Frank Sinatra 90th Birthday
December 12, 2005 marks the 90th anniversary of Frank Sinatra's birth, and Capitol/EMI has planned several activities to celebrate the Chairman of the Board. The day will be marked with special radio broadcasts and other media events, as well as with a new commemorative 2-CD set from Capitol/EMI Music Catalog Marketing pairing Ol' Blue Eyes' final studio albums, Duets and Duets II.
Combined, Frank Sinatra's final studio albums, the immensely popular all-star collaborations Duets and Duets II, have sold more than four million units in the U.S. since their original 1993 and 1994 release. On November 22, Capitol/EMI Music Catalog Marketing released Frank Sinatra -- Duets and Duets II: 90th Birthday Limited Collector's Edition, a new 2-CD commemorative package with both original Duets albums, plus a previously unreleased version of "My Way, " as sung by Willie Nelson and Sinatra.
Radio networks and stations featuring commemorative 90th birthday programming on December 12 include Westwood One Radio Networks, ABC Radio Networks, KPFK and KKGO in Los Angeles, WVNJ in the New York area, WSIE in Chicago, KNEW in San Francisco and KAAM in Dallas. XM Satellite Radio joins the festivities with special Sinatra birthday programming slated for December 12 on Channel 5 "The '50s" and Channel 73 "Frank's Place."
The "Sounds of Sinatra" syndicated radio show, hosted by the legendary Sid Mark, will air a special "90th Birthday Duets" salute as part of its annual Frank Sinatra birthday show (weekend of December 11 and 12), and Southern California's Fabulous 690 Radio will devote its third anniversary programming to all-things-Frank Sinatra, with special in-studio guests and a custom playlist for the day. Charlie Pignone, author of The Sinatra Treasures and vice president of Sinatra Enterprises, is among the guests scheduled to appear on the special broadcast. Around the world, Fabulous Radio can be streamed live at www.fabulousradio.com.
Regarded by many as the greatest popular singer of the 20th Century, Frank Sinatra's dynamic entertainment career spanned an unparalleled seven decades, and he became a household name around the world, also known as "Ol' Blue Eyes" and "The Chairman of the Board." From 1953 to 1960, Sinatra recorded more than 17 albums for Capitol Records. During Sinatra's years with Capitol, he pioneered and perfected the idea of the "concept album" by recording and sequencing songs on his LPs to strike and complete a specific mood.
In 1956, Frank Sinatra was the first artist to record in the newly-built Capitol Studios at Hollywood & Vine in Los Angeles. In June and July 1993, Sinatra returned to his Capitol Records' Studio A home to record Duets, his first new album in more than nine years. He was joined by many of the world's most popular contemporary recording artists for what was referred to as "The Recording Event of The Decade." Artists including Charles Aznavour, Anita Baker, Tony Bennett, Bono, Natalie Cole, Gloria Estefan, Aretha Franklin, Kenny G, Julio Iglesias, Liza Minnelli, Carly Simon, Barbra Streisand, and Luther Vandross were paired with Sinatra for an album of standards, including many songs instantly associated with the Chairman of the Board.
Duets II, released in 1994, followed global sales of more than five million units and worldwide critical and popular acclaim for Duets. Duets II presented a musical extravaganza of the best international rock, jazz, pop, and country artists singing with Frank Sinatra. Jimmy Buffett, Neil Diamond, Lena Home, Chrissie Hynde, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Patti LaBelle, Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme, Luis Miguel, Lorrie Morgan, Willie Nelson, Linda Ronstadt, Jon Secada, Frank Sinatra, Jr., and Stevie Wonder & Gladys Knight collaborated on creative new interpretations of songs, lyrics and arrangements that had been associated with Frank Sinatra throughout his extraordinary career.
For the recording of Duets and Duets II, Sinatra and his collaborators were accompanied by a 54-piece orchestra. The albums' Musical Director and Conductor was Patrick Williams, one of the music and film industries' most acclaimed conductors. Both albums also feature the work of another great talent, the world-renowned artist LeRoy Neiman. The albums' original covers display Neiman's specially commissioned paintings of Frank Sinatra, both of which are included in Duets -- 90th Birthday Edition.
From his first recording sessions in the 1930s until his death in May 1998, Frank Sinatra earned global acclaim as a recording artist and conductor, film producer, director and actor, and radio and television personality. Sinatra's impact on American culture endures to this day, reflected not only in the new music and countless young artists he's inspired, but also as an icon of timeless suave cool.
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