Farewell Amanda (partially found Frank Sinatra recording of Cole Porter song; 1949)
Frank Sinatra (December 12th, 1915–May 14th, 1998) ranks among the most famous entertainers in American history. With an estimated 150 million records sold, Sinatra is one of the worlds best selling music artists. In addition to his musical career, Sinatra also had a lengthy film career, one which often melded his acting and musical talent.
In 1949, Sinatra would record a rendition of the Cole Porter song "Farewell Amanda" for the romantic comedy Adam’s Rib, starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn. A six second clip of his recording would play in the film – however, the full recording by Sinatra remains lost.
Adam’s Rib, directed by George Cukor, stars Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn as Adam and Amanda Bonner, married lawyers representing opposing sides of the same case in court, with Amanda representing Doris Attinger, a mother of three who attempts to shoot her philandering husband. This tension, and their opposing stances on women’s equality, leads to a breakdown in their relationship. During this, a friend of the Bonners and a songwriter, Kip Lurie (played by David Wayne), visits the couple. Lurie sides with Amanda, and plays a song for her entitled "Farewell Amanda." After the trial concludes in the favor of Amanda’s client, Amanda goes to Lurie for advice only for him to make a pass at her. An enraged Adam enters their apartment and points a gun at them, forcing Amanda to admit that he, like Doris, is wrong to use a gun to prove his point, only to bite the gun and reveal it is made of candy. The two ultimately reconcile.
The song "Farewell Amanda" was written by Cole Porter, one of the preeminent American songwriters of the first half of the twentieth century. As written for the film, the song consists of a single verse and a refrain, sung in the movie by David Wayne. Per the blog Sinatra Archive (citing as its source Ed O’Brien, author of Sinatra 101: the 101 Best Recordings and the Stories behind Them) Sinatra recorded four takes of the song with an orchestra conducted by Johnny Green at the MGM soundstage, with a running time of 1:17. Six seconds of the recording were played in the film, in a scene depicting the song being played from a radio to show Lurie’s success.
The brief fragment of Sinatra's recording heard in the film is the only remnant of the recording currently available. While compiling the compilation album Frank Sinatra in Hollywood, 1940-1964, a compilation of music recorded by Sinatra for various film studios, producers Didier Deutsch and Charles Granata searched for the full copy of Sinatra’s recording in the archives of MGM. However, the optical film on which the recording was stored was "completely disintegrated," while a master acetate believed to contain the recording merely contained the piano track, with Sinatra’s lead vocal omitted. Consequently, the recording is considered lost, and is currently listed by the Library of Congress as one of the key recordings the Library is searching for.
- Piasni, B. (2015, 11 December), The business of Frank Sinatra. CNBC Retrieved 27 Dec '22
- AFI, n.d., Adam’s Rib (1949). American Film Institute Retrieved 27 Dec '22
- The Sinatra Archive, (2010, 8 August). Lost Recording: Farewell, Amanda. Sinatra Archive Retrieved 27 Dec '22
- Jackson, B. (2002, 1 December). Sinatra in Hollywood. Mix Online. Retrieved 27 Dec '22
- Library of Congress. (n.d.). Lost Recording List. Library of Congress. Retrieved 27 Dec '22