You can’t rewrite history or can you? Most people remember Frank Sinatra these days for his slick performances in the 50s and 60s, the voice of the 20th century, the leader of The Clan (now commonly referred to as The Rat Pack) and the movie star.
Frequently overlooked are his early years, a good two decades formed around regular American radio appearances in which he became the first serious rival to Bing Crosby in the popular music stakes.
Frank Sinatra: a Voice On Air 1935-55 is a fabulous audio document cataloguing a diversity of radio performances from a live equivalent of a top 20 best selling songs show to a dedication programme on the day of the D Day landings.
The clarity on these historical recordings is astounding to say the least and brings back to life one of the most interesting periods in Sinatra’s career with some sharp performances of songs such as That Old Black Magic and It Had To Be You.
Listen out for an early rehearsal take of As Time Goes By, with Sinatra leading the way while the backing musicians still haven’t quite got it together, the consummate performer has arrived but no-one seems to have realised, its a real peek into music history and a must for Sinatra fans.
A version of this review appeared in the South Wales Argus entertainment supplement The Guide on December 11, 2015.