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Surprised: Sinatra’s 1949 radio recording of “The Lord’s Prayer”

J-P Mauro - published on 09/20/17

Ol' Blue Eyes put aside the "ring-a-ding" swing for a Christmas prayer.

Frank Sinatra was one of the most uniquely talented singers to ever step behind a microphone. With an instantly identifiable timbre, he was a naturally gifted jazz musician who could effortlessly glide through difficult rhythms and intonations. He was a master of syncopation, with platinum set of pipes to boot. And he had one glorious legato.

His forte was swing and romantic standards, and he wasn’t averse to recording novelty and nonsense songs, but occasionally he would put aside his “ring-a-ding” style, and surprise us, as he did with more difficult fare like “Old Man River,” “The House I Live In” and this – a very traditional setting of “The Lord’s Prayer.”

Even without a jazz rhythm, this rendition stands as a great example of Sinatra’s unorthodox phrasing. Try to sing along with him, and you’ll find it hard to match his timing. This is because he rarely performed a tune as it was written – he’d go under the beat, or around it, and this helped to create his own style, in an era where most artists were recording what has become known as the American Songbook – the standards of the early-to-mid 20th century.

This recording of “The Lord’s Prayer” was taken from the Guest Star Radio Show. It was recorded with the Jeff Alexander Orchestra & Chorus, on October 26, 1949, and originally broadcast on December 25, 1949.

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