July 28, 2009

"Summer Wind"

Frank and Ava Gardner in 1951

"Summer Wind" was written in 1965 by Henry Mayer and Johnny Mercer. The version Frank Sinatra recorded was a stand out track on the album that found the aging crooner returning to the top (#1) of the pop charts, Strangers in the Night (1966). An electric organ figures prominently in the overall mix, the instrument's inclusion (along with electric bass guitar) being one of the concessions Sinatra made in order to be more relevant and contemporary. Described as having a "majestic sadness," it's one of those songs that seems to be biographical when done by Sinatra:


Michael Suzich said...

So glad you chose this classic track from "Strangers in the Night", and not the sappy 1993 version with Julio Iglesias from "Duets". I wonder if Nelson Riddle was in favor of including the organ. It works well, though the "sound" instantly becomes dated to the mid '60's. It's a great track, and I especially like it's smooth vibe, followed by the swingin' "All or Nothing at All".

Chris said...

There is no other version! "Strangers" was the last album he did with Nelson Riddle. I think the organ was producer Jimmy Bowman's idea. It does date it, but depending on who you are, Sinatra's entire recording career is "dated." "All or Nothing at All" is a great track. I also really like "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World."