “Luck Be A Lady” and “That’s Life.” Sinatra opens the show with his celebrated Quincy Jones arrangement of “Fly Me To The Moon.” Nancy Sinatra, clad from head to toe in pink fringe (and signature boots), sings “Bang, Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)” and “On Broadway,” followed by a series of duets with her father that includes “Downtown,” and “These Boots Are Made For Walking.”
On the truly memorable A Man And His Music + Ella + Jobim (1967, NBC), the dazzling Ella Fitzgerald performs two equally impressive solo numbers: the haunting “Body And Soul” and the swinging “It’s All Right With Me.” Fitzgerald is then joined by Sinatra in a historic pairing of the two preeminent vocal talents of the era. The following sequence, particularly treasured by music lovers, is Sinatra’s only filmed meeting with Brazilian composer, guitarist, singer Antonio Carlos Jobim, who joins Sinatra for a stunningly intimate medley of the Brazilian composer’s classics, including “Change Partners,” “I Concentrate On You” and “The Girl From Ipanema.”
Continues after the jump.
Sinatra: The Man And His Music (1981, NBC), is the final installment of the series, occurring 16 years after the first A Man And His Music special, and a few weeks before his 66th birthday. Working with three different ensembles, including the accompaniment of the legendary Count Basie and his orchestra, performances include George Harrison’s “Something,” and his climactic “Theme From New York, New York”, “Pennies From Heaven,” and “The Best Has Yet To Come.”
The set continues with Ol’ Blue Eyes Is Back (1973, NBC), a comeback special filmed after the Chairman’s brief retirement in the early ’70s. Filmed in front of a live audience on a soundstage in Hollywood but with the feel of an intimate concert, this magical hour proves the Chairman hadn’t lost a step. The special features classic performances of “I Get A Kick Out Of You,” “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” and “I’ve Got The World On A String,” as well as a guest appearance by the incomparable Gene Kelly, Sinatra’s costar from three classic song-and-dance epics of the ’40s.
Charged with the electricity of a heavyweight prizefight, Sinatra: The Main Event (1974, ABC) was filmed live at Madison Square Garden. Accompanied by celebrated clarinetist and bandleader Woody Herman, augmented by New York musicians and a string section, Sinatra dazzles the crowd with contemporary numbers such as “You Are The Sunshine Of My Life,” “Let Me Try Again,” and “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown,” as well as signature tunes “My Kind Of Town” and “My Way.”
During Sinatra In Concert At Royal Festival Hall (1970, BBC) Princess Grace of Monaco introduces Sinatra to the adoring crowd. Sinatra was very proud of this concert, which was produced as a benefit for the United World Colleges Fund, held in London’s Royal Festival Hall, and televised by the BBC. Highlights include “Pennies From Heaven,” “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” and “One For My Baby.”
The incredibly rare concert Sinatra In Japan: Live At The Budokan Hall, Tokyo (1985) has only been released in Japan. Entering his 70th year, Ol’ Blue Eyes never sounded better. Opening with “The Lady Is A Tramp,” Sinatra is completely supercharged throughout the entire performance. He commands the stage, delivering bravura performances of “Strangers In The Night” and “Come Rain Or Come Shine.” This 1985 performance is one of the greatest of his entire career.
Francis Albert Sinatra Does His Thing (1968, CBS) was a memorable night of television on many levels. Having established himself in American households with his previous A Man And His Music specials, Sinatra made a bold move in 1968, in the middle of the civil rights era, with a special celebration of black music and its impact on American popular culture. Highlights include a medley of spirituals sung with Diahann Carroll and a swingin’ pop interlude with chart-toppers The 5th Dimension.
In Sinatra (1969, CBS), the final installment in what had become an annual tradition of televised specials, Sinatra casts a backward glance at some of the highlights of a storied career. He also provides a glimpse into his musical future with an early rendition of “My Way.”
Spanning multiple genres and featuring some of the leading names in pop and country, the rarely seen special Sinatra And Friends (1977, ABC) offers wall-to-wall performances. Guests include Dean Martin, Tony Bennett, Natalie Cole, Loretta Lynn and John Denver, all of whom return one-by-one for a final embrace with Sinatra as he sings “Everybody Ought To Be In Love.”
Concert For The Americas (1982, Showtime) was recorded at the Altos de Chavón Amphitheater, a 5000-seat open-air Greek-style amphitheater in the Dominican Republic. This 90-minute epic performance features the legendary Buddy Rich on drums and a special guest appearance by guitarist Tony Mottola on a memorable rendition of “Send In The Clowns.” This is the first-ever U.S. DVD release of this spectacular concert. Concert For The Americas will also be released separately on November 2.
The box set also includes two rare specials that feature classic 1950s TV performances, plus an additional compilation of never-before-released vintage clips. Happy Holidays with Bing and Frank (1957, ABC) pairs the two most beloved entertainers of the era in a holiday special, and the result is an intimate and timeless classic event, packed with holiday favorites and plenty of Christmas cheer.
The 2003 PBS special Vintage Sinatra offers a look back at Sinatra’s television performances prior to the beginning of the A Man And His Music series. With classic performances from his 1957–58 ABC television series, Ol’ Blue Eyes is in peak form as he treats the viewing audience to show-stopping versions of “Come Fly With Me,” “Too Marvelous For Words” and “I’ve Got The World On A String.” Also included as a box-set exclusive are 10 previously unreleased television performances.
Nancy Sinatra once said of her father, “When he sang about loneliness, it’s because he had experienced the deepest sorrow and despair, and we are all aware of the happiness, the delight, he felt singing the other songs, be they ballads or up-tempo – because, if we are not looking at him, we can, literally, hear him smile.” His emotions, his life experience, his incomparable ability to interpret the intent of the composers and arrangers are captured in these specials, encapsulating the seasons of his legacy, preserving forever the presence of a timeless and great man, and reminding us just how real he was and ever will be.