You’re listening to…who else? Frank Sinatra, with an orchestra led by Axel Stordahl, and you’re on the Sound Beat.
“Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry” was included in “Frankly Sentimental”, a four disc 78 set released by Columbia Records in 1949. The song was written by Julie Styne with lyrics by Sammy Cahn, a frequent Sinatra collaborator.
It’s about the whirlwind of emotions that can accompany unrequited love…and Sinatra’s voice was the perfect tool for the job. Author Joseph Fioravanti, in Chapter 3 of Frank Sinatra: The Man, The Music, The Legend, writes:
“From the dirgelike opening verse with its phobic distate for sunny weather in hushed and woeful measure to the first stanza, where a full octave leap propels the melody into the middle range, from major to minor key, a dynamic is established between brooding stillness and manic outcries. This pattern holds for the next two stanzas, from a diminished key to the closing line to agitato in the opening few beats of the succeeding stanza. The music has an ebb and flow mimicking the peaks and valleys of a roller coaster ride.
Sinatra masterfully delivers the verse and tagline (“guess I’ll hang my tears out to dry”) in a muted mezzo piano that creaks and breathes like pilings at a ferry stop, swaying in sucking water. Then, on cue, his voice soars in all of its burnished and well-honed muscularity, a thing of wonder, a falcon breaking free of its ligature, pitch perfect.”
Sinatra would the song again with Carly Simon for his 1993 Duets album. Well, not exactly with, if we’re being technical. All duet partners sang along with pre-recorded Sinatra vocal parts for the album, which drew some ire from critics. But not the public: Duets would go TRIPLE Platinum, the only Sinatra album to do so.
Sound Beat is produced at the Belfer Audio Archive, Syracuse University Libraries.