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Another packaging of Sinatra's 1950's television footage, once again by Hart Sharp Video, the producers who earlier this year brought us "Sinatra: The Classic Duets." Again, the show itself is under 30 minutes with the remaining 60 minutes allocated to interviews with Nancy, Tina, and other friends and associates familiar with the circumstances of the original show. As usual, the producers are particularly unhelpful about providing documentation, but by perusing the video contents, it can be determined that the show is from 1957, which should have been "a very good year" for Old Blue. Unfortunately, this is definitely not a performance for making the case that Sinatra was the "Entertainer of the Century." He looks rather tired and stiff, and the voice, at least by Sinatra standards, sounds rough, lifeless and "played out." By contrast, Bing lights up the screen, radiating warmth, looking far more composed than the host, and singing flawlessly. At these prices (under the cost of many CD's), this is a worthwhile pick-up for the Sinatra-Crosby collector. In fact, it rates above the earlier "Classic Duets" release because of print quality (a stunning clarity, even if the colors are often "wrong"), the extended sequencing (as opposed to stitching together bits and pieces from different Sinatra shows), and the extemporaneous, often surprising, remarks of the Sinatra daughters at a Q&A event following the initial screening of this restored footage. (At one point, in explaining Frank's troubles with TV ratings, Nancy says, "Dad didn't do well on television." Tina responds, "He had to fail somewhere.")

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HRT 00032 Happy Holidays With Bing and Frank DVD (1957/Bing Crosby) $9.95