Sinatra! The Song is You by Will Friedwald
A Singer’s Art

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Sinatra! The Song Is You is the first full-length work to document the musical life of Frank Sinatra. Drawing upon recent interviews with Sinatra collaborators, arrangers, and musicians - as well as previously unpublished conversations with "The Voice" himself - author Will Friedwald chronicles this five-decade career, tracing the evolution of his vocal style from such early influences as Harry James (the bandleader who in the late thirties "discovered" Sinatra in New Jersey's Rustic Cabin), Tommy Dorsey, and Axel Stordahl, with whom Sinatra recorded his first string of solo hits. With the orchestrations of Nelson Riddle in the fifties came a more hard-swinging, uptempo Sinatra; the creation of his own label, Reprise Records, in the sixties gave him the venue to experiment with such unexpected forms as soft rock and psychedelia. Friedwald argues that Sinatra's recordings in the two decades following his 1971 to 1973 retirement weren't as prolific or as consistent as his earlier work, despite a startling comeback that culminated in the 1990s with the platinum-selling Duets discs.

About Will Friedwald

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The week Will Friedwald was born, Frank Sinatra commemorated the occasion by recording Point of No Return. The author of Jazz Singing: America's Great Voices from Bessie Smith to Bebop and Beyond and a regular contributor to The Village Voice and The New York Times, Friedwald has also written for New York magazine, Entertainment Weekly, New York Newsday, L.A. Weekly, and The New York Observer, as well as for numerous music and film journals. He has been a consultant on many television documentaries and has produced and annotated hundreds of compact disc reissues, including several Grammy-winning packages. In 1990, Nancy Sinatra Lambert invited him to write an essay for Frank Sinatra: The Capitol Years. Since then he has contributed to compilations of the music of Frank Sinatra on all four labels on which Sinatra has recorded.
Published August 30, 1995 by Scribner. 560 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Humor & Entertainment, Arts & Photography. Non-fiction

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Sinatra's various arrangers define phases of the singer's career, as evidenced in chapter titles such as ``With Axel Stordahl, 19431948.'' Friedwald is at his best when describing, with some technical depth, how a particular arranger colored Sinatra's music.

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Publishers Weekly

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This admiring account of Frank Sinatra's career provides only sporadic glimpses of the singer's personal life, focusing instead on the music.

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Entertainment Weekly

C Originally posted May 23, 1997 Published in issue #380 May 23, 1997 Order article reprints

May 23 1997 | Read Full Review of Sinatra! The Song is You: A S...

Entertainment Weekly

Back in the old days, Friedwald shows, Sinatra's FDR liberalism and racial tolerance made him the target of right-wing columnists like ''the dreaded Westbrook Pegler, the Rush Limbaugh of the '40s.'' His willingness to have his picture taken with the likes of Sam Giancana led to rumors — absurd, ...

Aug 18 1995 | Read Full Review of Sinatra! The Song is You: A S...

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