GOOD MORNING: It seemed like old times Friday as Frank Sinatra was back at Capitol Records’ studio, recording — for the first time since 1984, when he plattered Reprise’s “L.A. Is My Lady.” The new album, due out at Christmas, is the first in Sinatra’s new pact with the tower. “It’s his option to do more,” said manager Eliot Weisman. The initial disc features Frank and friends duetting. On this first session, he was in at 6 p.m., laid down nine tracks and was out at 9:15. The tunes included “One for My Baby,””Come Rain or Come Shine, “”The Lady Is a Tramp,””New York, New York,””You Can’t Take That Away From Me” and, of course, “My Way.” Pat Williams arranged and Phil Ramone conducted. Someone who was there reported: “It was what rare moments are made of. Some of the tracks are better than the originals.” The names rumored to be duetting range from Ella to Madonna to — U2. Sinatra shows no sign of slowing at all — he bows at the Desert Inn on the 14th and then heads out cross-country for summer dates. And he’s talking London, South America and Japan stints for ’94 … Don Rickles teams with Sinatra on tour during his (Rickles’) time off from his new Fox series, “Daddy Dearest,” which goes before the cameras July 19 … And an excited Jimmy Webb happily reported to me on his first album in 10 years, “Suspending Belief” (Elektra).
Linda Ronstadt produced with him. “There were a lot of funny situations,” he laughed. “She’d yell at me, ‘You’re out of tune’ — like I had done to her!” Webb, too, is joined on his album by friends including Don Henley, J.D. Souther and David Crosby. Potential singles include “Elvis and Me,””Too Young to Die” and “Just Like Always.” And on Sept. 27 at Avery Fisher Hall, Ron Delsener produces “A Celebration of the Music of Jimmy Webb,” a concert with performances by Crosby, Kris Kristofferson and Glen Campbell as “a new Highwaymen,” laughed Webb. Plus Michael Feinstein. Webb’s also readying a B’way musical, “If You Love Me, Love My Dog,” with book by Peter Stone.
HURRY TO HARRODS and you can join Burt Reynolds there as he cuts the ribbon Wednesday to signal the start of London’s giant emporium’s famous summer sale. Reynolds receives $ 75,000 for the unique appearance. But it’s all for charity. He donates the dough thus: $ 45,000 to his Institute for Theatrical Training, $ 20,000 to the AFI, $ 5,000 to the Starlight Foundation, and another $ 5,000 to Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang … Harrods owner Mohamed Al Fayed’s son, producer Dodi Fayed, and his Allied Stars, in association with another second-generation producer, John Davis, and his Davis Entertainment, optioned John E. Stith’s novel “Manhattan Transfer,” about the kidnapping of Manhattan by aliens … George Schlatter produces his first dramatic TV’er, “Lady Killers,” by Joe Napoleonas, a two-part, four-hour show for Showtime … Gwen Davis completed her screenplay “Hotel Bel-Air”– at the Hotel Bel-Air. (Jamie Lee Curtis has said she wants to play “the other woman.”) And Davis wound her book, “Lorelei,” a thriller pitting German skinheads vs. an American heroine. She segues to her next, a pic project for Ed Feldman, tentatively titled “Delusion.” And Jay Weston has optioned Davis’ Hong Kong-set novel “Jade”… Director John Landis gets animated in “Bobby’s World” with Howie Mandel for the Fox Children’s Network. In the seg, Landis’ character directs Mandel’s animated Bobby character in a commercial … LeVar Burton directs the second seg of the new season of “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” His first directorial stint, last season, is up for Emmy consideration … KNX entertainment editor Tom Hatten dons pince-nez again to play “Annie’s” F.D.R. in Sacramento, mid-month.
FIRST, THE GOOD NEWS. Wolfgang Puck’s Cafe, the first of 20 Barbara Lazaroff-designed (158-seat) eateries, bowed at Universal’s CityWalk over the July 4 weekend. Mrs. Puck also designed the smaller Wolfgang Puck EXpress self-service shoppes to bow around the country and Wolfgang Puck’s Pizza palaces for college campi. Now the bad news: The Pucks’ West L.A. eatery Eureka is now officially kaput. They moved the restaurant’s giant kinetic mural to the Universal site. “I cried as I drove away (from Eureka),” said Barbara. At CityWalk, they’ve got a mural, “How Pizza Changed the Face of the World”… Dolores, Linda and Bob Hope dined at CityWalk’s Gladstone’s and caught “Jurassic Park” at Universal City’s Cineplex Odeon. That’s the kind of interaction Universal hopes for there — see and eat … Sydney Pollack, with his family at Santa Monica’s Luma, celebrating his birthday — and mebbe toasting “The Firm,” too? … Casting director Patricia Rose is asking for industryites to help find her 2-year-old son, Marcus, abducted by his father over a year ago. The story aired on “Unsolved Mysteries” and “Hard Copy” to no avail. An account’s established at Wells Fargo Bank to help fund Rose’s teary search for her child … George Foreman may be down — but not out, as he’ll be grilled at the City of Hope’s Sports Dinner Wednesday at the Sheraton Universal. Sinbad is Roastmaster.