|Born||August 8, 1913|
Staten Island, New York, United States
|Died||August 30, 1963 50) (aged|
Encino, California, United States
|Associated acts||Tommy Dorsey|
Axel Stordahl (August 8, 1913 – August 30, 1963) was an American arranger who was active from the late 1930s through the 1950s. He is perhaps best known for his work with Frank Sinatra in the 1940s at Columbia Records. With his sophisticated orchestrations, Stordahl is credited with helping to bring pop arranging into the modern age.
Stordahl was born in Staten Island, New York, United States, to Norwegian immigrant parents. He began his career as a trumpeter in jazz bands which played around Long Island and the Catskills during the late 1920s and early 1930s. He also began arranging around this time, and in 1933 he joined Bert Bloch's orchestra in both capacities.Over the next couple of years, Stordahl sang on the side in a vocal trio dubbed the Three Esquires.
In 1936, he joined Tommy Dorsey's new orchestra and soon became the band's main arranger.The same year appeared their first big hit, "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You". The tune quickly became Dorsey's theme song. In January 1940, Frank Sinatra joined the group as vocalist, and it became apparent that Stordahl's arrangements were particularly well suited to the singer's voice.
In January 1942, when Sinatra convinced Dorsey to let him record four songs without Dorsey, Stordahl arranged Sinatra's very first commercial solo recordings for the RCA Victor subsidiary label Bluebird, and when Sinatra left Dorsey later that year to go solo, Stordahl went with him and became his music director.In the subsequent decade, Sinatra cut around three hundred sides for Columbia Records, of which three quarters were arranged by Stordahl. In addition, Stordahl provided the orchestral backings, both as arranger and conductor, for several hundreds of songs in various Sinatra radio programs. He was the credited orchestrator for the 1945 Academy Award-winning picture Anchors Aweigh which starred Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly. His most successful songs of that time were the likes of "You'll Never Know," "Saturday Night Is the Loneliest Night of the Week," "They Say It's Wonderful," and "Mam'selle." In 1946 they recorded the album The Voice which was the first album with 8 ballads. His other songs as a composer such as "I Should Care" (1945), "Day by Day" (1946), and "Night after Night" (1949) were written with Paul Weston and Sammy Cahn.
Stordahl was admired for his skills in framing Sinatra's voice, creating a soft, opulent sound with swirling strings, understated rhythms and woodwinds. He was one of the first American arrangers to tailor his accompaniments to the vocal qualities of a specific singer. When Sinatra moved to Capitol Records in 1953, Stordahl arranged his first recording session there. Afterwards, however, Sinatra worked extensively with Nelson Riddle, who cultivated his jazz-oriented qualities, as well as Gordon Jenkins, Billy May, Don Costa, Neal Hefti, Quincy Jones, and others.
Stordahl went on to work with other singers such as Bing Crosby, Doris Day, Eddie Fisher, Dinah Shore, Nat 'King' Cole and Dean Martin, among others. Although best known as an arranger, Stordahl also composed a number of songs of which Day by Day with music by Axel Stordahl and Paul Weston and lyrics by Sammy Cahn, is the best known.
In 1961, Sinatra returned to collaborate with an ailing Stordahl for his final Capitol concept album, Point of No Return .
Stordahl worked with Eddie Fisher's television program for four yearsand composed and orchestrated the theme to the popular television comedy series McHale's Navy .
In 1953, Fisher was signed to do a twice-weekly 15-minute program on NBC television with Coca-Cola as sponsor. Audio of the program was recorded and broadcast on a delayed basis on NBC's radio network.
In addition to his work as conductor on Sinatra's radio program,Stordahl conducted the orchestra on Eddie Fisher's Coke Time show and worked on the radio version of Your Hit Parade .
Stordahl married singer June Hutton (of the Pied Pipers) in 1951. They made some joint recordings for Capitol records.
In 1967, the Los Angeles chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences established a scholarship in Stordahl's memory at the University of California, Los Angeles. Only graduate students were eligible for the $300 scholarship through the music department.
Stordahl died August 30, 1963, at the age of 50 of cancer in Encino, California.He was interred in the Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.
Thomas Francis Dorsey Jr. was an American jazz trombonist, composer, conductor and bandleader of the big band era. He was known as the "Sentimental Gentleman of Swing" because of his smooth-toned trombone playing. His theme song was "I'm Getting Sentimental Over You". His technical skill on the trombone gave him renown among other musicians. He was the younger brother of bandleader Jimmy Dorsey. After Dorsey broke with his brother in the mid-1930s, he led an extremely popular and highly successful band from the late 1930s into the 1950s. He is best remembered for standards such as "Opus One", "Song of India", "Marie", "On Treasure Island", and his biggest hit single, "I'll Never Smile Again".
Nelson Smock Riddle Jr. was an American arranger, composer, bandleader and orchestrator whose career stretched from the late 1940s to the mid-1980s. He worked with many world-famous vocalists at Capitol Records, including Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole, Judy Garland, Dean Martin, Peggy Lee, Johnny Mathis, Rosemary Clooney and Keely Smith. He scored and arranged music for many films and television shows, earning an Academy Award and three Grammy Awards. He found commercial and critical success with a new generation in the 1980s, in a trio of Platinum albums with Linda Ronstadt.
The Pied Pipers is an American popular singing group originally formed in the late 1930s. They had several chart hits through the 1940s, both under their own name and in association with Tommy Dorsey and with Frank Sinatra.
Melvin James "Sy" Oliver was an American jazz arranger, trumpeter, composer, singer and bandleader.
"I'm Walking Behind You" is a popular song written by Billy Reid and published in 1953. The original version was by Dorothy Squires, recorded in the United Kingdom, with the orchestra of Billy Reid, the author of the song.
Come Swing with Me! is an album by American singer Frank Sinatra, released in 1961.
Point of No Return is an album by American singer Frank Sinatra, released in 1962.
I Remember Tommy... is an album by Frank Sinatra, released in 1961. It was recorded as a tribute to bandleader Tommy Dorsey, and consists of re-recorded versions of songs that Sinatra had first performed or recorded with Dorsey earlier in his career. Fellow Dorsey alumnus Sy Oliver arranged and conducted the sessions.
A Man and His Music is a 1965 double album by Frank Sinatra. It provides a brief retrospective of Sinatra's musical career. The album won the 1967 Grammy Award for Album of the Year.
The Complete Capitol Singles Collection is a compact disc box set by the American singer Frank Sinatra, released on Capitol Records in 1996. The four-disc set contains all 45 singles released by Sinatra during his tenure at the label between 1953 and 1961. Of those, 25 made the Top 40 on the Billboard singles chart. It does not include releases specifically for jukeboxes or for extended play singles, with one exception. The original tapes were digitally remastered by Bob Norberg.
The Best of the Columbia Years: 1943–1952 is a four-disc box set by the American singer Frank Sinatra, released on Legacy Records in 1995, catalogue C4K-64681. Initial release was in a book-style edition; a later edition was reissued in 1998 with a standard jewel case package and given a different catalogue number, C4K-65620. All but twelve tracks were originally released on 78 rpm records, and as an overview of Sinatra's recordings on Columbia this set replaces the previous catalogue item The Voice: The Columbia Years (1943-1952), released in 1986 on vinyl and later also on compact disc. The box set contains highlights of his career with Columbia Records; the complete recordings from these years were released in 1993 on The Columbia Years 1943-1952: The Complete Recordings.
"Day by Day" is a popular song with music by Axel Stordahl and Paul Weston and lyrics by Sammy Cahn.
"In the Still of the Night" is a popular song written by Cole Porter for the MGM film Rosalie sung by Nelson Eddy and published in 1937.
"I Should Care" is a popular song with music by Axel Stordahl and Paul Weston and lyrics by Sammy Cahn, published in 1944. Cahn said that the title came to him by the time they played the first 4 bars. It first appeared in the MGM film Thrill of a Romance. The original recording by Ralph Flanagan and His Orchestra, with vocalists: Harry Prime and The Singing Winds was made at Manhattan Center, New York City, on July 18, 1952. It was released by RCA Victor Records as catalog number 20-4885 and by EMI on the His Master's Voice labels as catalog number B 10389.
Frank Sinatra in Hollywood 1940–1964 is a 2002 compilation album by the American singer Frank Sinatra.
Heinie Beau was an American jazz composer, arranger, saxophonist and clarinetist, most notable for his swing clarinet work and recordings done with Tommy Dorsey, Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra and Red Nichols. Living in Hollywood, California, Beau worked as an arranger and musician on television, radio and recordings, including contributing classic charts to Sinatra's Capitol repertoire. Beau wrote the big band arrangement of Lean Baby, the first single Sinatra recorded for Capitol in 1953. Beau had also recorded extensively in Europe, touring areas such as London.
"The Night We Called It a Day" is a popular song and jazz standard. The music was written by Matt Dennis, the lyrics by Tom Adair. The song was published in 1941.
"I'll See You Again" is a song by the English songwriter Sir Noël Coward.
Ultimate Sinatra is a 2015 compilation album by American singer Frank Sinatra released specifically to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of his birth. The collection consists of songs recorded from 1939 to 1979 during his sessions for Columbia Records, Capitol Records, and Reprise Records. The 4-CD set consists of 100 songs, plus a never before released bonus track of a rehearsal recording of "The Surrey With the Fringe On Top" from the musical Oklahoma! This edition also features an 80-page booklet with a new essay by Sinatra historian and author Charles Pignone, as well as rare photos and quotes from Sinatra, his family members and key collaborators.
The Frank Sinatra Show was a title applied—in some cases specifically and in other cases generically—to several radio musical programs in the United States, some of which had other distinct titles as indicated below. Singer Frank Sinatra starred in the programs, some of which were broadcast on CBS, while others were on NBC.