There are countless Frank Sinatra radio shows reissued on CD out there, but 1949: Lite up Time Shows stands up as one of the best. This is ironic because Sinatra's voice was worn out from stress and over-singing at the time of these recordings. The singer had a truly grueling schedule at the time that included around eight live sets a night, two radio shows a day, plus a full recording schedule, and his popularity was in steep decline. Thankfully, none of this stress -- vocal or otherwise -- shows up on these selections. In fact, Sinatra seems relaxed and in good spirits and his phrasing is looser and more swinging than on his studio recordings of the time. On top of this, there are plenty of excellent small-group jazz numbers to be had here, many of which feature guest horn player Bobby Hackett. Overall, this is an essential CD for Sinatra fans that offers great music and a wonderful view into late-'40s popular culture.
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AllMusic Review by Nick Dedina