Today in music history, July 23, marks the 54th year since Frank Sinatra regained the throne as "Strangers In The Night" tops the US album charts.
On May 30, 1966, Frank Sinatra released his studio album "Strangers in the Night" internationally. Almost two months later, his latest release at the time topped the US albums charts.
As a part of Sinatra's music history, it was his last album together with his long-time collaborator. Nelson Riddle has arranged and conducted for most of Sinatra's albums up to this point.
It spawned a number of hits, most notable of which was the lead single of the same name. "Strangers in the Night" topped the pop single charts - later known as the Billboard Hot 100. Another song from the album, "Summer Wind," became a staple background for television commercials as well as in various TV series and films.
In the following 1967 Grammy Awards, Sinatra won two Grammys from "Strangers." His performance of the title track was chosen as the Best Male Performance for the year. Additionally, the song "Strangers in the Night" won Record of the Year.
Throughout Sinatra's career, "Strangers In The Night" would remain as his most successful album. It has received a platinum certification from the RIAA, for moving more than a million copies in the US alone. No other Frank Sinatra album has sold this much aside from his Christmas album.
The Revival of the Chairman
Journalists and scholars of music history often regard the latter part of the 1940s to the start of the 50s as Sinatra's career slump. It was marked by the death of close friend, songwriter George Evans, a problem with his throat, and divorce.
However, by 1953, Sinatra was back on track with the release of his film "From Here to Eternity." He would release his first album under Capitol Records, "Songs for Young Lovers," spawning the hit "Young at Heart." He would continue releasing successful albums well into the 1960s. The release of "Strangers in the Night," and its subsequent climbing to the No. 1 spot, marked his return to the top of the charts.
The worst f**king song I ever heard
While "Strangers in the Night" is his most successful album in music history, Frank Sinatra reportedly had little love for its title track and most successful single. Its European composers Ivo Robic and Bert Kaempfert first used the melody in the 1966 movie "A Man Could Get Killed." The music was then called "Beddy Bye."
This dislike was further explained in the biographical text "Sinatra: The Life," written by Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan. Frank Sinatra did not like both "Strangers and the Night" and the 1968 hit "My Way." When his longtime aide Irving Weiss brought him the sheet music for "Strangers," the Sultan of Swoon reportedly said: "I don't want to sing this." He further called the music "a piece of sh*t."
Another anecdote recalls how Frank Sinatra was reportedly heard saying "That's the worst f**king song I ever heard," picked up by the mic just as he finished singing "Strangers."
For other notable dates in music history for the month of July, see the following dates: