Found Performance: Old Blue Eyes

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This is a historical artifact I ran across when researching another article. It goes back 55 years. In 1965, Frank Sinatra, who I thought of back then as an old guy, was 50 years old. His daughter Nancy had an NBC television special coming up (actually it was broadcast in Dec. 1967) called “Movin’ with Nancy.” Her dad was in her show, along with his rat pack buddies Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr.

“Younger Than Springtime” was a Broadway tune, written by Rodgers & Hammestein, from “South Pacific.”  Showtunes were not my cup of tea, but my mom loved them and she played the “South Pacific” soundtrack all the time. The pet parakeet sang along with it, so that is all quite memorable. Frank had previously recorded music by Rodgers and Hammestein, but not “Springtime” from 1949. When he finally recorded the song, it was for inclusion in “Movin’ with Nancy.” The audio from the recording session only appeared within Nancy’s TV special, on the LP soundtrack that accompanied the special, and on a Frank Sinatra anthology album called “The Complete Reprise Studio Recordings.”

“Movin’ With Nancy” soundtrack album
L-R: Nancy, Billy Strange (guitar), Lee Hazlewood

Nancy also appears in this video. By the time her special was released in 1967, she’d had a string of hits including the giant “These Boots Are Made for Walking.” Lee Hazlewood appears in the video as the record producer. He was instrumental in Nancy’s career — record producer, writing many of her hits and even singing duets with her (“Some Velvet Morning,” “Jackson” and “Strawberry Wine”).

Billy Strange is primary to the recording session, credited with arranging the music and conducting the orchestra. Strange worked with Frank when Blue Eyes owned Reprise Records, but Billy was more closely tied to daughter Nancy and Hazlewood. Most of Frank’s earlier and most famous collaberations were with Nelson Riddle and even Gordon Jenkins and Billy May. You will notice that the orchestra is in the studio playing behind Frank, he’s not accompanying a previously recorded music track. It is my understanding that Frank preferred to record in that traditional manner and did so most, if not all, of his career. Below is a rare performance by one of the true legends of the music industry. You will notice that this man with the multi-million dollar voice was smoking during the session.

Frank Sinatra performing “Younger Than Springtime” Sept. 20, 1965

If you’d like to watch a restored version of the 1967 TV Special “Movin’ With Nancy,” including performances by Nancy Sinatra, Frank Sinatra, Lee Hazlewood, Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin CLICK HERE.

 

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Steven L. Smith

Author: Steven L. Smith

Presently editor and historical writer with Puget Sound Media in Seattle. Former radio broadcaster and radio station owner, 1970-1999. Journalism and speech communications degrees. I enjoy researching articles and online reporting that allows me to meld together words, audio and video. P.S. I appreciate and encourage reader comments and opinions.

14 thoughts on “Found Performance: Old Blue Eyes

  1. I couldn’t miss Lee Hazelwood, loved his raspy voice from a long relationship with Joe Camel. I loved that video. I think that I have gained a real appreciation for Sinatra’s music through the years.
    By the way, the m at the end of my last name is a typo. It won’t let me fix it.

  2. Mike…I deleted the extra M for you. I like Sinatra too. For me it was the three big hits when I was a teen…Strangers in the Night, Summer Wind, That’s Life and add to it Something Stupid with Nancy,

  3. Steve ~ I’m more inclined to Frank’s earlier stuff. His 1st #1 hit in ’55 “Learning The Blues,”, “Young At Heart”, Witchcraft”, “You Make Me Feel So Young”, “Fly Me To The Moon”, “All The Way” and even “Love & Marriage”. When it gets to his later releases with Reprise Records … I’d have to go with “The Second Time Around”, “My Way” (with lyrics by Paul Anka), “It Was A Very Good Year”, “Softly As I Leave You” and “That’s Life”.
    Then of course, there are those songs which are totally cemented to Frank: “(The Theme From) New York, New York”, “My Kind Of Town (Chicago Is)”, and “One For My Baby & One More For The Road”.

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