Andrew Heller on Sinatra, My Way

Sinatra Recorded Over 1800 Songs.  How Did You Choose The Songs For Sinatra My Way?

Very Carefully.  I Brought In The General Manager Of The Label, My Producer, Ray Barnette; My Wife, Mary Ann, One Of Our Promoters And Myself And We Each Listed Our Top 20 Songs. We Ended Up With 90 Songs From 6 Different People And Then Cut It Down To A List Of 20. That Is When The Hard Part Came In.  In The First Go Round We Recorded 14 Songs Of Which 10 Made It To The Album And Four Made It To The Second Album. We Ended With A Total Of 21 Songs And They Are All Recorded.  We Just Finished Recording The Second Album And It Will Come Out In The Spring Of 2017. Because Of Sound Quality This Recording May Come Out In Vinyl And Digital Only. I Have Found That If You Want Really Good Sound Buy The Top End Vinyl.

These Are The Songs You Chose For The First Album.  Tell Us A Little About Each Song, How You Interpret It And What It Means To You.

Night And Day: It Is Just A Blast.  It Is Such A Great Big Band Sound.

Summer Wind: A Fun, Lighthearted Love Song.

They Can’t Take That Away From Me: As You Sing This Song It Becomes A Part Of You.  I Am Thinking About Mary Ann When I Sing That Song.  We Have Had 50 Years Together And I Don’t Usually Think About The Same Experiences Twice In A Row, But I Always Think Of Her. Sometimes About The First Time I Met Her.  Other Times About The Places We Have Been And The Wonderful Things We Have Done Together.

It Was A Very Good Year: It’s An Ervin Drake Song.  It Is A Song About Looking Back At Life And Remembering The Pleasures And The Romances.  But It Really Wasn’t About The Girl.  The Story Is About A Style And A Time Of Life Told In The Songs Through The Romances. Sinatra Won A Grammy In 1966 For This Recording - Best Male Vocal Performance.

My Kind Of Town.  I Always Picture Scenes From The Movie Robin And The Seven Hoods When I Sing This Song. It Is Such A Different Type Of Song.  You Have To Get Into The Spirit Of Being A Hoodlum.  You Have To Think ‘I Can Do What I Please.’  You Have To Get Into The Mind Of The Character Who Is Singing The Song.  He Had Just Been Acquitted Of Murder – One Of The Only Crimes He Hadn’t Committed. The Song Is A Funny Song About A Crook That Has Just Gotten Away With Something And He Is Very Happy.

The Wee Small Hours.  It Is A Lullaby.  A Good Night Song.  It Is A Ballad That Is A Way Of Saying, ‘I Regret That I Screwed Up’.  He Is Too Proud To Call The Girl And He Is Waiting For Her To Call Him. It You Can Relate From Personal Experience. Everyone Has Some Time They Wish They Hadn’t Handled A Relationship In A Certain Way And Would Have Liked To Have Done It Differently.  It Becomes A Very Easy Song To Personalize.

I’ve Got You Under My Skin. It’s A Wake-Up Call And A Positive Message Song About Love.  You Have To Dance To It. You Can’t Just Sit And Listen To It.

Witchcraft.  Witchcraft Is One Of My Favorite Songs.  It Is A Classic. You Can Picture A Quiet Setting And Being With Someone You Really Care About.  The Words Allow You To Get Pictures In Your Mind About Things You Have Done With People And Places You Have Been.

The Way You Look Tonight.  This Is An Easy One For Me.  I Just Pull Out A Memory Of A Time And Place Where I Can See Mary Ann Glowing.  Most Of The Time When I Do This Song, I See Her With Her Raven Hair.  When I Sing It I Am Almost Always Picturing Her In A Beautiful Gown At A Great Dinner With Me And A Great Bottle Of Champagne And Caviar Sitting In The Moonlight Or Starlight.

My Way.  Two Different Things Go Through My Mind. First, Is The Story Of Sinatra’s Life As I Think A Lot About The Things That He Did.  The Song Was Written For Sinatra Even Though He Was Not The First To Record It. Secondly, I Also Go Back To My Own Life And Know That I Have Been Very Lucky.  I Have Had A Lot Of Reasonable Success In A Lot Of Things.  I Have Never, Ever Had To Continue Doing Something I Did Not Want To Do.  I Have Been Able To Live My Life My Way.  And That Is A Blessing.