April 21, 2009

Frank Sinatra’s ‘Watertown’ Album–A Bob Gaudio Masterpiece!

April 21st, 2009

The most recent podcast on “The Frank Truth,” a podcast dedicated to “all things Sinatra,” is devoted entirely to Frank Sinatra’s “Watertown” album, an album written by Bob Gaudio and Jake Holmes, the same writing team who also wrote The Four Seasons “concept” album “Genuine Imitation Life Gazette.” In his podcast, Mr. Noe talks about the genesis of the “Watertown” album and discusses all the intangibles that went into making “Watertown” a true treasure for Sinatra fans. For Four Seasons fans, “Watertown” showcases the writing talents of Bob Gaudio.

For those who may not know, while “Watertown” is also a concept album, unlike “GILG” and other concept albums of the late ’60s/early ’70s era, which had album cuts that were thematically related, “Watertown” tells a complete story of life in a small town, presumably the town of the same name in upstate New York, where a married couple separate, with the wife going on to pursue a career, leaving the husband to raise their two small children. The names of the children are Michael and Peter and their names are also the title of one of the album cuts which has become the signature song of the album.

It is truly fascinating how Bob Gaudio, who was only 27 years old at the time, could conceive and write this type of an album at such a young age. I highly recommend the “Watertown” album, as well as listening to Mr. Noe’s podcast about it. You can listen to Mr. Noe’s podcast at http://franktruth.noebie.com. For his next podcast, Mr. Noe is scheduled to interview long-time Four Seasons musical arranger, Charlie Callello, who was also the arranger for “Watertown” to obtain his recollections of working with Frank Sinatra.


  1. An exellent podcast and very much worth the 20 or so minutes of time it takes to listen to it. It also includes the right amount of cuts from the “Watertown” album to get the speaker’s points across. “Watertown” is really a gem and was way ahead of its time.

    Really looking forward to hearing Mr. Noe’s upcoming interview with Charlie Calello.

    Comment by David Cace — April 24, 2009 @ 1:47 pm

  2. It’s great to hear positive reviews on “Watertown” after all these years. I’m convinced that had it been written by any other young songwriter it would have received more attention.

    I do remember that in a TV tribute special for Liz Taylor, Roddy McDowall sang a song to her from that lp. (Elizabeth)

    I think that in the future some singer should cover the Watertown lp as a project. I’m convinced it will breath new life into it just as Jersey Boys did for The Four Seasons.

    Comment by Ray Ricci — April 26, 2009 @ 10:58 am

  3. There had been some talk about Bob Gaudio writing an album for Frank Sinatra, first as I recall in Ed Sullivan’s column in the New York Daily News, and later when Frankie Valli mentioned it in one of his appearances on the Mike Douglas TV show in late summer of 1969.

    The next time I heard anything about the album was at one of the 4 Seasons Holiday shows that year at the Empire Room at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, where they performed nightly for a week or so with a full orchestra, when Frankie sang “Michael and Peter.” I knew then that the album was going to be something special. And it was…and still is – probably more relevant in today’s world as single Dads were really unheard of in 1969/70, although one of my best friends lived with his sister and their dad and their mother had remarried.

    This is a very special album and I highly recommend it. One needs to devote about 30 minutes of time to listen to the entire album/story, sung very emotionally by Sinatra, to beautiful arrangements. In additioan to “Michael and Peter” my favorites are “What’s Now is Now,” “I Would be in Love Anyway” and “Elizabeth.”

    Comment by David Cace — May 1, 2009 @ 4:55 pm

  4. Come to my website for a deeper study of the Watertown album.

    Comment by John Brown — January 6, 2013 @ 10:28 am

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