(click song title above to listen)
Frank Sinatra loved saloon singers. In fact, it’s all he said that he wanted to be. One he loved most of all was the singer of this week’s top tune, Sylvia Syms. Syms sang tough, sentimental songs in joints in Harlem and on New York’s 52nd Street for years and as a teenager received informal training from the likes of Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, and Count Basie. Sinatra became such huge fan that he later personally conducted one of her albums.
This week’s tune was recorded by Sylvia for Columbia Records and released in support of composer Cy Coleman and lyricist Dorothy Fields‘ smash 1966 Broadway musical Sweet Charity. Columbia who also had the original cast album, went all out in its single’s barrage of the score. Recordings by Barbra Streisand (“Where Am I Going?”, “You Wanna Bet”), Tony Bennett (“Baby Dream Your Dream”), Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme (“If My Friends Could See Me Now”), Jerry Vale (“Too Many Tomorrows”) all notched Top 40 Easy Listening chart positions in time for the show’s debut on Broadway. Interestingly, “Poor Everybody Else” would be cut from this particular show but found a home a few years later in 1973′s Seesaw based on the William Gibson play, Two For the Seesaw.
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