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Monthly Archives: April 2007

Hey Jude

hey-jude-45.jpg 

7:11

September, 1968.

Debuts on the U.S. “charts” and goes to #1 in two weeks. Spending 19 weeks on the charts and 9 at #1, Hey Jude sold over 8 million copies world-wide, making it the top selling Beatles’ single of all time. It held the #1 spot longer than any other Beatles single in the U.S. and is the longest song to occupy the #1 slot — 7 minutes, 11 seconds.

Hey Jude was recorded in 25 takes in two nights at the Abbey Road Studios — July 29th & 30th, 1968. The song was completed on August 1st, adding the 36 piece orchestra providing the long refrain, that was actually written by George Martin, their Apple producer. Here is some rehearsal video from the making of Hey Jude.

Hey Jude Rehearsal Video

Hey, Jude, don’t make it bad
Take a sad song and make it better
Remember to let her into your heart
Then you can start to make it better

Hey, Jude, don’t be afraid
You were made to go out and get her
The minute you let her under your skin
Then you begin to make it better.

And any time you feel the pain, hey, Jude, refrain
Don’t carry the world upon your shoulders
Well don’t you know that its a fool who plays it cool
By making his world a little colder

Hey, Jude! Don’t let her down
You have found her, now go and get her
Remember, to let her into your heart
Then you can start to make it better.

So let it out and let it in, hey, Jude, begin
You’re waiting for someone to perform with
And don’t you know that it’s just you, hey, Jude,
You’ll do, the movement you need is on your shoulder

Hey, Jude, don’t make it bad
Take a sad song and make it better
Remember to let her into your heart
Then you can start to make it better

Na, Na, Na, Na Na Na Na Na, Na, Na, Na, Na….Hey Jude….

 

As explained by Paul McCartney himself in the Beatles’ Anthology (@ 4:35 mark), Hey Jude was written for and about Julian Lennon, John Lennon’s then 5 year old son. Paul felt for the lad as his parents were going through a divorce. This song was written by Paul on a drive up to see Julian and his mother, Cynthia. It was meant to be a message of hope….not to give up. McCartney said the song was “a hopeful message for Julian: ‘Come on, man, your parents got divorced. I know you’re not happy, but you’ll be OK.'” The song was originally “Hey, Jules” for Julian, but McCartney felt that Jude was a stronger name. Initially, the famed line of “the movement you need is on your shoulder” was to be taken out as Sir Paul didn’t feel that it fit and was redundant (he uses shoulder previously in the song). Lennon strongly opposed taking it out saying “it’s the best line in the song and I get it what it means”. Presumably, Lennon thought that the song was more directed at him and Julian was the needed movement on his shoulder, i.e., to pay attention to his child as much as his causes.

Beautifully written lyrics and music, made for the perfect mix and the right “movement”. There are many theories about the lyrics and who “her” is. I think Paul meant that to be Cynthia Lennon, telling the little boy to “let her into your heart”…his Mom, that is. Others have said that he was speaking of Yoko Ono, but I don’t think so. The recording was completed in early August, 1968 and was released as a single on August 26th.

 

Here is the promotional video of The Beatles’ performing Hey Jude on David Frost’s show.

 

Hey Jude – David Frost 1968

 

Hey Jude is often thought of as having been a part of The White Album, but in fact, is not on that compilation even though it was recorded during the time The White Album was being recorded. Amazingly, the only two albums that Hey Jude appear on is Hey Jude, which was renamed from Beatles Again and released in the U.S. only. This album included other songs like Don’t Let Me Down and Lady Madonna. In 1973, Hey Jude was also included in the Greatest Hits album 1967-1970.

 

The cover art for Hey Jude was from the last official photo shoot of The Beatles. In so many ways, Hey Jude was the beginning of the end.

TODAY’S TRIVIA: The “B” side of Hey Jude is Revolution.

Lennon felt that Revolution should also be released as a single as he felt that it’s message was of strong meaning, a way for them to “say” something about the tumultuous times. The other three felt that Revolution was “too slow” and therefore relegated the song to the B side of Hey Jude.

 

Hey Jude is probably my favorite Beatles’ tune. I saw Paul McCartney 13 or 14 years ago at The Superdome in New Orleans and he did many Beatles’ tunes, but he (and the crowd) took it to a new level on Hey Jude. Rolling Stone named it #8 on the Top 500 singles of all time. It holds a special place for me and is certainly one of my “Top 10″. My son’s middle name is Jude (for the saint, not the song– well, maybe just a little) so the song has extra-special meaning for us now. There are some really awesome versions and covers of this song out there, so I thought I’d include a few.

Royal Albert Performance for Monserrat with Various Artists including: Elton John, Sting, Phil Collins, Carl Perkins, Eric Clapton, Jimmy Buffett, Marc Knopfler & others.

Ella Fitzgerald at Montreux 1969

Duane Allman & Wilson Pickett in Muscle Shoals
Duane Allman convinced Wilson Pickett to record this in Muscle Shoals while they were waiting for workers to come back from lunch in town where neither were welcomed during those times. Pickett went on to perform Hey Jude with the Bee Gees, as well.

Phantom Planet & Maroon 5

Elvis?

and finally, a couple of humorous versions…..

Japanese Version

Hugh Laurie….yes, “House”

TODAY’S TRIVIA PART DEUX: Interestingly, Hey Jude never garnered any major music award, despite being The Beatles’ biggest hit. The song was nominated for three Grammys, losing out to Up, Up, & Away by The Fifth Dimension.

 

 

 

 

A Novel-ty Idea

So, let’s talk Novelty songs…..

My podnuh, Shrew, suggested this topic. I immediately lurved it. And, it just so happened that Barry “Boris” Pickett, creator of Monster Mash, passed away earlier this week. In honor of Barry and because I need a good laugh, here’s the questions to be addressed:

1. What are your favorites? Can be from any “time”….

2. What do you think is the attraction of Novelty songs and do they have a place in music today?

That’s it. Pretty simple, huh? I challenge you to be as snarky and humorous as you can, because I need a good laugh….isn’t that enough motivation?

To help you along, here are the Top 10 from About.com. Why is that many of these are from my “era”? No doubt, you will agree with some and disagree with others. You may have other favorites not listed here. Let’s hear it.

1. Pac-Man Fever

2. Disco Duck

3. King Tut

4. Convoy

5. The Chanukah Song

6. The Chipmunk Song

7. Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah

8. The Streak

9. Eat It

10. Valley Girl

These all bring back various fun memories, however some of my favorites aren’t included. So, here are my Top 3 4.

Battle of New Orleans – This is a song that my parents listened to in the late ’60’s when I was just a tot, but I can remember this song vividly. Of course, it was sort of an anthem and I’ve always loved it. It reminds me of the parties my parent used to have back in Southwest Louisiana when I was growing up and the unfettered fun they all had on those crazy Saturday nights.

Marie Leveau – I’ve heard this song for many, many years. Along the same lines as the Battle of New Orleans, this song was fun and close to our collective hearts; being Cajun.

Big John – I’m going to do a post at some point about “sympatico” in music. My husband and I are very far apart on the music scale and in age, but we have found that there are a few songs that we were both drawn to through our lives and they are important to us. Silly as it sounds, but Big John is one of those songs. Jimmy Dean should be recognized for more than breakfast sausage.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy – I love Bobby McFerrin and this song. So appopriately light and non-concerning.

Now, it’s your turn. Give me a couple of Novelty songs that you like and why…

NOTE:  Temporary Music Files deleted.

 
36 Comments

Posted by on April 27, 2007 in Uncategorized

 

Joliet Jake…A Story of Redemption

I know I just said (like, Tuesday) that I wouldn’t be doing any more Taylor features, but I can’t pass this one up.

brc made it back from a wonderful Taylor Hicks concert experience with her 6 year old, EMC, last night. She had a couple of very positive experiences regarding Mr. Hicks that I thought were worth sharing here. While there may have been some inconsistencies of Taylor “enthusiasm” among the Meet & Greets, it apprears that Taylor has found a niche that can show his soft side, satisfy the fans, cultivate good PR and not have to “risk” too much. Concentrate on the kids…pretty simple and relatively safe. And, scores HUGE points with the Moms.

Anyway, here is the wonderful recap from brc and the Joliet concert:

I spontaneously took my daughter (we’ll call her EMC) to see Taylor Hicks last night in Joliet.

What follows is my recap (both personal and musical) of the evening:

Around 3:45pm, EMC and I head out the door to see Taylor. The day is dreary and it’s drizzling. I’m excited to see Taylor for a second time, but have low expectations. I saw him in March at the House of Blues in Chicago and the show and the venue were so great I’m pretty sure it would be hard to beat. We point the car in the direction of Joliet and off we go. We are pleasantly surprised that in spite of it being rush hour we arrive in Joliet in just 90 minutes. EMC seems enthusiastic, but really has no idea what a concert like this is all about. She is only 6 years-old and just knows that she loved Taylor on American Idol.

She asks in the car if he will sing Do I Make You Proud. I explain that he will not.

We park the car, take a few photos in front of the very beautiful theater and ask a police officer where we can eat. Apparently this area of Joliet can get seedy at night, so Officer Friendly advises me and EMC to stay close and points out a nice bar/grill across the street. Nice bar/grill is PACKED with Taylor fans. It is also filled with smoke, but we’re tough and we’re hungry, so we stay. We (the two of us) are seated at a table that can fit six people. I see the line of people waiting to eat and feel bad, so after a few minutes I suggest to the manager that we wouldn’t mind if other people were seated at our table. We are then joined by two women. One 50ish and one 70ish. The 70ish woman is wearing a t-shirt that says “You’ve Come to the Right Place” in REALLY big letters. I try to stifle my laughter and not pee in my pants. We discuss Taylor, AI and the venue. A pleasant conversation and the food was passable. Dinner is done and EMC and I move on.

I had been telling EMC about Taylor’s purple bus and promised her that we could find it and take a picture there. We easily find the bus behind the theater and we’re the only people there. Not a soul around. It is lightly raining and the wind chill is 40 degrees. I’m assuming that Taylor is not nearby or there would likely be others standing around. Brian Less comes out the stage door and heads to the door of the bus. I yell “Brian,” not knowing what I’m going to say next. He walks over…I make some chit chat about the show at the HOB and ask if he thinks this will be as good. He then states that I might be pleasantly surprised. I ask if he would pose for a photo with EMC (who has no idea who he is). He very nicely does so and even asks her her name. I tell her that Brian is one of Taylor’s best buddies. This makes EMC happy

At this point it is 7:00 and the opening act is due to begin at 7:30. It’s pretty cold and I’m ready to suggest to EMC that we go inside. Then a security guard at the stage door waves us over. He says to us… are you listening… the security guard… the man who’s supposed to be keeping people away, says to us — “Taylor is on the bus.” EMC’s eyes light up and she asks me if we can knock on the door. EMC doesn’t understand why I won’t let her. Random people go in and out of the bus. We see Loren. We say hi to Ted (alltheanswers). But, still no Taylor. I suggest several times that we should go inside, but EMC is determined to see Taylor. Just as we’re about to leave, Melanie and Josh walk out of the bus and head straight toward us. Apparently, Taylor has taken pity on us standing in the rain and has sent out an autographed photo for EMC. I’m too stunned to ask them to pose for a photo. We thank them profusely and finally go inside.

The theater is beautiful. Very old fashioned. The show is completely sold out. The crowd is very diverse… lots of men and a surprising number of children. We have wonderful seats in the 4th row. The Greyhounds have already started their set by the time we get to our seats. I decide to try to figure out the digital camera I got for Christmas. The photos I took at the HOB were not great. So I take some practice pictures of the Greyhounds. Bad camera is not cooperating, so I spend the entire break before Taylor takes the stage reading the instruction manual (yes I brought it with me). I still don’t understand how to work the settings, but do learn that the camera has video capabilities — this makes me happy (and hopefully will make you happy soon too)! EMC is fidgety and asking when she will see Taylor. It’s 8:30 now. This is her normal bedtime and the concert hasn’t started yet. Mommy starts to worry, but EMC has done a pinky-swear with me that she wouldn’t cry even if she got tired, so I’m hopeful.

Finally, the moment arrives. The show starts and Taylor comes out. Everyone stands and suddenly our 4th row seats are not so hot. EMC can’t see a thing. She and the other children around us all stand on their seats and life is good.

Taylor starts out with Give Me Tonight then moves right into Soul Thing. He is in fine voice tonight. Very clear and strong. The crowd sits down except for the woman in front of EMC. When I ask her (very nicely I might add) if she planned to sit down she emphatically said she did not. When I pointed out that several children were sitting behind her, she said “I don’t care.” This is a 40-something year-old woman! EMC moves to my lap which makes taking photos and videos a challenge. The photo thing isn’t working out anyway. Everything is blurry or too dark — damn camera.

Taylor segues into Hell of a Day. I’m groovin’ on it when I realize that he’s tagging it with Pink Floyd’s The Wall. Anyway, I think this is way cool and decide to give bad camera another shot. So, here I give you a link to my first video uploaded to YouTube.

(After I got home and saw that this worked I apologized to bad camera.)

He sings Dream Myself Awake, Heart and Soul and Wherever I Lay My Hat. They were fine but aren’t my favorites. He teased Heart and Soul with “Brown-eyed Handsome Man.” I actually liked the tease better than the song itself.

Then he said he was going to sing a really old song called “My Friend.” I hadn’t heard this before and I love hearing him sing new stuff, so I decided to try the video thing again. This was one of my favorite songs of the evening. It was very up-tempo and melodic. Simple, but very satisfying. Between wiggly daughter on my lap and nasty woman in front of us, the visual on this video isn’t great, but you can get a sense of the song

So I’m expecting another song from the album now and he launches into Run Baby Run. Fantastic! His voice sounds great. This is a totally different set than what he did at the HOB. I had seen that he was performing this in some cities but had never heard it before.

The crowd is really into it, though I have to say that the vibe in a sit-down theater is not nearly as intense as it is in a general admission place like the House of Blues.

HOTYL is next. One of my favorite Taylor originals. He starts in with the reggae teases — so cool, then he transitions into a more bluesy mode, he adds some mean harp. Well you just had to hear it. He has now done three songs in a row that were not from the current album and I’m loving it. EMC is starting to get tired and crabby now. Bad mommy is now questioning the wisdom of bringing a 6 year-old to a concert. I suggest that she curl up in her seat and just listen to the music.

Taylor sings The Deal, and Heaven Knows. I look down and EMC is ASLEEP… in her seat… in the middle of a concert. She woke up during The Right Place and perked up when he got to Runaround (I think The Maze was in there somewhere). In fact, by then she was standing on her seat dancing. He did Taking it to the Streets for an encore – he was really “on” tonight in his vocals. During the encore Taylor sat with Brian Less and played some keyboards.

Overall, the concert exceeded my expectations. He sang several songs I hadn’t heard before, he tagged and teased all over the place (there was some Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye and Ray Charles in there somewhere). He played the harp at least 4 times, if not more. It was great. You can’t deny what a great entertainer he is. And to top it off, as he’s leaving the stage he walks down the steps and hands his harmonica to a young (maybe 10 years old) disabled boy in a wheelchair who had been rockin’ and boppin’ to the music all night. I get a lump in my throat.

I now move into supermommy mode and plan to scram outta there and get this kid in bed. As we walk toward the door EMC says “Let’s go stand by the purple bus.” Seriously. That’s what she said. It is now colder than it was earlier and raining a bit harder. But hey, if the kid wants to see Taylor up close and personal, who am I to deny her? So we walk back to the busses where there is a crowd of about 50 people. EMC being such a small thing and oblivious to concert/fan etiquette, charges her way to the front and stakes her ground, stuffed animal in hand. I’m stuck behind three rows of people. I manage to work my way to the front excusing myself but explaining that I have to keep an eye on my daughter. We wait about 15 minutes and Da Man himself walks out with pen in hand and Brian Less holding his umbrella. Brian, the keyboard player, relegated to umbrella holder. (After reviewing photographic evidence, it has been determined that Mr. less handed off umbrella responsibilities to a FOT named Bill.)

I can’t get the flash to work on bad camera. In the meantime, Taylor has made eye contact with EMC. I think he recognizes her from our pathetic wait in the rain before the show. After signing a couple of autographs he walks over to her and says “How ya doin’ darlin’?” and crouches down to her level. I’m several feet away desperately trying to get bad camera to work. He then says to her “You got something you want me to sign?” EMC is holding her stuffed animal. She doesn’t know what an autograph is. Taylor starts to sign the skirt on her animal and she says. “I just want a hug.” He then obliges and my little EMC wraps her arms around Taylor’s waist. I don’t have it on film, but I’ll never forget it. She was so happy.

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The best Bad Camera had to offer ^^^^EMC’s head

We walk to the car. EMC puts her jammies on and I buckle her in for the ride home. She quickly calls grandma on the phone to tell her she has scored a hug from Taylor and we head home. I then look in the rearview mirror and EMC is asleep. She still has a big smile on her face. It was a good night.

 
23 Comments

Posted by on April 26, 2007 in Taylor, taylor hicks

 

If I Can Dream? Holy Carp….

I haven’t been watching American Idol, I swear. But, because of the charity deal I figured I’d give it a go this week. I tuned in on Tuesday for the performances and again tonight for the Extravaganza. It was pretty entertaining until about the hour and a half mark when Ryan announces Celine Dion and the original American Idol.

elvis-68.jpg

I about peed my pants when Celine comes out along side the 1968 freakin’ Elvis from the ’68 Comeback Special singing If I Can Dream.

Now folks, I’ve been pimping this song and this performance since May 8th, 2006 at Graycharles.com….Here is my di-RECK quote:

Double D # 22 May 8th, 2006 at 3:11 pm

I just FEEL that Taylor will sing If I Can Dream. It is right up his alley…calm start, building to crescendo and it’s Elvis at his grittiest.

“There must be lights burning brighter somewhere
Got to be birds flying higher in a sky more blue
If I can dream of a better land
Where all my brothers walk hand in hand
Tell me why, oh why, oh why can’t my dream come true

There must be peace and understanding sometime
Strong winds of promise that will blow away
All the doubt and fear
If I can dream of a warmer sun
Where hope keeps shining on everyone
Tell me why, oh why, oh why won’t that sun appear

We’re lost in a cloud
With too much rain
We’re trapped in a world
That’s troubled with pain
But as long as a man
Has the strength to dream
He can redeem his soul and fly

Deep in my heart there’s a trembling question
Still I am sure that the answer gonna come somehow
Out there in the dark, there’s a beckoning candle
And while I can think, while I can talk
While I can stand, while I can walk
While I can dream, please let my dream
Come true, right now
Let it come true right now
Oh yeah”

Of course, Taylor opted for In the Ghetto and Jailhouse Rock, leaving If I Can Dream to Elliott.

This Elvis performance is my FAVORITE, and I’m a HUGE Elvis fan. In 1968, Elvis was BACK, baby! Newly married with a new baby girl, he’d lost weight and was in “fighting shape”. The sex appeal oozed out of him, as did his talent. This turned out to be the last real hurrah for Elvis and he was magnificient in the finale, donned in the white suite with the red lighted Elvis behind him…..simply, UGNHH! Talk about the kun-NECK-shun…Elvis defined it.

So, tonight I throw these up for your perusal and commentary.

The One and Only….E

Wannabe E

Sorry, no comparison. None.

 
14 Comments

Posted by on April 25, 2007 in Elvis, Music History, the king

 

Taylor Time…for the Last Time

I intended to have a Taylor Time feature each week to highlight some of Taylor Hicks’ music, perhaps exposing those who haven’t had the chance to experience Taylor live, to his music and capabilities.

I’m choosing not to continue these weekly features. As many of you are already familiar with his work and there are many outlets still available for all things Taylor, I don’t feel it is necessary for more Taylor “education”. However, if you are in need of Taylor news or happenings, might I suggest The Boogie Board. For the record, I’m still “for” Taylor and I think that he is one of the best stage performers this generation has offered. Everyone is certainly welcomed to discuss Taylor happenings in the comments and I may have the occasional Taylor mention, just not a weekly feature on his music.

So, for the last Taylor “spotlight”, I offer The Fall. Appropriate, I think, and also one of my favorites. One of the first songs Taylor wrote and included on his In Your Time CD, it’s an examination of a relationship gone bad with a sense of resignation and acceptance. It’s very well done here, acoustically, showing Taylor’s depth as a musician, as well as vocal performer.

The Fall – from the Boogie Board videos

It’s funny how my life changes with the snow
takes a long, hard solid state of gold
all the times I look it still occurs to me
just passing time, trying not to mind set my spirit free

There’s a place and time for everything
when the good gets going bad
and every time I try to look and hide
it leaves you lonely, feeling blue, and feeling sad

Here it comes just rushing in
the distant smile replied,
a distant grin it’s not so bad
after all I climbed the ladder,
and you took the fall, you took the fall

Light on my feet I’m walking down
my steps are heavier to lessen the frown
soon I’ll be gone so pay me no mind
there’s always the worries wasted time, and wasted wine.

Here it comes just rushing in
the distant smile replied,
a distant grin it’s not so bad
after all I climbed the ladder,
and you took the fall you took the fall

Feelings will pass and soon have to go
the colder the heart, the harder the wind blow
although you’re trying to make your own throughway
you turn your back on love with the games that people play

Here it comes just rushing in
the distant smile replied,
a distant grin it’s not so bad
after all I climbed the ladder,
and you took the fall you took the fall.

 
20 Comments

Posted by on April 23, 2007 in Taylor

 

Belief?

I like John Mayer. I think that he’s a really good songwriter and I have thoroughly enjoyed Continuum. So, I picked one of my favorites from the CD to put out here and get your opinion as to what the song means. I know….everyone wants to say it’s about the Iraq war, but I think it goes further than that. I know it has a bit of a different message for me. Here’s a very nice acoustical version of Belief and the lyrics follow — give me your interpretation of what John’s trying to convey by this song or what it means for you.

Also, if you haven’t checked out John Mayer’s Blog….please do so here. If you scroll down a bit, there’s a very interesting Q&A from a fan that won an “interview”. Interesting concept. Mr. Mayer is an “out-of-the-box” thinker and basically, a totally funny dude. But, Jessica Simpson?

Is there anyone who ever remembers
changing their mind from the paint on a sign?,
is there anyone who really recalls
ever breaking rank at all
for something someone yelled real loud one time?
oh, everyone believes
in how they think it oughta be
oh, everyone believes
and they’re not going easily

belief is a beautiful armor
but makes for the heaviest sword
like punching underwater
you never can hit who you’re trying for
some lead the exhibition
and some have to know they tried
it’s the chemical weapon
for the war that’s raging on inside
oh, everyone believes
from emptiness to everything
oh, everyone believes
and no one’s going quietly

we’re never gonna win the world
we’re never gonna stop the war
we’re never gonna beat this
if belief is what we’re fighting for

we’re never gonna win the world
we’re never gonna stop the war
we’re never gonna beat this
if belief is what we’re fighting for

is there anyone you can remember
ever surrender with their life on the line?

we’re never gonna win the world
we’re never gonna stop the war
we’re never gonna beat this
if belief is what we’re fighting for

we’re never gonna win the world
we’re never gonna stop the war
we’re never gonna beat this
if belief is what we’re fighting for

what puts a hundred thousand children in the sand?
belief can, belief can
what puts a folded flag inside his mother’s hand?
belief can, belief can

ETA: The Heart of Life is Good

I have to find out who John’s guitar player is…..I lurve him.

I hate to see you cry
Laying there in that position
There’s things you need to hear
So turn off your tears and listen

Pain throws you heart to the ground
Love turns the whole thing around
No, it won’t all go the way, it should
But I know the heart of life is good

You know it’s nothing new
Bad news never had good timing
But then the circle of your friends
Will defend the silver lining

Pain throws your heart to the ground
Love turns the whole thing around
No, it won’t all go the way, it should
But I know the heart of life is good

Pain throws your heart to the ground
Love turns the whole thing around
Fear is a friend who’s misunderstood
But I know the heart of life is good

I know it’s good

 
54 Comments

Posted by on April 22, 2007 in John Mayer, Music Today

 

The Chairman of the Board

i·con (ī’kŏn’) – One who is the object of great attention and devotion; an idol.

Today, I offer you the original American Idol…Frank Sinatra. If you’re a Frank fan, Sirius Satellite Radio opened the Frank Sinatra Channel on April 19th — Channel 75….All Frank, all the time.

young-191.jpg

Francis Albert Sinatra

“The Voice”

 

 

Mainstream Pop. Back before there was such a thing, there was just good music. At the beginning was the master… Ole Blue Eyes, himself. Sinatra is the standard. Style, talent, charisma and charm. He had it all. Through a rollercoaster ride as singer, actor and raconteur, “Frankie” became entrenched in American “pop culture” as the “every man” and the guy everyone wanted to be. From his swooner crooner days in the early ’40’s to the Rat Pack of the ’60’s to “Duets” in the ’80’s, he and his music were the backdrop for most of the 20th Century.

Perhaps it was his tone, or maybe his passion that enveloped fans when he first hit the scene in 1939. Basically an endentured servant to Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra’s immense popularity among young women allowed him the leverage to finally break away from his stifling contract and become a solo artist. He quickly reached immense heights in his musical career and then suffered a devestatingly high fall from the top of the pedestal in the early ’50’s, partly due to a scandalous affair with Ava Gardner.

Through sheer tenacity, he badgered the producers of From Here to Eternity and called in every favor he had to land the roll of Private Angelo Maggio. His brilliant performance won him a Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 1953 and rescued his flailing musical career, as well. He would later be nominated for Best Actor for Man with the Golden Arm, in which he delivered an even better performance but lost out to Ernest Borgnine who had delivered an also outstanding performance in Marty.

Today’s Trivia: Ernest Borgnine played the sadistic Sgt. ‘Fatso’ Judson who persecutes, and eventually kills, Sinatra’s Maggio in From Here to Eternity.

 

However, where Sinatra really ruled was in the musical world. Rich vocals, coupled with the melodic fullness of the orchestras at Reprise Records, produced music that will forever be a part of the American lexicon. He certainly exhibited style and grace and a definite level of “coolness”, which also added to his unique “je ne sais qua”. He was always comfortable in his own skin, causing people to be attracted by confidence and captivated by his talent and ability to thoroughly entertain, no matter what the “venue”.

Personally, I think Sinatra’s musical attraction was his perfect phrasing and how he draws the listener in with his treatment of the words. His vocals and intonation convey the exact emotion of the song, whether it be abject sorrow, coy flirting or whimisical fun. I went through a “Blue Period” for about a year of delving into Frank Sinatra in all his glory. He made me feel exactly what the song meant, each and every time.

So, for your Saturday listening enjoyment…..I give you the one, and only, Sinatra.

That’s Life
Love the emphatic-ness he sings this tune with. I buy it.

 

Summer Wind
Smooth and sassy with great horns for emphasis, this is one of my favorite favorites….I like the version with Julio Eglasias, as well.

 

The Way You Look Tonight
Perfect phrasing makes this so believable. While I love this song, it’s getting over-used these days, particularly at weddings.

 

 

 

 

Fly Me to the Moon
Again, perfect phrasing is what makes this work. Can’t you just see him up there snapping his fingers with a scotch in the other hand?

 

I’ve Got a Crush on You
This is a duet with Barbra Streisand that is just, well, priceless. While his voice was not as strong and clear (at 80) as it once was, the song is just perfect…I absolutely adore the ending.

 

The Lady is a Tramp
Very Sinatra. Again, the phrasing, people.

 

 

 

 

In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning
This might be my all time Sinatra favorite. Talk about hearing a man’s heart break?

Luck be a Lady Tonight
From the Vegas years….snappy, fun, carefree.

It Was a Very Good Year
This is such an excellent “reflection” song and his emotion is palpable. He recorded this way before My Way and I think he was very reflective when recording this. The violins are simply lovely.

 

 

 

Three Coins in the Fountain
Ok. Talk about tone and texture….this is it. BTW, Frank did not appear in this movie, but if you like Lauren Bacall it’s a good one to watch on a rainy Sunday.

I’ll finish up with one that is right up there fighting for the top spot. There are so many great songs by Mr. Sinatra….maybe I’ll do another post someday about some of his more obscure songs that are favorites.

One for My Baby

“I would like to be remembered as a man who had a wonderful time living life, a man who had good friends, fine family – and I don’t think I could ask for anything more than that, actually.”

– Frank Sinatra

ETA: Found this great video of Frank with his daughter, Nancy that really shows his personality and his pride for his daughter. Nice.

ETA2: For brc….I’ll Be Seeing You

The anthem for servicemen abroad in WW2.

 

NOTE: Temporary Music Files deleted.

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
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