Friday, 18 January 2013

Frank Sinatra - "Live At The Blackpool Opera House"

Recorded at the Opera House, Blackpool, 26th July, 1953

with Bill Miller (Piano) and Orchestra conducted by Billy Ternent

This historic performance took place on 26th July, 1953 - Coronation Year - and that is now sixty years ago. It was Frank Sinatra's second Blackpool appearance, the first was also at the Opera House, and in 1950. It was at a time when his career was at a low ebb, having been abandoned by Mitch Miller of Columbia Records, though he was about to become a great success on the Capitol label, with whom he made his legendary series of albums with Nelson Riddle.

The recording has survived, but was never intended for commercial issue, and was not made with a full microphone set-up. The balance therefore leaves a lot to be desired, and is principally Frank Sinatra's vocal microphone, with band, piano and audience all very much in the background. Technically there are difficulties, some overloading on loud vocal passages and some unavoidable background noise, despite the use of modern digital re-mastering techniques.

The Digital Gramophone Company has carefully restored the recording to as near as possible to modern standards but the balance between clarity of sound and quiet background is inevitably a compromise.

However, the end result does enable the listener to enjoy this live show, complete with all of Sinatra's asides and singing some of his best-known numbers to an appreciative audience.

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