Sunday, September 13, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Frank Sinatra

Artist:Frank Sinatra f/Ethel Merman
Song:You're The Top
DVD:Stage & Screen Collection

Though Frank Sinatra and Ethel Merman never recorded together, they did perform together when Ethel appeared on a 1958 episode of The Frank Sinatra Show. This clip of You're The Top appeared on the 2002 PBS special Classic Duets. This show was released on CD and DVD so PBS could sell it during pledge breaks but both the CD and DVD are out of print. This DVD Stage & Screen Collection is the only place that you can get the clip on DVD. You're The Top was more identified with Ethel than with Sinatra. Cole Porter wrote You're The Top for his 1934 show Anything Goes and Ethel appeared in the Broadway show and in the film version with Bing Crosby though I understand that film was not a pleasant experience for her. Though Ethel appeared in films, she preferred Broadway. Sinatra performed You're The Top on a 1944 radio broadcast but it doesn't appear that he ever recorded the song. ABC's The Frank Sinatra Show was Sinatra's second attempt at a TV series. It ran from Oct. 18, 1957 to June 6, 1958 for 39 episodes. Only 13 of the 39 episodes were variety shows. The rest were dramas either starring or hosted by Sinatra. The low ratings for the dramas weren't good enough to justify the $3M ABC paid Sinatra and the show was cancelled after one season. Ethel Merman appeared on the Apr. 25, 1958 episode. As far as I can tell, this was the only time these two legends performed together. And from what I understand, they were not friends. This clip is available on this DVD Stage & Screen Collection which also includes video performances with Louis Armstrong and Bing Crosby & Dean Martin and the 1954 film The Man With The Golden Arm which is a great film. And there are several Sinatra solo performances but it is not clear if they are audio or video. All of this stuff is supposed to be on one DVD so that makes me wonder about the quality. But it's the only place you can get this one time performance by Frank Sinatra and Ethel Merman. Here's Frank Sinatra featuring Ethel Merman performing You're The Top on The Frank Sinatra Show Apr. 25, 1958.

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