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After the Ball

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Album Review

Though Frank D'Rone must have appreciated the critical comparisons to Frank Sinatra, his 1960 Mercury LP After the Ball sounds more like the work of Bobby Darin, the deep crooner with the angelic face then making waves with his nightclub act and live record, Darin at the Copa. D'Rone, a former guitarist, also bears the mark of Mel Tormé (a true musician's singer), shaping his notes to fit the mood and constantly making conscious decisions to twist a well-worn standard into a new thing. Though singers like him and Darin represented the new face of swinging pop, D'Rone explores deep into the past for these songs; the title track alone was over 60 years old (though taken at a tempo poor Chas K. Harris never would have envisioned), and "My Melancholy Baby" was of a similar vintage. Thanks to the sparkling arrangements of the ever-inventive Billy May, After the Ball has all the spark and fire of the ring-a-ding-ding '60s. Though D'Rone never found commercial success like Darin, the record held up well.

Customer Reviews

Frank Is THE Classic Bar Crooner

I first saw Frank D'Rone performing at the Ponchartrain Hotel in Detroit in the early '60's. It was in their 'late night" room, called Place d'Encore. Frank had developed a bit of a reputation performing in some of the great old clubs in Chicago and became a hit in his short run in Detroit. I still remember him, sitting on a bar stool, accompanying himself on a guitar and crooning to the after-hours crowd. Wow! What memories. His singing career brought him to all the big stages, New York, Las Vegas, LA, but always back home to Chicago. He was enough of a favorite to bring the big names to the rooms where he was typically doing late night shows after the big names shows were over. Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Tony Bennett, and one memorable night in Las Vegas, the whole Rat Pack came on stage to accompany him. he loves to tell the story of having Nat King Cole come onstage to accompany him on piano as he performed while Frank Sinatra introduced his numbers. He's a classic. Believe it or not, he's still crooning more than 50 years later. My wife and I enjoyed his show on a small stage in southwest Michigan where he was doing a benefit for a local school. His voice has lost a bit of the youthfulness of the past, but he still sings songs like very few others. He's gotten even better with his guitar. And he always backs himself with some of the best sidemen around. Try this one, you're sure to like it.


Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s

Chicago singer Frank D'Rone recorded four LPs for Mercury during the late '50s and early '60s, one of them (After the Ball) with name arranger Billy May. A swinging vocalist having much in common with Bobby Darin, D'Rone was originally a band guitarist before making his debut on Mercury in 1957 with a trio of short sessions. His first LP, Frank D'Rone Sings, was followed in 1959 by Blue Velvet. D'Rone made a trip to Los Angeles in order to record with Billy May for 1960's After the Ball, but his...
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After the Ball, Frank D'Rone
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