60. In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning – Frank Sinatra – 1955





Wikipedia “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning” is a 1955 popular song composed by David Mann, with lyrics by Bob Hilliard. It was introduced as the title track of Frank Sinatra‘s 1955 album In the Wee Small Hours. It was composed by Mann and Hilliard during a post-midnight session at Hilliard’s New Jersey home. Mann was about to depart for New York when Hilliard insisted he remain to try some impromptu songwriting. Mann reluctantly agreed and eventually came up with the tune, to which Hilliard quickly wrote a lyric.


  • By the early 1950s, Sinatra saw his career in decline, his teen “bobby soxer” audience having lost interest in him as he entered his late 30s.
  • The rebirth of his career began with the eve-of-Pearl Harbor drama From Here to Eternity (1953), for which he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.
  • The songs on In the Wee Small Hours deal with themes such as loneliness, introspection, lost love, failed relationships, depression and night-life. As a result, it is generally regarded as one of the first concept albums.
  • The album was recorded in five sessions at KHJ Studios, Hollywood. These sessions took place on February 8, 16 & 17, and April 1 & 4, and would start at 8:00PM, continuing to past midnight.
  • Since its release, In the Wee Small Hours has been regarded as one of Sinatra’s best, often being ranked alongside Songs for Swingin’ Lovers! (1956) and Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely (1958).
  • It is also considered by many to be one of the best vocal jazz releases of all time. acclaimedmusic.net, a website which aggregates musical accolades, names …Hours the 3rd most acclaimed album of the 50s (…Swingin’ Lovers! being one place behind it), with Kind of Blue by Miles Davis and Elvis Presley’s self titled début album in front.

3 responses »

  1. Another album I think I need.

    It was really interesting reading up on this before hearing it. It seems the reason he sells the mood of depression, loneliness, failed relationships and night-life, is because he was depressed, lonely, coming out of a failed relationship and the whole thing was recorded late at night.

    Again, it’s good to hear something new a familiar artist. I’m familiar with My Way, of course, but this was new for me. Absolutely loved this.

    • This one is worth it. The album appears in the 1001 albums too, it’s pretty much the first complete album he did and as you say, it is what it is because of where he was, which is always a good. Authenticity can do amazing things.

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