On November 24, 1965, viewers were treated to an exclusive hour-long celebration of Sinatra’s 50th birthday, broadcast in full color by NBC. The show was a simple yet profound showcase of Sinatra’s unparalleled talent: just him, in a television studio, performing some of his greatest hits, including the deeply evocative “It Was A Very Good Year.”
This special performance of “It Was A Very Good Year,” interspersed with other songs, was recently transformed into a complete video clip by an online user, allowing audiences to experience Sinatra’s rendition in its uninterrupted glory. This song, written by Ervin Drake in 1961, became one of Sinatra’s signature hits and won a Grammy for Best Vocal Performance, Male, in 1966. Sinatra’s delivery of the song’s narrative—reflecting on life at different ages—is imbued with nostalgia and wisdom that only he could convey.
The production of “A Man and His Music” was held in NBC’s Studio 1 in Burbank, California. Filmed in segments over two nights in November 1965, Sinatra gave an impeccable performance despite suffering from a cold. His interpretation of “It Was a Very Good Year” is particularly memorable for its emotional depth and the unique way it was presented in the special, broken up with other songs in between verses.
The beauty of this song lies in its universal appeal. Sinatra’s ability to evoke different emotions in listeners, depending on their own life experiences, makes “It Was A Very Good Year” a timeless piece. The song narrates the experiences of a man at various stages of his life—at 17, 21, 35, and in the later years—at each age, bringing a different perspective on love and life.
“A Man and His Music” received acclaim and recognition, winning an Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Program and a Peabody Award. The TV special, directed by Dwight Hemion, was a testament to Sinatra’s status as a peerless entertainer whose voice had grown richer and more nuanced with age and experience.
Sinatra’s performance in the special demonstrates why he was considered a master of his craft. He brought each song to life with his unique style and charisma. The show not only celebrated his past achievements but also signaled much more to come from this legendary artist.
In sharing this video clip of “It Was A Very Good Year,” we are reminded of Sinatra’s exceptional ability to tell a story through song. His performance is more than just a melody; it’s an emotional journey through the chapters of life, resonating with anyone who listens. Share this clip with your friends and family because it encapsulates a profound and relatable message about growing older and cherishing memories. This theme resonates with us all.