For two Portlanders who lives have been shaped, in part, by Frank Sinatra, Saturday is a momentous day: the Centennial Celebration of the iconic entertainer’s birth, December 12, 1915.

To celebrate, entertainer Tony Starlight (who does a killer impression of Sinatra) and singer-pianist John Gilmore (whose father Voyle Gilmore produced several Sinatra albums) have snagged the Starlight Big Band for a nostalgic extravaganza at Revolution Hall, “Sinatra by Starlight,” Saturday night, December 12, 2015.

Why do Sinatra songs still resonate today? “It’s just such good music,” Starlight told Rebecca Webb and Heather Hanson in a PRP Drop-In Session Wednesday. “The songs were all written by the greatest song writers of the era – and, really, of American history – and then often arranged by the finest musical arrangers for orchestras…Then you bring in somebody who can sing, and they’re completely connected to the song, and to the lyrics, and they elevate the material – beyond.”

Photo: Heather Hanson

Photo: Heather Hanson

Producing ten Sinatra albums at Capitol Records from 1953 to 1958 was a challenge, at times, Gilmore said his father told him. “But also a real kick.”

Photo: Heather Hanson

Photo: Heather Hanson

For the perspective of true Sinatra insiders, listen to the podcast:

Rebecca Webb

Rebecca Webb is the Founder and Team Leader at Portland Radio Project Listen Now

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