New Yorkers saw blue when lights inside the Empire State Building were colored Friday to mourn the death of Frank Sinatra, but retailers were seeing green throughout the weekend as fans and collectors flocked to record stores to snap up discs featuring the Voice.
Tower Records on Sunset witnessed a 10-fold increase in sales of Sinatra discs over the weekend, while the Virgin MegaStore in Times Square has moved more Sinatra product since Friday than it did in April.
Snatching ’em up
“People have been in here all weekend buying Sinatra albums,” Tower’s Ed Chavie said. “I’d say we’ve sold 10 times as many Sinatra albums on Saturday (as) we do on any normal day.”
“Duets” and “Duets II,” Sinatra’s recent Capitol Records discs of tunes that paired the entertainer with singers such as Barbra Streisand, Willie Nelson, Bono and Julio Iglesias, were the bestsellers, according to retailers surveyed.
Several of Sinatra’s boxed set collections also went home with devotees, and vinyl albums residing in bins in record stores trading in used product were also quickly snapped up.
Sales of Sinatra discs were fueled by the many TV tributes to the entertainer, including VH1 peppering its programming cycle with a “Behind the Music” spec detailing the singer’s life and MTV’s numerous airings of its obit package.
PBS rebroadcast on Saturday Sinatra’s 1987 “Concert for the Americas” and cabler Arts & Entertainment repeated its “Biography” spec.
Nick at Night and sister channel TV Land will rebroadcast tonight the 1965 benefit concert “Frank, Dean and Sammy: An Evening With the Rat Pack,” which it debuted last month to very high ratings.
Sinatra’s death from heart failure late Thursday came a week before the industry’s most ambitious marketing campaign of the entertainer’s music takes root.
Capitol and Reprise Records have teamed to release eight Sinatra albums — four discs from each label — in their “Entertainer of the Century” promotion.
The sets, which will bow in stores May 26, are digitally remastered versions of previously released Sinatra sets. The push was scheduled earlier this year and follows an increased involvement by Tina Sinatra with record labels holding Ol’ Blue Eyes catalog product.
Sony Music’s Legacy outfit is reminding retailers of its hefty catalog of Sinatra offerings, including “On the Radio,” a soon-to-be-released two-CD set of the singer performing previously unrecorded songs. The 36-track package will be released in September.
“Frank Sinatra is an American musical treasure,” Sony Music prexy and CEO Tommy Mottola said. “His impeccable taste, style and imagery will be left in the minds of every performer to follow him, and in the hearts and minds of audiences around the world forever.”
Sinatra recorded for Sony’s Columbia Records from 1943 to 1952, which covered his big-band era and beginnings as a solo artist. Legacy is the conglom’s recordings reissue arm.