Archive for Frank Sinatra

(Less Than) 30 Days Out From Christmas: Yuletide Tales

Posted in 30 Days Out (From Christmas) with tags , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2012 by 30daysout


In the weeks before Christmas, it’s kinda tough to get the kids calmed down. They’re rabid with anticipation, giddy with thoughts of Santa – more likely, fueled by so much caffeine and greed they could stay awake until Memorial Day.

So why don’t you gather them around for a little story? It doesn’t have to be a spoken word story – plenty of Christmas tunes tell their own little tales. But a good, long tale … why, that’s enough to send even the toughest kid into Dreamland.

MP3: “The Night Before Christmas” by Bob Dylan

MP3: “Father Christmas” by The Kinks

MP3: “The Old Man’s Drunk Again” by Jimmy Martin

MP3: “The Meaning of Christmas” by C3-PO and Friends

MP3: “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear” by Frank Sinatra

MP3: “Frosty The Snowman” by Steve “Lips” Kudlow, Bumblefoot, Chris Chaney & Kenny Aronoff

MP3: “Santa Claus and His Old Lady” by Cheech & Chong

MP3: “Christmas In Prison” by John Prine

MP3: “Snoopy’s Christmas” by the Royal Guardsmen

MP3: “The Bizarre Christmas Incident” by the Ben Folds Five

MP3: “.22 Rifle For Christmas” episode of “Dragnet” radio show

Happy Birthday, Paul!

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 18, 2012 by 30daysout

Sir Paul McCartney is 70 years ago today.

One of the greatest songwriters and singers in rock and roll, Sir Paul McCartney turns 70 today (June 18). With the Beatles and later as a solo performer and bandleader, McCartney created some of the best (and worst) music in rock and roll history. He isn’t as cool today as he was in the 1960s or in the early part of the 1970s, but even at the twilight of his career McCartney is still a formidable talent.

In 1965 McCartney wrote “Yesterday,” which the Guinness Book of World Records says is the most covered song ever. It has been covered more than 3,000 times and in the 20th century alone the song was performed more than 7 million times.

Here you have a handful of tunes to represent Sir Paul’s long and fruitful career. McCartney may be rather unfairly judged by his output over recent years, but most of this shit rocks. Happy birthday!

MP3: “Yesterday” by Frank Sinatra

MP3: “Goodbye” by Mary Hopkin

MP3: “Blackbird” by Billy Preston

MP3: “Hey Jude” by Wilson Pickett

MP3: “Maybe I’m Amazed” by The Faces

MP3: “Smile Away” by The Krayolas

MP3: “Let It Be” by Aretha Franklin

MP3: “Michelle” by Iggy Pop

MP3: “On The Wings Of A Nightingale” by the Everly Brothers

MP3: “All Together Now” by Jim White

MP3: “Come And Get It” by Badfinger

MP3: “Give Ireland Back To The Irish” (alternate version) by Wings

MP3: “Every Night” (live) by Wings

MP3: “Scrambled Eggs” by Jimmy Fallon (feat. Paul McCartney)

MP3: “I Saw Her Standing There (Take 9)” by The Beatles

MP3: “The Fool On The Hill (Take 4)” by The Beatles

MP3: “Yesterday” (live, 1965) by The Beatles

MP3: “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” (live, 1989) by Paul McCartney

Bah, Humbug! More Worst Christmas Songs Ever

Posted in Christmas with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 22, 2011 by 30daysout

We must have been in a hurry to put up our last post on this subject because we missed a whole bunch of holiday stinkers. Here is the rest of our list of the best of the worst Christmas songs of all-time:

“Last Christmas” by Wham

Released in 1984, shortly after we were introduced to George Michael and his white short shorts.

“The Chipmunk Song” by Alvin and the Chipmunks

I thought it was cute in sixth grade, but I heard it the other day and it was a long 2:23.

“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” by GLEE Cast

Like the great Kevin Dorsey used to say on 101 KLOL in Houston…”I just don’t know anymore.”

“Wonderful Christmastime” by Paul McCartney

I love Paul McCartney, but this song sounds like he got a new Casio for Christmas and had a lot of time to kill.

“Blue Christmas” by Elvis Presley

Elvis sounds fine and the song is not horrible, but the background singers kill it.

“Dominick the Donkey”

Anyone have Tony Soprano’s number? Maybe he can whack the stronzo who wrote this scoreggia.

“Step Into Christmas” by Elton John

This one never did anything for me. Sounds like a throwaway that was turned into a Christmas tune.

“Toyland” by Doris Day

Heard this for the first time this morning and it will be the last.

“The 12 Days of Christmas” by The Sinatra Family

I can picture rich people sitting around the tree singing this version as the help serves them another cup of egg nog.

Your Sister’s (Record) Rack: Nancy Sinatra

Posted in Your Sister's Record Rack with tags , , on April 19, 2011 by 30daysout

Saturday was Record Store Day – I hope you got what you were looking for. Part of the fun, of course, to get what you aren’t looking for … in my case, along with all the new and exclusive vinyl I snapped up a gently used copy of Sugar, the 1967 LP by Nancy Sinatra.

Nancy is, of course, the daughter of you-know-who and she exploded onto the music scene in 1966 with the smash hit “These Boots Are Made For Walkin’.” That tune was written and produced by Lee Hazlewood, who would be Nancy’s svengali throughout her peak period. In those days pop (or, more accurately, non-rock) singers put out records as though they came off an assembly line; often an album from a singer like this would consist of one or two hits and a bucketload of filler with little or nothing to tie the songs together.

Hazlewood, to his credit, produced not only hit singles but albums for Nancy Sinatra, so she had a little in common with the popular rock artists of the era. Of course, the “concept” behind Sugar was lame – the liner notes say the album contains “sweet, soulful serenades from the old timey years” and that meant a lot of old Depression-era tunes with Hollywood orchestration. Lame, right? Well, consider “When I’m 64” from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and “Honey Pie” from the Beatles’ White Album are cut from the same cloth – so there may have been a bit of a mini-nostalgia craze for that era during the mid-1960s.

“Hard Hearted Hannah,” “Sweet Georgia Brown” and “Let’s Fall In Love” are so familiar they’re corny. “My Buddy” slows it down with a cornet straight out of Little Rascals feature, and “Limehouse Blues” offers a bit of phony Orientalism. Things pick up considerably, though, with the two originals Hazlewood penned for this album: “Coastin'” is a lazy lope with a bit of a summer vibe, but the big payoff comes with “Sugar Town,” a song in same vein that was a big hit. Actually, “Sugar Town” pre-existed before the Sugar album – it was a Top Five smash in late 1966 (with the B-side “Summer Wine,” a duet with Hazlewood that was re-released to also become a hit).

True to the one-or-two-hits-and-the-rest-filler standard, Sugar had no other big hits. Not to say that Nancy didn’t reach the top of the charts again in 1967 – her second No. 1 hit came that year, in the form of “Somethin’ Stupid,” a duet with her father and the only father-daughter song to ever top the U.S. pop charts. Sugar was a hit album but Sinatra’s followup, an album of country songs, wouldn’t do as well.

Sugar was also notable for its risque (at the time) cover photo of Nancy Sinatra in a bikini, which caused the LP to be banned in some cities. Wow – the very next year John Lennon and Yoko Ono would show the world how to do a truly controversial album cover, with their fully nude photo on Two Virgins.

Nancy Sinatra continues to perform today, occasionally recording a new song. She currently appears on “To Ardent,” from Black Devil Disco Club (free download here). Her recordings continue to appear in movie soundtracks and TV commercials, all recalling that glittery late-1960s era.

MP3: “Sweet Georgia Brown”

MP3: “Let’s Fall In Love”

MP3: “Sugar Town”

MP3: “My Buddy”

Bonus MP3: “Summer Wine” w/Lee Hazlewood

Review: “The Complete Reprise Recordings” by Frank Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on August 4, 2010 by 30daysout

If you didn’t already think Frank Sinatra was one of the greatest singers of all time, you will be convinced after listening to Sinatra/Jobim: The Complete Reprise Recordings. This 20-song collaboration with bossa nova master musician Antonio Carlos Jobim includes the pair’s first album, Francis Albert Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim, and the “lost” second album that Sinatra killed, for reasons unknown, after a few hundred copies had already been printed.

This collection shows a different side of the Chairman of the Board.  There’s no swagger or Rat Pack bravado. Instead, he sets a different mood by singing quiet with an immense amount of passion on excellent tunes like “Wave”  and the hauntingly beautiful, “Dindi.” Other highlights include “Baubles, Bangles and Beads” (many of you might remember this was the tune playing on the boat when “Big Pussy” met his maker on the season 2 finale of The Sopranos), “Someone To Light Up My Life,” the elegant “Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars,” and, of course, “The Girl from Ipanema.”

Although these songs have been released on separate collections, it’s nice to have them all on one, remastered CD with kick ass liner notes and photos.  This disc is a must for any Sinatra fan, and a great place to start for the curious.

“Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars” by Sinatra/Jobim

“The Girl from Ipanema” by Sinatra/Jobim

E Street Band drummer Max Weinberg interviews

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on June 11, 2010 by 30daysout

Check out two interviews with E Street Band drummer Max Weinberg. He talks about everything from Bruce to Conan O’Brien to Gene Krupa to meeting Frank Sinatra. Weinberg’s Big Band opens up its tour tonight in Red Bank, NJ.

107.5 The Hawk interview with Tom Cunningham

Rolling Stone interview

Max Weinberg Big Band official website

“Live in Miami” – Max Weinberg Big Band

Your Sister’s (Record) Rack: Frank Sinatra

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , on March 29, 2010 by 30daysout

How about a little change of pace today? Okay, here’s Strangers In The Night by Frank Sinatra.  When this album was released in 1966, rock and roll had pretty much taken over -but there were still plenty of older listeners around who dug Andy Williams, Perry Como and the Rat Pack.  That’s kind of what made the era’s AM radio so cool: you could hear the Beatles, then Aretha Franklin, then the Byrds, then Sinatra, then Bob Dylan … and that’s also why many car radios came with buttons so you could bail on a station playing a “bad” song.

By this time Frank Sinatra had already left Capitol Records and started his own label, Reprise.  He recorded Strangers In The Night with long-time arranger/conductor Nelson Riddle and his orchestra.  Sinatra had started a comeback of sorts in 1965, playing tons of shows and cutting the hit album September Of My Years.  The new album, Strangers, built on that success with the title track, which was the first song recorded for this album.  Although Sinatra later claimed he disliked the song, it still stuck to the core of his sound and put him on the radio.  One of the most memorable and recognizable features of the record is Sinatra’s scat improvisation of the melody with the syllables “doo-be-doo-be-doo” as the song fades to the end.   Some fans said the song fades too early (how would they know?), cutting short Sinatra’s improvisation.  The greatest-hits CD Nothing But The Best corrects that:  the song was remastered and the running time clocks in with an extra nine seconds of Sinatra’s scat singing.

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Happy Birthday, Paul!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 17, 2009 by 30daysout

One of the greatest songwriters and singers in rock and roll, Paul McCartney turns 67 on Thursday (June 18).  With the Beatles and later as a solo performer and bandleader, McCartney created some of the best (and worst) music in rock and roll history.  He isn’t as cool today as he was in the 1960s, or in the early part of the 1970s, but even at the twilight of his career McCartney is still a formidable talent.  His album Electric Arguments, released as The Fireman late last year, was considered to be one of the year’s best and a return to form for McCartney.  A collaboration with fellow legend Bob Dylan may be in the works – if it happens, that would be another milestone in an incredible career.

In 1965 McCartney wrote “Yesterday,” which the Guinness Book of World Records says is the most covered song ever.  It has been covered more than 3,000 times and in the 20th century alone the song was performed more than 7 million times.  We thought about doing a marathon with different covers of one song (as we did a few weeks ago on Bob Dylan’s birthday) but thought it would be more fun to just dig up songs from throughout McCartney’s career.  So after the jump you have some of McCartney’s best music as performed by others, as well as a few versions of “Yesterday.”  McCartney may be rather unfairly judged by his output over recent years, but most of this shit rocks.  Happy birthday!

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Review: “Quiet Nights,” Diana Krall

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on April 28, 2009 by 30daysout


Lets just start off by saying Elvis Costello is one lucky MF. His wife, Diana Krall, is not only an extremely talented piano player and singer, but she’s so sexy it’s ridiculous. She could just stand there with no makeup, her hair in curlers, singing names out of the phone book and it would still be sexy as hell. On her latest release, Quiet Nights, she uses her smoky, sensuous vocals to give new life to some old standards.

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30 Days Out (from Christmas): Crooners

Posted in 30 Days Out (From Christmas) with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 8, 2008 by 30daysout


Day 11 – Let’s face it, the best Christmas songs were written and recorded in the 1930s, 40s, 50s and 60s, with a few exceptions. Versions of holiday classics like “White Christmas,” “The Christmas Song,” andywilliams“The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” and “Winter Wonderland” by Nat ‘King” Cole, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis, Bing Crosby, Andy Williams and Dean Martin are still most popular all these years later.  Why?  Most likely because these guys could really sing.  

MP3: “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by Andy Williams

MP3: “Christmas Is A-Comin'” by Bing Crosby

MP3: “It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas” by Johnny Mathis

MP3: “The Christmas Waltz” by Frank Sinatra   sinatra3

MP3: “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” by Tom Jones & Cery Matthews

MP3: “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” by Lou Rawls

MP3: “Silver Bells” by Al Martino 

MP3: “Christmas Time All Over The World” by Sammy Davis Jr.

MP3: “Jingle Bell Hustle” by Wayne Newton

MP3: “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” by Dean Martin

YouTube: “The Christmas Song” by Nat “King” Cole

YouTube:”Happy Holidays/It Came Upon A Midnight Clear” by Perry Como

YouTube: “My Favorite Things” by Tony Bennett