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In my estimation, Frank Sinatra’s greatest work on television can be found in two specials, Frank Sinatra: A Man and His Music – Parts One and Two, 1965 and 1966, respectively.   Part One was inspired by the singer’s fiftieth birthday celebration and career retrospective.

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Deluxe Release LP Packaging          General Release LP Packaging

 A two-LP collection of the same name was released by Reprise at this time.

 

Sinatra in the mid sixties was, probably the biggest star on TV, in clubs, at the box office and on record.  Vocally and as an all-around performer, he was at the top of his game.

 

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Part One was distinctive television, owing to the simplicity of execution.  Simple lighting, sets and no guest stars.  Just the orchestras of Nelson Riddle and Gordon Jenkins and Sinatra, all doing what came so naturally.   And the man coordinating it all was director, Dwight Hemion.

 

 

Hemion

 Dwight Hemion

From Steve Allen’s Tonight Show forward, Hemion was brilliant at his craft.  He chose projects filled with so much natural talent, nothing more was necessary.

Dwight’s great gift was creating a forum in which a performer could do what he or she did best.  So, in specials starring Baryshnikov, Streisand, Como, Crosby and so many more, Hemion’s cameras simply got out of their way.                      

A Man and His Music – Part One was Emmy and Peabody award-winning television.  Part Two a year later was the natural follow-up. Over the course of his stunning career, Dwight Hemion garnered a record 47 Emmy nominations.  He won 18 times.

Our SONGBOOK Chapter Twenty-Four is as much a tribute to TV genius, Dwight Hemion as it is a tribute to Sinatra’s performance in these two hours.  Highlights from both specials will be featured when we open Chapter Twenty-Four, Saturday, July 27 at 6pm EST and Sunday, July 28 at 8am EST on Metromedia Radio (metromediaradio.net).

 

RECOMMENDED VIEWING

MAHM_Shout FactoryBoth programs are bundled in the Shout Factory DVD issue, Frank Sinatra – A Man and His Music: The Collection.

This release belongs in the collection of every serious Sinatra collector.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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to be continued…

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