Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Frank Sinatra: The Nearness of You

Mark Steyn had this as his Sinatra Song of the Century # 33 back in May. Bob had the 1960 recording as one of his honorable mention selections this week. I got prompted to do this post after doing the More Sinatra Summer post and then refreshing my memory (Mark planted the seed in May).

Frank Sinatra first recorded this Hoagy Carmichael Ned Washington song with Axel Stordahl arranging it in 1947:

And then again in 1960 on the Nelson Riddle arranged Nice 'n' Easy album (which as Mark notes above did not make the cut, getting bumped by Bergman's title song, until years later when the CD came out): 

The differences between the two Sinatra Nearness recordings are subtle, Nelson (and perhaps with Frank's input too) slows it down even more, allowing an older, more mature Sinatra to emphasize the lyrics.  

As for its rebirth with rock musicians, Keith Richards does a good job playing Carmichael's music on his guitar (Keith's singing may be even worse than Shelly Fabares).

Off the topic of Hoagy Carmichael and Ned Washington's classic, but for a great film on the cross pollination between jazz, blues, and pop/rock via the influence of great LA studio musicians on sixties and seventies recordings, check out The Wrecking Crew (I saw it on AXS, but I suspect you can get it eventually on your Netflix queue too). And that film has a touch of Frank and quite a bit of Nancy.

Pundette: Gershwin's Foggy Day
Bob Belvedere: Honorable Mentions 6
Mark Steyn: Young at Heart and I've Got the World on a String
EBL: More Sinatra Summer, Things We Did Last Summer, and Sinatra at the Beach

Don’t forget to also keep checking out
Pundette’s Sinatra 100 countdown,
Ms Evi’s Sinatra Celebration,
Dispatches from the Camp of the Saints Sinatra, &
Mark Steyn’s Sinatra Songs Of The Century.
It’s a swingin’ world.

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