Ring-a-Ding Ding - 1961

Historical Context     Mono and Stereo Mixes     Conclusions


Different studio.  Different engineer.  Different 3-track EQ (more on that later).  Different arranger/conductor.  Felix Slatkin, a trusted friend, in the producer’s chair.  Different record company. Sinatra still very much in charge of the session, and now the owner of the record company.

Familiar U-47 vocal microphone.  Cream-of-the-crop LA musicians, still recording to 3-track tape (and other formats), with Sinatra right out there on the floor, in the thick of things -- some things old; some things new, with an excitement in the air that comes through the recording.


Sinatra recording at United for Reprise, album #1.  Where to start?

recording dates

December 19-21, 1960


Felix Slatkin



Johnny Mandel, Dick Reynolds, Skip Martin


Johnny Mandel


Eddie Brackett,

United Recording

Release date

Initial sessions at United, December, 1961.

Mono Mixes

There were two mono mixes released, neither of them award-winning.  Audio clips below.  (All clips mirror the segments freely available via iTunes.  Itunes samples available at right.)

ABOVE: Early USA R-1001 mono LP, pressed by Waddell, -3 in runout.  MONO MIX #1.  (This particular LP came from the library of KJR radio in Seattle.)

ABOVE: Early UK R-1001 mono LP, pressed by Pye Records.  MONO MIX #1.

ABOVE: Later USA F-1001 mono LP, mastered and pressed at Columbia, 1E stamped in runout.  MONO MIX #2.

Here is a clip that begins with the original-mix “-3” LP, transitions to the later Columbia-pressed LP (remix), then back again: https://app.box.com/s/poqi8cqvvextsmh7lsctbkgpb1xrnbm0

To my ears, both of these mixes, at least as mastered for LP, get the “two thumbs way down” response.  The first mix can be improved somewhat by some pretty major EQ adjustments, but there’s only so much to be gained, in my experience, and eventually the point comes where it sounds “goosed” or faked up.

Oddly, there is a bootleg release of outtakes from this album, all in mono, and the sound quality is utterly splendid!

STEREO comparisons to follow when time allows.