Frank Sinatra: A Man and His Music
was a one hour television special in color, first broadcast by CBS
on November 24
. It was directed by the multi-Emmy-winning Dwight Hemion
. Telecast at a time when television had just switched to full-time color programming (except for feature films shot in black-and-white), the show was an enormous success, so much so that it spawned two follow-ups with virtually the same title, featuring, respectively, Nancy Sinatra
, and Ella Fitzgerald
along with Antonio Carlos Jobim
By modern standards, especially, the format of the original show was profoundly simple. It consisted only of Sinatra
in a television studio singing many of his hit tunes (such as It Was a Very Good Year
) in front of a live audience. There were no guests on this first program. The orchestra was conducted by long-time Sinatra arrangers Nelson Riddle
and Gordon Jenkins
The special won an Emmy Award
for Outstanding Music Program
, and was nominated for two other Emmys, as well as a Golden Globe
Turner Classic Movies
rebroadcast the special for the first time in many years, on the evening of May 4, 2008, as part of their month-long commemoration of the tenth anniversary of Sinatra's death.
The show has been available on DVD since 1999. However, there is also a 1981 documentary on DVD, the similarly titled Sinatra: The Man and His Music
, which is sometimes confused with the earlier program, not only because of the title, but because the keep-case is almost identical.
"Frank Sinatra: A Man and His Music" was shot inside NBC's Studio 1, at its color television facility in Burbank, California. The same studio later became home to "The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson". It is now the home of "Access Hollywood".
In the opening scene, Sinatra is seen driving his Dual Ghia sports car up the "Midway" parking area at the Burbank lot. He pauses, exits the car and walks through the barn doors that lead into the hallway outside the current "Tonight Show" studio. An edit made it appear that Sinatra walked from the parking lot directly into Studio 1. In fact that studio is located down the hall from the parking lot.
The special was taped in segments on at least two nights in November 1965. Sinatra was suffering from a cold at the time, which limited his time in front of the microphone. He coughs and clears his throat a few times during the show. Writer Gay Telese documented both nights of taping in his 1966 Esquire magazine article: "Frank Sinatra Has A Cold".
Ed McMahon served as announcer on this and subsequent Sinatra TV specials.
Budweiser Beer served as network sponsor.