Concord Records' release Christmas With Sinatra & Friends, features both classic and rare holiday songs by some of America's most treasured vocalists including Mel Tormé, Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, Ray Charles, Betty Carter and of course Frank Sinatra himself singing eight of the collection's 12 songs, licensed from Frank Sinatra Enterprises (FSE).
The choice Sinatra performances celebrated here were meticulously and thoughtfully selected to include both traditional and rare holiday tunes. Among the non-traditional are "Christmas Memories," by ace arranger and long-time Sinatra collaborator Don Costa with lyrics by Alan & Marilyn Bergman and "An Old Fashioned Christmas," written by the legendary composers Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen. Jimmy Webb's "Whatever Happened to Christmas" and "Mistletoe and Holly," co-written by Sinatra himself will undoubtedly add to Sinatra's special place among seasonal favorites. Cahn and Van Heusen also wrote "The Christmas Waltz" the renowned ballad that Sinatra first recorded in 1957.
Sinatra additionally offers Harry Simeone's "The Little Drummer Boy", Johnny Marks' "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day," (which set to music the poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow) and the beloved "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," written in 1934 by J. Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie.
For this collection, the Irving Berlin standard, "White Christmas" is sung by Frank's friend Rosemary Clooney, who co-starred in the 1954 film White Christmas. Also included are Mel Tormé's "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire"), which he composed at just 20 years old, as well as Tony Bennett singing "A Child Is Born" with jazz pianist Bill Evans, and "Baby It's Cold Outside," Frank Loesser's famous and amusing duet from the '40s (an Oscar-winner from a 1949 Esther Williams film) sung here by the incomparable duo of Ray Charles and Betty Carter.