12 Songs, 47 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Let's be frank: Let's Be Frank, Trisha Yearwood's tribute to Frank Sinatra and the Great American Songbook, is a lifetime in the making. Growing up in Georgia, Yearwood spent a childhood listening to the songs of Ol' Blue Eyes and dreaming about how she could one day make them her own. With Let's Be Frank, Yearwood brings her trademark country pipes to reinvent 11 classic tracks, as well as writing an original tune with husband Garth Brooks, "For the Last Time." "I've wanted to do this for over 20 years," Yearwood tells Apple Music. "Finally, the stars all aligned." Here, the Grammy winner and Grand Ole Opry member takes us through her labor of love, track by track.

“Witchcraft”
“A lot of Sinatra songs have a preamble, and a lot of people, when they go to record them, they leave those preambles out. This is one of those songs that, when you first hear it, you aren’t sure what it is because of that. But if the writer wrote it that way, I wanted to include it. And one of my favorite videos is when Elvis came back from the army and went on TV, and he sang 'Witchcraft' and Sinatra sang 'Love Me Tender' alongside him. It was his first post-army appearance, and I love it.”

“Drinking Again”
“This was a song where I had heard Sinatra's version, but I had also heard a version that Aretha Franklin did, though it is most well known as a Dinah Washington song. It's daunting to sing Sinatra and do anything Aretha, and I took inspiration from both of those. It's a meeting of those two vibes, this great jazzy thing.”

“All the Way”
“When I was a kid, I was always dramatic. As a 14- or 15-year-old girl, I already knew I wanted to make this record. I heard Sinatra sing this in one of those old movies. I just thought it was so beautiful, that line about it being no good unless he loves you all the way. It's such a big, epic thing, and I'm a romantic.”

“Come Fly with Me”
“The ballads are always easy to find, it's the up-tempo stuff that's harder. But if you are looking for songs that are absolutely Sinatra, this one is undeniable. You can't stop smiling when you sing this one. But one of the reasons it took me so long to record it was: Do we really need another version of 'Come Fly with Me'? But I love it.”

“Over the Rainbow”
“This song is very much associated with Judy Garland, and my criteria was that if Sinatra recorded it, it's fair game. I've sung this song in encores in my tours for years, and I got to sing it in the Library of Congress. It's this amazing song about hope, but I struggled because it has been recorded a lot. The thing that makes this version different is the preamble—Judy recorded it with the preamble maybe once, but it's very rare. It sets this song up differently than everybody knows.”

“One for My Baby”
“This is one of my favorite Sinatra songs, because it's very Frank. It's one of my favorite songs to sing live. This is the arrangement I worked the most on—I wanted long pauses and I wanted it to feel like a conversation. That's one of the things that Sinatra was so good at—it needs to feel like you are sitting at a bar, having a conversation.”

“They All Laughed”
“I did this song in 1998 at the Hollywood Bowl. There are a lot of lyrics, and it's all based around what was big at the time this song was written. There is this little perverse part that says, 'From history I had learned how many, many times the worm had turned.' I always thought it said 'world,' but I looked it up, and it's 'worm.' Because a worm is about the most harmless thing, and if you can make a worm turn, you have really done something bad.”

“If I Loved You”
“This is such a beautiful ballad, and the story of it is almost embarrassing. I was in college in a group that was a touring ensemble, and we did a variety of songs, with a section that was a Broadway show tune moment. We were given the songs we were supposed to sing, and my roommate, they gave her ‘If I Loved You,’ and I wanted to sing it so badly. In my head, that's when it happened. I thought, ‘When I get my record deal, I'm going to record this song.’ Every instrument and every note in this recording is from the first time. It's not perfect, but it's very emotional.”

“The Man That Got Away”
“I just have always loved it. It's one of those songs, and it's clear that the theme here that I like is the heartbreaking, gut-wrenching stuff. Everything in your life could be good, or bad, but it's all shaded.”

“The Lady Is a Tramp”
“He's singing about a woman, and we had this whole conversation: Is calling a woman a tramp bad in the era of #metoo? But I listened to a Lena Horne version, and it's in first person, and what that says to me is that it's about a woman who does everything her way and goes against what people think she is supposed to do. And I was like, 'This is a female-empowerment song.' We approached it from there.”

“For the Last Time”
“I didn't start out this project thinking that I wanted to put an original song on here. I came home with this title and took it to Garth and said, 'You are the songwriter.' So he had this melody that was such a throwback, and we wrote this song—not specifically for this project, we didn't know what to do with it. As nervous as I was about it, I feel like it fits. It's nice to have something that makes you think about these songs having contemporary meaning.”

“I'll Be Seeing You”
“The last cut on my album is always my choice, and this has always been one of my favorite songs. I think about my mom, because it's about how I see her in everything, and I feel my parents are always with me. Especially her. That song was for her.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

Let's be frank: Let's Be Frank, Trisha Yearwood's tribute to Frank Sinatra and the Great American Songbook, is a lifetime in the making. Growing up in Georgia, Yearwood spent a childhood listening to the songs of Ol' Blue Eyes and dreaming about how she could one day make them her own. With Let's Be Frank, Yearwood brings her trademark country pipes to reinvent 11 classic tracks, as well as writing an original tune with husband Garth Brooks, "For the Last Time." "I've wanted to do this for over 20 years," Yearwood tells Apple Music. "Finally, the stars all aligned." Here, the Grammy winner and Grand Ole Opry member takes us through her labor of love, track by track.

“Witchcraft”
“A lot of Sinatra songs have a preamble, and a lot of people, when they go to record them, they leave those preambles out. This is one of those songs that, when you first hear it, you aren’t sure what it is because of that. But if the writer wrote it that way, I wanted to include it. And one of my favorite videos is when Elvis came back from the army and went on TV, and he sang 'Witchcraft' and Sinatra sang 'Love Me Tender' alongside him. It was his first post-army appearance, and I love it.”

“Drinking Again”
“This was a song where I had heard Sinatra's version, but I had also heard a version that Aretha Franklin did, though it is most well known as a Dinah Washington song. It's daunting to sing Sinatra and do anything Aretha, and I took inspiration from both of those. It's a meeting of those two vibes, this great jazzy thing.”

“All the Way”
“When I was a kid, I was always dramatic. As a 14- or 15-year-old girl, I already knew I wanted to make this record. I heard Sinatra sing this in one of those old movies. I just thought it was so beautiful, that line about it being no good unless he loves you all the way. It's such a big, epic thing, and I'm a romantic.”

“Come Fly with Me”
“The ballads are always easy to find, it's the up-tempo stuff that's harder. But if you are looking for songs that are absolutely Sinatra, this one is undeniable. You can't stop smiling when you sing this one. But one of the reasons it took me so long to record it was: Do we really need another version of 'Come Fly with Me'? But I love it.”

“Over the Rainbow”
“This song is very much associated with Judy Garland, and my criteria was that if Sinatra recorded it, it's fair game. I've sung this song in encores in my tours for years, and I got to sing it in the Library of Congress. It's this amazing song about hope, but I struggled because it has been recorded a lot. The thing that makes this version different is the preamble—Judy recorded it with the preamble maybe once, but it's very rare. It sets this song up differently than everybody knows.”

“One for My Baby”
“This is one of my favorite Sinatra songs, because it's very Frank. It's one of my favorite songs to sing live. This is the arrangement I worked the most on—I wanted long pauses and I wanted it to feel like a conversation. That's one of the things that Sinatra was so good at—it needs to feel like you are sitting at a bar, having a conversation.”

“They All Laughed”
“I did this song in 1998 at the Hollywood Bowl. There are a lot of lyrics, and it's all based around what was big at the time this song was written. There is this little perverse part that says, 'From history I had learned how many, many times the worm had turned.' I always thought it said 'world,' but I looked it up, and it's 'worm.' Because a worm is about the most harmless thing, and if you can make a worm turn, you have really done something bad.”

“If I Loved You”
“This is such a beautiful ballad, and the story of it is almost embarrassing. I was in college in a group that was a touring ensemble, and we did a variety of songs, with a section that was a Broadway show tune moment. We were given the songs we were supposed to sing, and my roommate, they gave her ‘If I Loved You,’ and I wanted to sing it so badly. In my head, that's when it happened. I thought, ‘When I get my record deal, I'm going to record this song.’ Every instrument and every note in this recording is from the first time. It's not perfect, but it's very emotional.”

“The Man That Got Away”
“I just have always loved it. It's one of those songs, and it's clear that the theme here that I like is the heartbreaking, gut-wrenching stuff. Everything in your life could be good, or bad, but it's all shaded.”

“The Lady Is a Tramp”
“He's singing about a woman, and we had this whole conversation: Is calling a woman a tramp bad in the era of #metoo? But I listened to a Lena Horne version, and it's in first person, and what that says to me is that it's about a woman who does everything her way and goes against what people think she is supposed to do. And I was like, 'This is a female-empowerment song.' We approached it from there.”

“For the Last Time”
“I didn't start out this project thinking that I wanted to put an original song on here. I came home with this title and took it to Garth and said, 'You are the songwriter.' So he had this melody that was such a throwback, and we wrote this song—not specifically for this project, we didn't know what to do with it. As nervous as I was about it, I feel like it fits. It's nice to have something that makes you think about these songs having contemporary meaning.”

“I'll Be Seeing You”
“The last cut on my album is always my choice, and this has always been one of my favorite songs. I think about my mom, because it's about how I see her in everything, and I feel my parents are always with me. Especially her. That song was for her.”

TITLE TIME

Ratings and Reviews

4.2 out of 5
60 Ratings
60 Ratings
paulnstl ,

Well with it

If you’re a fan you’ll LOVE it. As a lover of this music you’ll LOVE it

J. Martin ,

Why Trisha?

Please bring back old school Trisha country music. Let Frank RIP.

Salmon Kev ,

Frank would say . . nice try kid

Sorry, but very few of today's singers bring anything fresh or even pleasant to these standards and I wish todays' singers, producers, labels would quit trying. It doesn't work because in almost every case such efforts are technically sound, but emotionally dead. Younger artists lack the emotional range and depth required to bring these heartbreak songs to life in a way the listener can believe speaks to the heart.

What's the answer then? Write your own standards or work with composers that inspire you and relate to you on a very deep level in your life now. Sorry, not sorry this effort is mediocre. It's okay Trisha, you're not the first to come up short on these classics.

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