Billboard Bits: Frank Sinatra, AMAs, Bolton

News on Frank Sinatra, AMAs, Bolton

FrankA new version of "Silent Night" graces "The Frank Sinatra Christmas Collection," due Oct. 26 via Reprise/The Frank Sinatra Collection. The song was assembled using an unreleased vocal track recorded by the late crooner in August 1991 and newly recorded orchestral backing conducted by his son, Frank Sinatra Jr., and arranged by Johnny Mandel.

"It was an emotional day, because he was doing it for the children," daughter Nancy Sinatra says of the recording, initially intended for a charity project. "It is so sweet and tender that it is just heart-wrenching."

"Christmas Collection" also boasts a pair of previously unreleased duets with Bing Crosby -- -"The Christmas Song" and "White Christmas" -- taken from the 1957 ABC special "Happy Holidays With Bing & Frank." The 18-track set's remaining selections, including two more Sinatra/Crosby duets, are culled from 1964's "The Twelve Songs of Christmas," 1969's "The Sinatra Family Wish You a Merry Christmas" and the 1963 various artists set "Christmas Album."

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

The American Music Awards (AMA) has added the T-Mobile Text In Award to this year's 32nd annual ceremony. Fans are asked to choose their favorite from a list of five artists representing country (Kenny Chesney), rock (Evanescence), pop (Norah Jones), rap/hip-hop (OutKast) and soul/R&B (Usher), whose latest album has been the top seller in its genre from Jan. 1 to the present.

Subscribers to T-Mobile's phone service can cast votes via text messaging while others can weigh in via, keyword: AMA. Voting will close during the Nov. 14 AMA broadcast on ABC.

As previously reported, No Doubt singer Gwen Stefani, Chesney, Josh Groban, Toby Keith, Jessica Simpson, Usher, Kanye West and Gretchen Wilson are confirmed to perform during the Jimmy Kimmel-hosted show.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.

BoltonAdult contemporary mainstay Michael Bolton is joining forces with filmmaker Maryann De Leo ("Chernobyl Heart," "Rape: Cries From the Heartland") to produce a documentary about the impact of sexual assault and domestic violence on women and their families for Lifetime. The film will premiere in April 2005 as part of the cable network's "Our Lifetime Commitment: Stop Violence Against Women" campaign.

"For the third straight year, I'm proud to be part of Lifetime's public advocacy campaign, particularly since I have three daughters," Bolton says. "I hope this documentary underscores a critical message that violence against women is a vicious assault on civilized society that can only be stopped when men step up to the plate and accept that this is also their problem."

The artist has long been a champion of such causes, establishing the Michael Bolton Foundation (now
Michael Bolton Charities) in 1993 to help at-risk women and children.

-- Barry A. Jeckell, N.Y.


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