Young Blue Eyes: Birth of the Crooner

Tommy Dorsey Orchestra / Frank Sinatra

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Young Blue Eyes: Birth of the Crooner Review

by John Bush

Bluebird certainly didn't need the "As Seen on TV" logo to sell this collection of unreleased Frank Sinatra performances. For fans of Sinatra in general and his early big-band period specifically, Young Blue Eyes: Birth of the Crooner represents a fresh outpouring of Sinatra's winning way with a song. All of the performances are live and come from his stint with Tommy Dorsey's Orchestra, between June 1940 and May 1942 (the last date here was just four months before he left Dorsey for a committed solo career). Three songs are new to Sinatra's recorded repertoire, "You Walk By," "Alice Blue Gown," and "Prairie Night," each as fluffy as their titles suggest but each rescued by Sinatra's indomitable flair. Jo Stafford and the Pied Pipers are present on several tracks, and "East of the Sun (And West of the Moon)" is a looser version of the original hit featuring the Dorsey musicians filling in the gaps between Sinatra's sweet vocals with their own jivey crosstalk. The highlight, ably expounded upon by Will Friedwald in his excellent liner notes, is "Say It," from a 1940 broadcast; after Dorsey's tranquil solo introduces the song, Sinatra accentuates the performance with a vocal that relaxes the melody into a pure appreciation of his own mellifluous vocalizing. Necessary for collectors and suitably enjoyable for anyone interested in his early career, Young Blue Eyes: Birth of the Crooner shows him at a pivotal point in his career; while introducing the opener, "You Walk By," the young Sinatra hilariously switches from his slangy, nasal New Jersey speaking voice to his refined, caressing singing voice.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Tommy Dorsey Orchestra / Frank Sinatra 03:05 Amazon
2 Tommy Dorsey Orchestra / Frank Sinatra 03:01 Amazon
3 Tommy Dorsey Orchestra / Frank Sinatra 02:55 Amazon
4 Tommy Dorsey Orchestra / Frank Sinatra 03:14 Amazon
5 Tommy Dorsey Orchestra / Frank Sinatra 02:53 Amazon
6 Tommy Dorsey Orchestra / Frank Sinatra 03:04 Amazon
7 Tommy Dorsey Orchestra / Frank Sinatra 03:08 Amazon
8 Tommy Dorsey Orchestra / Frank Sinatra 03:22 Amazon
9 Tommy Dorsey Orchestra / Frank Sinatra 03:16 Amazon
10 Tommy Dorsey Orchestra / Frank Sinatra 02:47 Amazon
11 Tommy Dorsey Orchestra / Frank Sinatra 03:10 Amazon
12 Tommy Dorsey Orchestra / Frank Sinatra feat: Connie Haines / The Pied Pipers 03:15 Amazon
13 Tommy Dorsey Orchestra / Frank Sinatra 03:15 Amazon
14 Tommy Dorsey Orchestra / Frank Sinatra feat: The Pied Pipers 02:55 Amazon
15 Tommy Dorsey Orchestra / Frank Sinatra feat: Connie Haines / Jo Stafford 05:01 Amazon
16 Tommy Dorsey Orchestra / Frank Sinatra 02:48 Amazon
17 Tommy Dorsey Orchestra / Frank Sinatra 02:42 Amazon
18 Tommy Dorsey Orchestra / Frank Sinatra 02:59 Amazon
19 Tommy Dorsey Orchestra / Frank Sinatra 03:14 Amazon
20 Tommy Dorsey Orchestra / Frank Sinatra feat: The Pied Pipers 02:42 Amazon
21 Tommy Dorsey Orchestra / Frank Sinatra 03:31 Amazon
22 Tommy Dorsey Orchestra / Frank Sinatra 02:55 Amazon
23 Tommy Dorsey Orchestra / Frank Sinatra 02:15 Amazon
24 Tommy Dorsey Orchestra / Frank Sinatra 03:14 Amazon
25 Tommy Dorsey Orchestra / Frank Sinatra 03:05 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick