A few bars of Frank Sinatra's "It Was a Very Good Year" set an unusual tone for Martin Fridson's presentation on his book, also called "It Was a Very Good Year," at the Pensions & Investments conference in New York earlier this month.
Mr. Fridson, chief high-yield strategist at Merrill Lynch & Co., New York, linked appropriate music with his stories about the stock market's biggest rallies and crashes in this century. He played George Gershwin's " 'S'Wonderful" in recalling the boom market of 1927-'28. Charlie Chaplin's "Smile" was used for the story of how Mr. Chaplin advised Irving Berlin to sell his stocks. It was too late and Mr. Berlin was wiped out. The next song was Mr. Berlin's "Let's Have Another Cup of Coffee," written in 1931, when Herbert Hoover said it was time to buy stocks again; the market hit bottom in July 1932.
Other tunes included "Johnny Be Good," from 1958 and "Love Will Keep Us Together" from 1975.