December 12th marks what would have been Frank Sinatra‘s 100th birthday, and throughout 2015, Sony Music’s Legacy Recordings have celebrated the legendary singer’s career with a series of archival releases. That will continue with Frank Sinatra: A Voice on Air (1935-1955), a 4-CD collection gathering the Chairman of the Board’s long-unheard radio broadcasts over a two-decade span.
The set features over 100 rare Sinatra tracks, 91 of which are previously unreleased live performances from the “Golden Age” of radio. Frank Sinatra: A Voice on Air (1935-1955) arrives November 20th, though pre-orders are now available at Amazon.
The collection is the first official release to anthologize Sinatra’s radio performances from the era, and spans from Sinatra’s first radio performance – singing “S-H-I-N-E” with the Hoboken Four in 1935 – to the last episode of The Frank Sinatra Show in 1955. The broadcasts’ openings, closings, announcements and commercials are also preserved in A Voice on Air, which will house a 60-page book featuring a remembrance by Nancy Sinatra, an essay by Sinatra historian Charles L. Granata and more.
The set also features dozens of tracks from the Great American Songbook that Sinatra performed on radio, but never recorded in the studio, like Cole Porter’s “Don’t Fence Me In,” Frank Loesser’s “I Wish I Didn’t Love You So,” Jerome Kern and Ira Gershwin’s “Long Ago and Far Away,” Johnny Burke and Jimmy Van Heusen’s “Aren’t You Glad You’re You” and Richard Whiting, Leo Robin and Newell Chase’s “My Ideal.” There are also duets with Nat ‘King’ Cole, Benny Goodman, Doris Day, Peggy Lee, among others.
For A Voice on Air, the set’s producers dove into Sinatra’s own broadcast collections as well as archives and sound recording repositories including the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, the Paley Center for Media, the Michael Feinstein Great American Songbook Initiative archive and The University of Colorado’s Glenn Miller Archive. The recordings were then restored and remastered in high-resolution from the original glass and aluminum discs and magnetic tape master by Grammy-winning engineer Andreas Mayer and Granata.
Additionally, Legacy Recordings and the Smithsonian Institute partnered on a companion release available outside the box set that features an additional 26 radio recordings, including 23 previously unreleased performances and 12 songs that were never commercially released by Sinatra. Check out the Smithsonian site for more information on the companion album.