This may be the best Frank Sinatra Centennial Year news yet: More than 100 radio performances and rehearsals — most unheard since they originally aired — will be released on a new four-CD boxed set, Frank Sinatra: A Voice on Air (1935-1955), due out on the Sony/Legacy label Nov. 20.
The set ranges, chronologically, from Sinatra’s first radio performance in 1935 (singing “S-H-I-N-E” with the Hoboken Four) to his 1955 weekly series, “The Frank Sinatra Show.” Along the way, there are dozens of songs he never recorded, including Cole Porter’s “Don’t Fence Me In,” Frank Loesser’s “I Wish I Didn’t Love You So” and Jerome Kern and Ira Gershwin’s “Long Ago and Far Away.” There are also duets with Nat King Cole (“Exactly Like You”), Benny Goodman (“I Only Have Eyes for You”), Peggy Lee (“You Brought a New Kind of Love to Me”), Doris Day (“Take Me Out to the Ballgame” and “There’s No Business Like Show Business”) and Milton Berle (“It’s De-Lovely”), songwriters Irving Berlin (“Alexander’s Ragtime Band”) and Johnny Mercer (“Ac-Cen-Tchu-Ate the Positive”), and others.
The set’s 60-page book will include rare photographs as well as an introductory essay by Michael Feinstein; a personal remembrance by Sinatra daughter’s Nancy; and a detailed essay by Sinatra historian, author and producer and Charles L. Granata. A longtime Livingston resident, Granata produced the boxed set and oversaw, with engineer Andreas Meyer, the restoration and remastering of the tracks.
The recordings were compiled from various sources, including The Library of Congress, the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, the Paley Center for Media, the Michael Feinstein Great American Songbook Initiative archive and The University of Colorado’s Glenn Miller Archive.
There will also be a single 26-track CD featuring songs not on the boxed set. This CD will be offered exclusively at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. and through its website; visit smithsonianmag.com/sinatra for information.
Sinatra was born on Dec. 12, 1915, in Hoboken.
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