[Dixielandjazz] The Original Frank Sinatra Record sold for $14000

Steve Barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Wed Jan 17 08:30:14 PST 2007

At $14,000 with a signed letter included, I think it was a bargain.

Steve Barbone

Sinatra's first studio recording was the 2 inch shellac with Frank Mane's
orchestra. In a New York Auction Room last month ( and also on listed on
EBay's 'live auction' site) it fetched $14,000. (The track has been
available for some years on various bottleg CDs.) Here are details from EBay

Sinatra First Studio Recording, "Our Love" 1939 -- Renowned for his
impeccable phrasing and timing, critics place Francis Albert Sinatra as one
of the most important, popular, and influential musical figures of the 20th
century. In a career spanning six decades, Sinatra would release more than
1,600 recordings. Yet, it is this original 12" entitled "Our Love" that
holds a special place in the legacy of the star.  Here, for the very first
time, Sinatra's voice was captured in a studio recording.
On March 18, 1939, a 23-year-old Sinatra would tag along with fellow New
Jersey musician Frank Mane to a session at the Harry Smith Recording Studio
in New York City. During some leftover studio time, the young singer asked
Mane if he could have a turn with the band.  The result, "Our Love," is an
original and unique record recognized to contain Sinatra's first and
never-released recording. It would be at least another 40 years before "Ol'
Blue Eyes" would hear a copy from that original 12" lacquered disc again.
A young Sinatra met Frank Mane in 1937 while he was scrounging for work at
Jersey City radio station WAAT. The two became friends and Mane would
frequently drop Sinatra off at the house of his girlfriend, and future
bride, Nancy Barbato.
A talented musician, Mane was a classically trained violinist who had also
mastered alto saxophone and clarinet.  Upon hearing of an opening in the
reed section of a West Coast band, Mane set out to create a recording for
his audition. He booked an hour's worth of time at a recording studio and
assembled the best local musicians (all friends) he could find. The
ten-piece band included Mane on saxophone and clarinet. Jimmy Morreale and
Tommy D'Agostino played the trumpet, with Pete Skinner on trombone, and
Sonny Hockstein, David Harris, and Harry Shuckman all playing saxophone. The
horns were rounded out with Bill Burbella on the bass, Don Rigney on drums,
and Henry Lapidus tickling the ivories.

The March 18 session consisted of four tunes, all of which were captured on
three 12" discs leaving one side blank. When Sinatra stepped up to the
microphone, in a single take "Our Love" was etched onto the back of a 78
containing a song entitled "Eclipse." The arrangement, based on a melody
from Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet, is also the first glimpse of Sinatra's
legato "long-breath" technique for which he later became famous.

At the time, Mane had only one copy of the original recordings. Years later,
he began to realize the importance of the recording that lay unreleased in
his dresser drawer and had a few copies privately made on both cassette and
45. One such copy was presented to Sinatra in 1980.  From the time of its
creation, the 12" record containing the young Sinatra's first studio
recorded song has remained in the possession of the Mane family as a
valuable piece of music history. The record still plays and is housed in its
original sleeve. It's adhesive label bears type from an old manual machine
and shows the "Our Love" record was made at Harry Smith Studios
"electronically recorded" for bandleader Frank Mane. Marked "#1
Orig," and in hand-scripted black ink, "Vocal chor. by Frank Sinatra."
A typed thank-you note sent by Sinatra on his personal stationary to Frank
and Mary Mane, more than 25 years ago, has been included with the record.
"The tape brought back many fond memories," Sinatra wrote. He signed the
letter "warm regards, Francis" with his name hand-written in black scripted
ink. It has been framed along with a small image of "Ol' Blue Eyes" and an
envelope once containing guest tickets to a Sinatra performance. Record
diameter: 12, Letter: 6 3/4 x 5 3/4, Frame: 11 x 9
Provenance: This lot has been consigned by the family of Frank Mane and, as
such, is not from the Dick Clark Collection.

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