Thursday, May 13, 2010

Jonathan Schwartz and Frank Sinatra

Paris, 1962: Sinatraphile Jonathan Schwartz met Sinatra for the first time, at La Tour d’Argent:

He was forty-six years old, effortlessly imperial, shyly suspicious, dangerously iconic. With us he was somewhat charming, greeting Betsy warmly, Mosk with a handshake. When he was introduced to me, I threw Arthur at him. “He’s a good friend of mine,” Sinatra said with a strong squeeze of my hand, though my father had met him once and spoken to him on the phone twice about ASCAP business.

“Why are there two different versions of ‘To Love and Be Loved’?” is what came out of my mouth.

“I don’t know,” Sinatra said, correctly sensing one of the music lunatics.

“There’s one with the high note and the other is shorter with the same arrangement by Riddle but it’s a different take and it doesn’t have the high note so I was wondering why the two versions were released and also recorded on two different dates because . . .”

Sinatra turned away.

Mosk asked me what that was all about.

I told him that I had simply lost it.

Jonathan Schwartz, All in Good Time: A Memoir (New York: Random House, 2004).
The other players: Betsy Blair, actress; Gene Moskowitz, Variety writer; Nelson Riddle, composer and arranger; Arthur Schwartz, composer. All in Good Time chronicles the ups and downs of Schwartz’s later encounters with Sinatra.

Here’s one version of “To Love and Be Loved” (Sammy Cahn–Jimmy Van Heusen). I’m guessing that it’s the one with the high note.

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