Sinatra - The Televised British Concerts

This is Sinatra! (a.k.a. Sinatra Command Performance)
Recorded at the Royal Festival Hall, London: Midnight June 1st 1962
In presence of Princess Margaret
Starring: Frank Sinatra
Accompanied by the Bill Miller Sextet
  Bill Miller (piano), Irv Cottler (drums), Al Viola (guitar), Ralph Pena (bass), Harry Klee (reeds),
  Emil Richards (vibes)
Introduced by David Jacobs
Devised by arrangement with Harold Davison
Director: Philip Jones
© ABC Television. Broadcast on ITV June 2nd 1962 (93 mins) 
Unofficial 2-CD set available: The Definitive Concert : Frank Sinatra  Clef Records CR-CD 1001

Concert Programme (29songs) 10: The Second Time Around 20: Night And Day
 1: Goody Goody  11: Too Marvellous For Words 21: Autumn Leaves
 2: Imagination 12: My Funny Valentine 22: I Could Have Danced All Night
 3: At Long Last Love 13: In The Still Of The Night 23: One For My Baby
 4: Moonlight In Vermont 14: My Blue Heaven 24: A Foggy Day
 5: Without A Song 15: April In Paris 25: The Lady Is A Tramp
 6: Day In, Day Out 16: You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You 26: Ol' Man River
 7: The Moon Was Yellow 17: They Can't Take That Away From Me 27: You Make Me Feel So Young
 8: I've Got You Under My Skin 18: All The Way 28: Nancy
 9: I Get A Kick Out Of You 19: Chicago 29: Come Fly With Me

WebLink for'This Is Sinatra!'

Personal Review:

My viewing of this concert was of the full 'raw' coverage screened at the NFT in London in September 1998 - sans title credits and editing - so it is unclear whether all of the above programme was screened on television. Following a very brief intro by David Jacobs, onto the floor strode Sinatra and began an incredible list of classic popular song performances. Roughly the first half was performed straight through with barely a pause of introduction. Following a single break the rest of the show was peppered with comments on the songs, the fellow musicians and much else. At one point an English 'cup of tea' was drunk, to be praised by Frank for the soothing effect on his throat, only for him to admit blowing the benefit on a cigarette which he smoked, stubbed out on the concert floor and then acted shocked at the enormity of this act on such a hallowed stage!

The backing of the sextet gave a swinging informality to the musical programme, maybe light on orchestral gravitas, but great fun in the performances. Indeed it was apparent Sinatra was both in very good voice and in total synch with the musicians - they having been together on the charity tour across Europe and beyond for some time. Very difficult to pick out items more outstanding than others - however 'Day In Day Out' got 'high power' treatment with Frank clapping along with the arrangement, 'One For My Baby' - cigarette lit in hand - was richly performed, even acted out, as you might expect and 'You Make Me Feel So Young' had great vibes playing complementing the Sinatra voice. 'Night and Day' was particularly poignant as performed by Sinatra and Al Viola on guitar, alone.

Night of Nights
Recorded at the Royal Festival Hall, London: November 16th 1970 (second show)
Introduced by Princess Grace of Monaco
Starring: Frank Sinatra
Musical Director and Orchestra conducted by Bill Miller
Sound: Chris Holcombe
Lighting: Tommy Thomas
Produced by Harold Davison
Presented for Television by Stanley Dorfman
© BBC-TV. Broadcast on BBC1 November 22nd 1970 (colour) (50 mins)

Concert Programme 6: I Get Along Without You Very Well
 (12songs) 7: Didn't We
1: You Make Me Feel So Young 8: One For My Baby
2: Pennies From Heaven  9: I Will Drink The Wine
3: I've Got You Under My Skin 10: I Have Dreamed
4: Something 11: My Kind of Town
5: The Lady Is A Tramp 12: My Way


Personal Review: Sinatra's return to the Festival Hall - some eight years after his first televised concert - was this time accompanied by a full scale orchestra - and consequently had a less informal feel. He was introduced (in depth) by Princess Grace of Monaco - 'what a press agent' was Sinatra's response to her tales of their time in Africa during the filming of Ava Gardner's movie 'Mogambo' and their work together on 'High Society'. The concert programme this time was not so extensive but still stacked with quality - although he seemed to forget the lyrics to 'Pennies From Heaven' if only briefly. 'The Lady Is a Tramp' was described as 'an old chestnut' and - prior to the finale - a glance upwards presaged a promise (threat?) 'I will play the organ!'. The section beginning with 'I Get Along Without You Very Well' was described as the 'Songs for Losers' section. The orchestra - conducted by Bill Miller and including Irv Cottler on drums (also spotted was Don Lusher on trombone) - were splendid throughout and applauded by Frank at the close.

Note: 'Night of Nights' was repeated by BBC television as part of their tribute after his passing in 1998. This screening omitted 'Something', 'Didn't We' and 'I Will Drink the Wine'. Not having seen the original broadcast I am not sure if these were cut from the original broadcast or only from the repeat/tribute screening.

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'This Is Sinatra' © ABC television; 'Night of Nights' © BBC
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