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Here’s To The Ladies

By Mahnuel Muñoz

In March 1977 Frank Sinatra and Nelson Riddle reunited to record an album that would have been called “Here’s To The Ladies“, a thematic album composed of songs named after women.
At a time when Sinatra did little in the studio, a new work with his most paradigmatic arranger was, without a doubt, a historic and very happy event for his followers, since more than 10 years had passed since the last Frank and Nelson album, due to a deteriorated relationship.

On March 9, Sinatra recorded new versions of “Nancy (With The Laughing Face)” and “Emily.” The first song barely needs an introduction, it’s the classic that Phil Silvers and James Van Heusen wrote in the early 1940s for a young Frank Sinatra, king of romantic songs, as a tribute to his first-born daughter. The second song, by Johnny Mercer and Johnny Mandel, was recorded by Sinatra in October 1964, also arranged by Riddle, and appeared on the album “Softly As I Leave You.”

On March 14, three more songs were recorded; “Linda“, by Jack Lawrence, the classic “Sweet Lorraine” – a work by Mitchell Parrish and Cliff Burwell, popularized by Nat King Cole and also recorded by Sinatra in the 1940s – and a song created exclusively for Frank by Mack David and James Van Heusen, “Barbara“, in honor of his then-new wife.

Unfortunately the project did not prosper and the songs remained unreleased until the 1990s, and Frank included “Barbara” in concerts during this period.

It is said that Riddle arranged at least ten songs, including new versions of “Elisabeth” (from the album “Watertown”) and “Stella By Starlight.”

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