Frank Sinatra and Friends:60 Greatest Old Time Radio Shows w/book-20 C - $40 (Hartland/Delafield)
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60 Greatest Old Time Radio Shows
20 Audio Cassettes
"60 Greatest Old-Time Radio Shows Starring Frank Sinatra and Friends" is a monumental memorial to a showbiz phenomenon. Radio Spirits has issued this collection in two formats: 20 audio cassettes each holding 90 minutes of material (usually 3 half-hour shows) and 30 CDs each holding 60 minutes. This last is an improvement over other tape/CD issues in which the latter had to be abridged to fit in the shows what the corresponding tape could easily hold without cuts.
Some of the shows here have only a fleeting visit by Sinatra, others have him in short sketches, still others as co-star, and a few as the star himself. For example, he plays a major role when guesting on a Burns &Allen Show but is the star of his own series, "Rocky Fortune," of which this collection offers four episodes. These episodes, by the way, are a good example of Sinatra in his bad years after MGM fired him because of an unfortunate remark he made about the studio head's mistress. They work very well as light comedy mysteries but certainly do not call for any great acting skills. At his nadir, he substituted for Bill Stern in the Sports Newsreel series and did a very good job as narrator.
He is heard in several dramatic roles in "Suspense" and "Lux Radio Theater," and a good deal of jokes are made about his possibly receiving and later his actually receiving an Academy Award for his role in "From Here to Eternity." Included in his many comic guest spots with Fred Allen, Jack Benny, Edgar Bergen, Joan Davis, and Martin & Lewis are endless "skinny" jokes, none of which seem to be repeated except possibly the one about being buried in the back yard by the family dog.
Naturally, you will hear a good deal of his vocalizing, once even with Lou Costello, and that is pretty much the raison d'etre of this collection. And if you have to listen to "Nancy With the Laughing Face" three times, well that is what fathers are for.