Frank Sinatra: Best of Vegas
"He's Here." When the marques on the Vegas Strip displayed that message in the Sixties and Seventies, no one had to ask, “Who?”
Everyone knew it was Johnny Fontaine – oops! I meant Frank Sinatra.
Las Vegas Mayor Oscar B. Goodman says, “the destination’s most enduring icon [Sinatra], an inimitable original who was influential in shaping Las Vegas’ image and entertainment scene.” Ed Walters, a self-described “fellow who lived and worked in Vegas for over 40 years,” adds, “The biggest draw for us in the casino was easily Sinatra. No one, and I mean no one, came as close to bringing in the gamblers and players than he did. Sinatra in town was an event for all of us.”
Walters confirms that the only entertainer to come close to outdrawing Sinatra was Elvis and that the casinos really did well when both were in town simultaneously. Other than Elvis, the only other headliner to come close was fellow Rat Pack member, Dean Martin.
The Best of Vegas includes sixteen tracks previously found on the five disc boxed set, Sinatra: Vegas. The first four tracks are from 1961 and recorded at the Sands. One noteworthy aspect of these tracks is the quality of the production. Apparently the quality of the sound and recording equipment in the early sixties was technologically inferior to what listeners have come to expect today. You would expect that a headliner like Sinatra would have enjoyed the best equipment available at the time.
Tracks five through nine (1966 at the Sands again) are perhaps the best of the set and feature Count Basie (yes, he was still alive) and his orchestra conducted by Quincy Jones. Sinatra’s voice was as good as it got in the sixties, his diction precise, and his rapport with his adoring fans almost zen-like in their connection. A significant improvement in production values is obvious even to the casual listener.Continued on the next page