Posted by on Jan 24, 2016 in The Sinatra Songbook | 0 comments

WELCOME BACK So, “the days dwindle down to a precious few”.  I trust composer Kurt Weill and lyricist Maxwell Anderson will accord me the courtesy of borrowing their dramatic “September Song” phrase for the occasion. In spite of our best efforts, and yours, the curtain comes down on the Metromedia Radio internet stream at the end of this month. Many of you enjoy our Channel via the Live 365 app.   Reading the following excerpts from their communique to thousands of broadcasters, including Metromedia Radio, may give you a clearer understanding of what’s happening.   Dear Live365 Broadcasters, You should have already received our notification and link to the press release regarding two issues that have affected Live365 in the last few weeks.     1. The CRB (Copyright Royalty Board) ruling handed down in December 2015 did NOT renew or address the expiration of the small webcaster percentage of revenue plans. At this time there is no small webcaster options except for full CRB rates.     2. Live365’s long time investors have stopped funding us.  As a result, we are no longer able to sustain our service. We are sad that we are closing our doors at the end of this month. There are always possibilities that we can come back in one form or another, but at this point in time, January 31, 2016 is the last day that Live365’s streaming servers and website will be maintained and supported. This is a surprise to us as it is to all of you.   We are proud that Live365 was a pioneer in the streaming music business and have provided a platform to hundreds of thousands of broadcasters to have a voice over the years.    Unfortunately, we have to say good-bye.   We are honored to have served your needs over the last decade and a half. It has been a wild ride both economically, from the pre-dotcom bust days all the way through the Great Recession, as well as technologically, with internet radio going from an unknown, quirky, muddy idea to a ubiquitous technology that hundreds of millions enjoy. Sadly, Live365’s portion of the ride is ending. Again, streaming services and website access will not be supported beyond 1/31/2016. All the best, The Live365 Team    METROMEDIA RADIO’S  MARIE AND JOE FAY Joe and Marie Fay, the guiding forces behind Metromedia Radio, have shared that many of the Channel’s fine series will continue to be distributed to the over the air broadcast affiliates who carry many of the shows you follow. For all they have sacrificed for all of us, a loud, public “Thank You, Joe and Marie!” is called for. Consider sending along your message of appreciation for Metromedia Radio. Reach Joe and Marie at this link – Time and again,...

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Posted by on Dec 19, 2015 in The Sinatra Songbook | 0 comments

WELCOME BACK! “MAY” I SHARE I’ve posted this before.  It may, however, be new to many of you. You know this album cover, of course. At the conclusion of the May interview, I pulled a still-sealed copy of the LP from my briefcase, pealed off the cellophane and asked Billy for his autograph.  He did so happily.  Now that signed album cover hangs on the SONGBOOK studio wall.   Here it is. My thanks to Stephen Tokarick for reminding me to re-post my treasure from Billy May, one of the greats. CELEBRATING THE SEASON As Andy Williams so capably sang, It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  I agree.  I certainly hope it is for you. My wish for us all is a year of kindness, prosperity and, above all, peace.  It’s a tall request, certainly.  All we can do is our fair share.  For starters, let’s shoot for that.   MY FAVORITE THINGS This year, we have been deluged by Sinatra product.  Two of my favorite items are… The volume SINATRA 100, from co-authors Charles Pignone and Nancy Sinatra.  This collection of rarely seen images is a delight. Also, Frank Sinatra: A Voice on Air (1935-1955).  This four-disc collection, restored and assembled by Charles Granata, focuses on Sinatra’s work in radio,  a most significant element in the Sinatra story.   NEXT WEEK   Frank’s interpretations of the season’s time-honored melodies.  His recordings of the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s resonate equally.  Some of his best will be heard as we open THE SINATRA CHRISTMAS SONGBOOK,  Saturday December 26 at 6pm ET and Sunday, December 27 at 8am ET exclusively on Metromedia Radio.  Listen Live link – • Please LIKE & SHARE     FAVORITE HOLIDAY MOVIE What’s yours?  A Christmas Story, White Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol?  All great choices. For me, the film that captures the beauty of the season best is the 1947 classic, The Bishop’s Wife. Long on heart, simplicity and priorities, for me, The Bishop’s Wife continues to take the prize.  Do you know it?  Seek it out.  And it’s all the more satisfying in glorious, original black and white.   THE REAL DYNAMIC DUO Frank’s birthday has come and gone.  What’s left?  All that we had before.  As this wonderful image suggests, the best remains with us. Two masters, each made stronger by their great many collaborations. What’s left?  A body of work that remains timeless, still setting the tone for so much of what has followed and for continuing to inspire the next generation. Examples, both familiar and new will come your way on the SONGBOOK in 2016.  HAPPY NEW YEAR! to be continued…     Songbook Facebook Notice THE...

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Posted by on Dec 8, 2015 in The Sinatra Songbook | 0 comments

WELCOME BACK HAPPY BIRTHDAY, FRANK It’s been a while since we’ve connected in this forum.  There has been a great deal of activity behind-the-scenes, much of it related to Frank Sinatra’s one-hundredth anniversary celebration.  Let me bring you up to date. In Las Vegas, new interviews have been recorded with… These three visits fill be fashioned into three unique SONGBOOK hours.   SINATRA: THE EVOLUTION OF “THE VOICE” The question I hear most often is, “How does one build a meaningful Sinatra collection?” Many of you possess the knowledge to answer this question.  Yet you would be surprised to learn just how many die-hard fans don’t know where to start.  This piece is my response. Find the issue on newsstands, at Amazon, at Barnes & Noble and more.   A EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVE I enjoyed the privilege of contributing to the documentary, SINATRA: THE VOICE OF AMERICA This ninety minute special premieres in Germany and France on the ARTE channel.  Air times are December 12th at 3:55 Eastern and on December 13th at 8:45am Eastern. Annette Baumeister, the talented producer of this project, explains that the production offers a consideration of Sinatra’s impact as assessed from outside the US. The commentary is provided by a variety of Sinatra-related voices, including yours truly. As of this writing, I have yet to see the final product.  Looking forward to it.  Meantime, here’s a link to a short preview – And a peek at the animated, four-minute Teaser – Air dates in the US are forthcoming.    12  –  12  –  1 5 on METROMEDIA RADIO WNEW, “The station that discovered Sinatra” will celebrate Frank’s 100th in GRAND fashion. More than thirty-eight hundred SONGBOOK followers on Facebook considered the trivia question “What does the date 12-12-15 have in common with the number 32?”  Nobody answered correctly.  Then I posed this final clue, “32 is the new 24”.  Many came close but no one got the right answer. I suggested that, upon revealing the admittedly abstract answer, some would be frustrated with me… at first.  Thereafter all would smile.  Here’s the answer. WNEW’s Sinatra birthday tribute is loaded with so much content, it can’t be squeezed into twenty-four hours.  So this celebration will spill over, running, at least, thirty-two hours!  Yes, our twenty-four hour tribute will run a day… PLUS! The day PLUS will be filled with… WNEW specials starring legacy hosts like William B. and Bob Fitzsimmons Many select SINATRA SONGBOOK hours. Original programming from The Big W in The Buddies Lounge and from Lise Avery. and the best way to celebrate… spending time with Frank Sinatra- in concert!  Many memorable performances featuring the man practicing his craft await you. This...

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Posted by on Jul 31, 2015 in The Sinatra Songbook | 0 comments

WELCOME BACK THIS WEEKEND Timing’s everything.  Julie Budd returns to consider more performances by Sinatra that hold special meaning.  And her reasons behind those choices are as significant.  Listen Saturday, August 1 at 6pm ET and Sunday, August 2 at 8am ET exclusively on Metromedia Radio. Listen Live link – PLEASE  SHARE As we offer part two of our SONGBOOK visit with Julie, news of her latest album release arrives.  And we are excited. Julie Budd’s latest, “Remembering… MR. SINATRA” All the Way, World on a String, The Nearness of You, I’m a Fool to Want You, Wee Small Hours and more.  These are Sinatra performances that we all know.  Likewise, they have resonated with Julie for quite a while.   But this time around, her feminine perspective revitalizes the material.  GOOD. If I want Sinatra’s approach to, say, I’m a Fool to Want You, I know where to find it.  Julie’s interpretations are refreshing.  Herb Bernstein’s musical direction is perfect for the occasion. I’m glad that Julie waited so long to tackle this project.  Her years of performance lend a sense of wisdom to the material at hand. Remembering… MR. SINATRA releases on September 1st.  But tease yourself with the album samplings posted at this Amazon link –      WE’RE OFF TO VEGAS ARTE is the producer of fine arts television programming in France and Germany.  On Frank’s December 12th centennial, ARTE will offer an original ninety-minute documentary, which is now in production.  I am honored to be on-board for this project.  Accordingly, we are heading to Las Vegas. I’ll be visiting with master impressionist, Bob Anderson.  His show, SINATRA THE MAN.  THE MUSIC will inspire our interview.  As shared at the Venetian Hotel website:  FRANK The Man. The Music. a grand theatrical production honoring the life and music of the most famous entertainer of all time, Frank Sinatra.  Conceptualized and brought to life by an all-star creative team, FRANK The Man. The Music. has been called the most authentic reenactment of a Frank Sinatra concert ever performed on the live stage.  The show continues through the end of 2015 at The Palazzo Theatre.  Tony Bennett described the performance as… “A perfect night. Like seeing Sinatra at his best. Frank would have loved it.” I can’t wait to see the show, then talk with Bob about the project. Musical Director Vincent (Vinnie) Falcone is now working the Anderson show Bob’s musical director is none other than Vinnie Falcone.  Of course, Falcone performed similar duties for Frank.  We’ll talk about today and yesterday.  Nice to know that a great many in Falcone’s contemporary orchestra were part of the Sinatra group of years past. Ed Walters, Pit Boss at the Sands during the Rat Pack years An our old...

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Posted by on Jul 24, 2015 in The Sinatra Songbook | 0 comments

WELCOME BACK SINATRA AT THE BOWL Those in attendance for the sold-out July 23rd tribute to Sinatra, marking the centenary of Frank Sinatra’s birth, saw this image in the Hollywood Bowl program and flashed across the venue big screens.  The year was 1946  (I like that the date, August 14th, turns out to be Marcy and my wedding anniversary.) Sharing a Coke backstage, FS and the great Jose Iturbi.  Wouldn’t you love to have been in the crowd that night?  Maybe you were!   Those in attendance this week got a hint of that experience, as the big screens were filled with an iconic moment from MGM’s Anchors Away. I FALL IN LOVE TO EASILY on the Hollywood Bowl big screens You have to know, there was considerable firepower singing live on that stage.  John Pizzarelli, Carmen Bradford and Seth MacFarlane were distinctively wonderful.  And the Basie Orchestra was as vital and exciting as ever. But the presence of FS via that old MGM clip validated the evening.  I wish they’d have included a few more carefully-selected clips.  Funny, he’s been gone some eighteen years.  Yet the Anchors Away playback confirmed an undeniable truth.  We all wanted to see Frank Sinatra perform, and with those screens on hand, it was possible.   Weather-wise it was such a lovely… evening The program, primarily a blend of the FS-Jobim and FS-Basie songbooks pleased everyone.   Tina Sinatra and Gene Kelly’s wife, Patricia, each received an enthusiastic reception. As to the sign over my shoulder, please know that Marcy and I DID drink responsibly. I was delighted to discover that many SONGBOOK listeners were in attendance.  Next time, let’s coordinate one grand picnic!     OUR  MISS BUDD When Julie Budd chatted over two hours for THE SINATRA SONGBOOK, her then latest album, THEY WROTE THE SONGS was still in post-production.  That title, as you well know has been enthusiastically received.  Fast forward a couple of years and she is on the verge of her next album release. About six weeks ago, Julie called to say she had a great surprise for me.  “I can’t tell you any more just now”, she said, “but you are gonna ‘kvell’!”  “Kvell” is a Latin term, meaning I would fall over myself with excitement once I heard the news. Julie Budd’s Rembering Mr. SINATRA releases September 1st Recently, Julie let the cat out of the bag.  Her new release, Remembering Mr. SINATRA, will be available on September 1st.  She has a lot to remember! Ms. Budd was a teenager when this snap shot was taken.  Since those days, Julie has been taking notes.  Her perspectives and favorite Sinatra titles are folded into two SINATRA SONGBOOK hours.  Part...

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