In the early fifties, Frank Sinatra was out of work.  No record contract, no movie deal and a smattering of TV appearances that he would likely deem forgettable.  Industry-wide, he was washed-up.  But in 1953, Capitol Record’s Alan Livingston disagreed.

Believing the talent was still there, Livingston signed Frank to the label, launching the singer on his most prolific era of recording, the Capitol fifties.  Hear Alan Livngston’s intimate account when we open Chapter Five of “The Sinatra Songbook”, Saturday, September 1st at 6pm and Sunday, September 2nd at 8am (Eastern) on Metromedia Radio.



                                   BUILDING YOUR COLLECTION

What albums make for a great starter set?  I get this question a lot.  In the weeks to come, I’ll be listing my favorites, beginning with album titles that represent the best of the best.  Here are two.



SONGS FOR YOUNG LOVERS/SWING EASY (1954) Sinatra at the beginning of his epic era of swingin’ recordings.  More than a glimpse of what’s to come, these sides unleash a confident, thirty-something artist, long on enthusiasm and confidence.  This project pairs two of Frank’s early projects for the Capitol Records label.  Both Songs for Young Lovers and Swing Easy were ten-inch albums.  Each featured eight songs.  All sixteen tracks are in place and are equally strong.  These first album projects with Nelson Riddle feature a small jazz group and a light, breezy attitude.




SONGS FOR SWINGIN’ LOVERS (1956) The granddaddy of ‘em all!  Not the first pairing of Sinatra and legendary arranger-conductor, Nelson Riddle, but the album that would, at once, redefine the attitude of popular music and solidify the Sinatra-Riddle sound for all time.  The classic example here is the signature version of I’ve Got You Under My Skin. Fifteen swingin’ inventions by this unstoppable partnership.  The title says it all!

to be continued…