The Daily Pulse:

"Full Moon and Empty Arms": by Bob, Frank, and Sergei

The weirdest music news of the month is, for me, the fact that Bob Dylan, who lives to surprise us, has recorded an old Sinatra hit, and actually did a pretty good job of it. Though I'm not sure it's considered an American Songbook standard, "Full Moon and Empty Arms" was a radio hit for Sinatra in 1945, and after a thoughtful wait, Dylan's taking his turn.

Here's Frank. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKsdCtsRczY)

And here's Bob. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNy4CPyFbIs)

I can't decide.

For the inevitable Knoxville connection, one might expect some reference to one of Dylan's several shows in Knoxville since 1965--or to one of Sinatra's. The Hoodlum from Hoboken came here only a couple of times, and very early in his career, to perform at UT as the featured singer in Tommy Dorsey's band. But that was before his "Full Moon" recording.

But no, the interesting Knoxville connection has to do with the big lonesome statue in World's Fair Park. Sergei Rachmaninoff, who gave the last performance of his career at UT's Alumni Hall in 1943, and that's the reason the only statue of Rachmaninoff in the western hemisphere is in downtown Knoxville.

Rachmaninoff wrote the tune that Sinatra and Dylan sang. He wrote it back in 1901, and called it Piano Concerto No. 2.

Here's Sergei. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBx-tr1FDvY)

The Sinatra/Dylan tune comes up in the third movement. But you have to listen to the whole thing. And you may recognize some other pop tunes in there, because it's been mined before.

But I'm pretty sure "Full Moon and Empty Arms" was Rachmaninoff's first big hit after his last big show. 

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