Sinatra! The Song Is You

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Frank Sinatra was the greatest entertainer of his age, invigorating American popular song with innovative phrasing and a mastery of drama and emotion. Drawing upon interviews with hundreds of his collaborators as well as with “The Voice” himself, this book chronicles, critiques, and celebrates his five-decade career. Will Friedwald examines and evaluates all the classic and less familiar songs with the same astute, witty perceptions that earned him acclaim for his other books about jazz and pop singing. Now completely revised and updated, and including an authoritative discography and rare photos of recording sessions and performances, Sinatra! The Song Is You is an invaluable resource for enthusiasts and an unparalleled guide through Sinatra’s vast musical legacy.


Will Friedwald is the author of Stardust Melodies, A Biographical Guide to the Great Jazz and Pop Singers, and Jazz Singing, among others.


"[This] is the most important book published about Frank Sinatra to date." —Terry Teachout, New York Times Book Review

"Frieldwald is certainly the man for the job, with an encyclopedic knowledge of Sinatra's work and a superb gift for describing it. . . . Sinatra's career has provided the soundtrack for a good part of our century. And better than any previous writer, Friedwald helps to explain why." —Jazz Times

"Blithe, respectful, snappy, and smart, Friedwald catches the creative fire of the singer. . . . Forget all the tabloid headlines. This is the best book ever written about Sinatra's deepest secret: his craft." —Jay Cocks, Time

"Sinatra intersected with so many of America's leading songwriters, band leaders, arrangers, and instrumentalists that a thorough exploration of his music amounts to a huge slice of American pop history. That is what Friedwald has produced in Sinatra! . . . [He] brings to his topic a potent mixture of historical knowledge, musical insight and descriptive color. The book makes a compelling case for the preeminence of [Sinatra as] an artist. . . . One's appreciation for almost any Sinatra album, even the most egregious turkeys of his later years, will be enhanced by listening to them with the author's comments close at hand." —Stephen Holden, New York Times

"The finest study yet." —Wall Street Journal

"Musicians will appreciate the author's informed appraisals. . . . Many ofthe small details included will fascinate Sinatra fans." —Choice

"Friedwald's book is the most important and complete documentary of popular American music. . . . It shows that Sinatra alone is the president of all the popular American singers." —Tony Bennett

"A man with unexcelled knowledge of American popular song, Friedwald looks intensively at the career of The Voice, Ol' Blue Eyes, the Chairman of the Board. . . . Along with the serious analysis there's a plentitude of great trivia. . . . This excellent volume is indispensible as a companion to Sinatra's recordings. In our era of biotrash, Sinatra! hits a welcome high note." —Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Perceptive, colorful, and prodigiously researched." —Publishers Weekly

"A stimulating guide to Sinatra as an artist." —Los Angeles Times

"Sure to delight true Sinatra Fans." —Library Journal