HAPPY BIRTHDAY, FRANK
Frank Sinatra doesn’t turn 75 until December, but two record companies are giving him early presents: boxed-set collections of his work. In late September or early October, Capitol Records will put out Legend and Legacy: The Capitol Years. It’s a three-CD package (also on cassette but not on LP) with 75 tunes recorded by Sinatra between 1953 and 1962. The set will include a few previously unreleased songs (”Here Goes”) and a few alternate takes (”One for My Baby” with piano accompaniment only). In addition to background information about the sessions, there may be liner notes by daughter Nancy.
At about the same time, Reprise will release The Reprise Sinatra, a four-CD selection (also on cassette but not LP) of 80 tunes that Sinatra did for the label, which he founded in 1961 and later sold. Among the tunes in the Reprise set are ”Let’s Fall in Love” from 1962 and ”Mack the Knife,” done in 1984. The booklet accompanying the package will include an essay by Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist William Kennedy, author of Ironweed, who also happens to be a Sinatra fan.
In what seems an unprecedented show of cooperation, the two labels are set to coordinate their Sinatra releases. ”This kind of cross-marketing has never happened before,” says Wayne Watkins, director of catalog development at Capitol. ”But it’s Sinatra’s 75th birthday. Of all our artists, Sinatra is the most consistent seller. He’s worth the attention.”
THE ORIGINAL BO
How did MCA producer Andy McKaie track down the origgnal master tapes of the very first recording session by Bo Diddley? Unlike every other compiler, who had simply looked for everything by ”Diddley,” he did a computer search of the company’s archives using ”Bo.” That’s why he found the tapes, which had been misfiled under the name ”Bo Diddle.”
McKaie’s ingenuity enabled him to include some rare Diddley music in Bo Diddley: The Chess Box, coming in mid-August. Among the 45 cuts in the two-CD (two-cassette or three-LP) release will be such classics from the late ’50s and early ’60s as ”Bo Diddley” and ”I’m a Man.” It will also include nine unreleased songs and five alternate takes. If you want to know Diddley, this will be a good place to start.