One in this series of daily interview programs featuring conversations with cultural and entertainment figures, hosted by Terry Gross. This program pays tribute to legendary crooner Frank Sinatra on the occasion of his death at eighty-two. Gross plays recordings of Sinatra's music and selections from archived interviews with his daughter Nancy Sinatra and colleagues Sammy Cahn, Matt Dennis, and Billy May. The program begins with audio footage of Sinatra, speaking and singing "I Only Have Eyes For You." Gross first plays a portion of a 1985 interview with lyricist Cahn, who talks about writing the songs "All the Way" and "The Last Dance," along with his partner Jimmy Van Heusen. Cahn's songs "I Guess I'll Hang My Tears Out to Dry," "All the Way," and "The Last Dance" play at intervals throughout the interview. Next, Gross plays an interview with Nancy Sinatra, recorded in 1995. Citing Nancy Sinatra's recent book and its companion compact disc, Gross plays early radio footage of Frank Sinatra's first appearance on the "Major Bowes Amateur Hour" and his last recording with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra. During the interview, Nancy Sinatra reveals the myth behind Mafia involvement in her father's break with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra and discusses her sentimental memories of the song "Nancy With a Laughing Face," which her father wrote for her when she was four years old. The song plays at the close of the interview.

Next, Gross speaks with composer Dennis about Sinatra's version of the composer's song "Angel Eyes," and about his early realization that Sinatra would be popular. Dennis's songs "Angel Eyes" and "Violets For Your Furs" play at the start and close of the interview. Finally, Gross interviews arranger Billy May. They discuss what it is like to arrange for Sinatra, the singer's interesting rewritings of melodies, and his camaraderie with the musicians with whom he works. The songs "Come Fly With Me" and "The Song is You," both arranged by May, play at the start and close of the interview. Gross closes the tribute to Sinatra and introduces Vogue magazine film critic John Powers, who reviews the films "The Horse Whisperer" and "Bullworth." Gross concludes the program with a preview of the next show, featuring a South African university president.


  • DATE: May 15, 1998 Friday 12:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:54:01
  • COLOR/B&W:
  • CATALOG ID: R:17043
  • GENRE: Radio - Talk/Interviews
  • SUBJECT HEADING: Biography
  • SERIES RUN: NPR - Radio series, 1987-
  • COMMERCIALS: Radio - Promos - "Fresh Air"


    • Daniel Miller … Executive Producer
    • Phyllis Myers … Producer
    • Amy Salit … Producer
    • Naomi Person … Producer
    • Roberta Shorrock … Director
    • Terry Gross … Host, Interviewer
    • John Powers … Commentator
    • Sammy Cahn
    • Matt Dennis
    • Billy May
    • Frank Sinatra
    • Nancy Sinatra
    • Jimmy Van Heusen