Jazz Vocals

A Familiar Stranger


"Strangers in the Night" was Frank Sinatra's best-selling single. The album that followed was Grammy's 1966 Record of the Year. And having the iconic "Summer Wind" as one of the 10 tracks contributed to the album's multi-Grammy success. This month, Concord Records releases the digitally remastered Strangers In The Night (Deluxe Edition), featuring the original sides plus three bonus tracks.

The British invasion and American rock and roll were firmly established by 1966 and singers who had spent the '50s and early-'60s at the top of the charts were taking a hit. For many of them, reinterpreting the "kid's music" became a coping mechanism. The inclusion of Petula Clark's "Downtown" may have been a record exec's idea but Sinatra tosses off a relaxed version with his usual grace.

For the most part, he never tried to roll with the youthquake going on in pop music. On the contrary, a good part of the set comprises songs that were hits when Sinatra himself was a teenager, like "My Baby Just Cares For Me" and "Yes Sir, That's My Baby," an insouciant shrug and a tip of a martini glass to prevailing fashions.