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The Chairman of the Board

21 Apr

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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29 responses to “The Chairman of the Board

  1. Sideways

    April 21, 2007 at 12:55 pm

    My mom and dad saw Frank perform in Las Vegas in the 50′s. He was exactly as you describe, snapping his fingers and with a scotch in the other hand. I think it was the Desert Inn where he performed. Sammy and Dean were hanging it there as well.

    Perfect phrasing, yes. There was a great television interview with Frank in which you could really see just how serious he was about his craft. It looked effortless, but he knew exactly where to put the punch in the song.

    Frank said that Tony Bennett was the best singer out there. I love Tony as well, but I’m not sure I’d agree with Frank on that one.

     
  2. azure

    April 21, 2007 at 1:35 pm

    Definitely think the phrasing is what set Frank apart from the other crooners. As you said, when he sings, people can “buy it.”

    Thank you for the videos. (I’m way too lazy today to go downstairs and pull out a cd from hubby’s Sinatra collection, so these work for me!)

     
  3. music maven

    April 21, 2007 at 1:48 pm

    If I had a time machine, I would love to go back to those Vegas days. I’d have my updo with big fake eyelashes and a sequined sleeveless dress (with matching shoes) and I’d get me a front table at The Sands or the Desert Inn and sit through at least two, possibly three shows.

    Sinatra had some great quotes….like:

    “Cock your hat – angles are attitudes.”

    “You gotta love livin’, baby, ’cause dyin’ is a pain in the ass.”

    and my personal favorite:

    “The best revenge is massive success.”

    ….a great credo.

    Interestingly, Sinatra said that the only true genius in the music business was Ray Charles.

     
  4. Althea

    April 21, 2007 at 3:41 pm

    When I was a teenager it was not cool to like Frank. That was my Mom and Dad’s generation. I confess even then I did secretly like his sophisticated, bad boy charm. Now that I’m older and no longer care if I’m hip or not I realize after listening to his songs here today, that I actually do enjoy Old Blue Eyes after all. And yes I think I will even go buy some of his tunes for my IPOD. My thirteen year old cringe when he finds out. I’ll just blame the Music Maven.

     
  5. music maven

    April 21, 2007 at 4:28 pm

    Well, it’s been my experience that eventually, everyone comes around to a little Frank.

    Frank was DA MAN before there was one!

     
  6. brc

    April 21, 2007 at 10:42 pm

    DoubleM… wasn’t expecting that! From Feist to Sinatra. The contrast makes an interesting statement about how music has evolved. Now you didn’t pull the old Frankie out just to ensure that everyone would agree with you today did you?

    The man certainly has a way with a melody. The purity of his tone is incredible. As I listened I wondered what current-day male singers could pull off such pure melodies? Not many. I appreciated reading your analysis of the music prior to listening. I don’t know if I would have recognized the role of phrasing in his appeal if you hadn’t said it. Sometimes you just know you like the way something sounds but can’t really identify what it is about it.

    One of my all-time Frank favorites is “I’ll Be Seeing You.” For me, the emotion he conveys in that song is truly heart-wrenching. I tried to find a link but was unsuccessful.

     
  7. music maven

    April 21, 2007 at 10:55 pm

    brc — see the end of the blog. I’m a huge WW2 historian. This song is basically the theme song for servicemen abroad during the war (of which two of my Cajun uncles were half way around the world).

    Great tune.

     
  8. Hickstyeria

    April 22, 2007 at 12:43 am

    ‘Summer Wind’ and ‘It Was A Very Good Year’ are 2 of my Frank favourites. I grew up in a house where my Dad was – and still is – a diehard Dino fan too.

    I have always liked the lovely, melancholic song of times past and reminiscence -’This Is All I Ask’, written by Gordon Jenkins and sung not only by Frank but by Tony Bennett and the inimitable Harry Nilsson (A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night). The lyrics are so touching:

    “As I approach the prime of my life
    I find I have the time of my life
    Learning to enjoy at my leisure
    All the simple pleasures
    And so I happily concede

    This is all I ask
    This is all I need

    Beautiful girl, walk a little slower when you walk by me
    Lingering sunset, stay a little longer with the lonely sea
    Children everywhere, when you shoot at bad men, shoot at me
    Take me to that strange enchanted land
    Grownups seldom understand

    Wandering rainbows, leave a bit of color for my heart to own
    Stars in the sky, make my wish come true
    Before the night has flown
    And let the music play as long as there’s a song to sing
    Then I will stay younger than spring”

    Give me shivers….

     
  9. brc

    April 22, 2007 at 7:44 am

    Ok I’m sittin’ here drinking my coffee with tears in my eyes. I had no idea about the connection of “I’ll Be Seeing You” with WWII. It actually makes it more emotional when you listen to it in that context. Thanks for the link.

     
  10. Dingo

    April 22, 2007 at 8:47 am

    Glares at DD. Bad enough your such a prolific writer that I have to have a dictionary handy for the “big” words you use but this is jest mean dammit.

    “je ne sais qua”.
    —————-

    Now I need a FRENCH translator too?! Ahm changin’ mah name back ta Dingo without the “z”.

    Anyhow, I love Sinatra. I love him so much I can hardly put it in writing. Something about the tone of his voice, the smoothness I guess.

    I took my mom for Mother’s Day to see her idol Frank Sinatra in Buffalo in the 70′s. I wasnt prepared for the way I would feel listening to him and seeing him perform. It was one of the best concerts I ever saw.

    In The Wee Small Hours of The Morning
    One For My Baby

    THOSE are classics and you can hear the pain in his voice.

    Its been said that Ava Gardner broke his heart so badly he never fully recovered.

    I love this topic. Finally, something I actually know about. One of my all time favs is “Guess I’ll hang My Tears Out To Dry”.

    There I go again with my crying songs.

    Thanks DD, Im enjoying this.

     
  11. music maven

    April 22, 2007 at 9:18 am

    The Ava Gardner situation was a really sad one for him, I suspect. There were all kinds of rumors but suffice it to say that she had a definite affect on him and I think you’re right, Dingeaux, that he never recovered. There was a decade or so of real sadness and where both his music and acting showed real pain that I think he tapped into.

    Interestingly, he remained good friends with his first wife, Nancy, often going “home” for short stints. One, less well known songs that I like is Nancy, with the Laughing Face, written for her.

    The guy’s just got so much “story”. You couldn’t write it as fiction as no-one would believe it.

     
  12. Dingo

    April 22, 2007 at 9:35 am

    Ummm, I just realized that the French version of my name doesnt have a “Z” as I thought but an “X”. Heavy sigh, Im a college graduate which just goes to show that degrees mean nothing lmao.

    Yeah, you’re right that he did tap into his heartache after Ava and I think he and Nancy had a friendship that was stronger than most marriages. Its what a marriage should be based on anyways but Ava did a job on his heart and I think most all of us can relate to that. And your also right about his life story and no, you couldnt make this stuff up if you tried. The mob ties, the kidnapping of his son (which as you know still has a lot of speculation around it)the countless stories of casino parties, the “Rat pack”, the Kennedy years and the trauma that induced when John Kennedy turned his back on him and on and on and on……

    No, you cant make this sh*t up.

     
  13. Sideways

    April 22, 2007 at 7:00 pm

    Had to come back this evening for a Sinatra fix.
    Listening to It Was a Very Good Year. Beautiful.

     
  14. shrewspeaks

    April 22, 2007 at 11:38 pm

    Hoboken…..OOOOOOh I’m dying!

    Sorry had to.

    Sinatra…I love listening to his carmel toned Dosey recordings, but it is his later work that I find so hypnotic. He chews the words…rolls them around in his mouth extracting deep believable meanings. He was the master. Not many sings make it back after blowing out their voice.

     
  15. music maven

    April 23, 2007 at 6:54 am

    So true, Shrew. Sinatra made it big, lost it all, then made it again.

    Here’s another Hoboken connection for you. I started following the 1000 days at sea adventure of Reid Stowe. He’s blogging each day and his girlfriend, Soanya, is a photographer who is along and is documenting it all.

    Here’s the blog address if anyone else is interested:

    1000 Days At Sea

     
  16. jenfera

    April 23, 2007 at 8:57 pm

    When I took French from 4th through 10th grade, the teachers called me Genevieve. Maybe I should be genevee-a here?

    My husband loves Frank. I am not as well schooled, but have gained an appreciation through him. I do have a lovely memory with Summer Wind. After our wedding, we took a brief mini-honeymoon to Cape Cod. (we saved our “real” honeymoon so we could enjoy escaping winter to Aruba a few months later.) On our way back from dinner, we found a radio station that was playing a Frank tribute. When we got back to the hotel, we tuned in the station on our little clock radio and they were playing Summer Wind. With the door to our balcony overlooking the ocean and an actual perfect summer wind blowing in, we danced in our room, finding that the dance steps we had learned through a few lessons for our first dance worked just as well with Summer Wind. What a beautiful night.

     
  17. Sertvfdnhgjk

    April 4, 2008 at 5:08 am

    Приветствую всех!
    У меня такой вопрос,кто что интересное подскажет буду признателен.
    Мы с друзьями собираемся поехать в круиз по просторам России и ближнего зарубежья месяца на два на своих машинах,но не как не можем согласовать маршрут,если у кого уже был опыт такого путешествия,может,что посоветуете.Девчонок с собой не берем,думаем,что во все городах России с этим не будет проблем,если у кого будут рекомендации и в вопросе отдыха с девушками тоже буду признателен.

    С уважением Сеньчик

     
  18. Jataraith

    January 22, 2009 at 1:02 am

    Nothing seems to be easier than seeing someone whom you can help but not helping.
    I suggest we start giving it a try. Give love to the ones that need it.
    God will appreciate it.

     
  19. tabi clemmons

    January 22, 2010 at 5:02 pm

    Hi Mr. Sinatra! I think you’re an awesome guy!

     
  20. tabi clemmons

    January 22, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    Oh you should meet my boyfriend. His name is Jasper T. Jowls and he’s at Chuck E. Cheese. He’s a sweet hound dog but he can be a little sarcastic sometimes. Oh and he hates Pasqually’s jokes. I think his jokes are stupid too.

     
  21. tabi clemmons

    January 22, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    Hey you know what Mr. Sinatra? Um…oh shoot. I forgot what I was gonna say. Sorry buddy.

     
  22. tabi clemmons

    January 22, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    Oh now I remember. My aunt passed away and we had a funeral yesterday. Yeah it was sad.

     
  23. tabi clemmons

    January 22, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Hey Mr. Sinatra! Have you heard of Animusic? Yeah. I’ve got it on my iPod. One of the videos called Pipe Dream is real. I’m serious. I’m not joking. It really IS real! Go to Animusic.com on your computer and go to previews and click on Animusic 1 and then click on Pipe Dream. That thing really IS real. The John Deere factory made it. The balls shoot out of the pipes and hit the strings to make music.

     
  24. tabi clemmons

    January 22, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    Hey it’s me again. Have you played Banjo-Kazooie? That game is awesome. I’ve gotten to Bubblegloop Swamp. Now I’m stuck on that world until I find enough music notes to get past the music note door.

     
  25. tabi clemmons

    January 22, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    You know what I say to Banjo every time he goes to bed? I say: “BANJO! GET YOUR HAIRY BUTT OUT OF BED AND GO KICK THAT WITCH’S BUTT!

     
  26. tabi clemmons

    January 23, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    Hey Mr. Sinatra! I was on YouTube and I was watching Pat and Stanley. They’re the funniest characters ever. Pat is a hippo and Stanley is a dog. I’ve got only one of their videos on my iPod. It’s the one where Pat is singing “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” (one of my favorite songs) and Stanley is doing the weirdest dance you ever saw. When I saw Stanley do the dance I thought “Omg! Is he slapping his butt?” That cracks me up. You should watch Pat and Stanley on your computer at home.

     
  27. tabi clemmons

    January 23, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    Oh and also I was on YouTube and I saw a Furby in a microwave. P.S.-Do not microwave your Furby (if you have one). It will catch on fire and explode.

     
  28. tabi clemmons

    January 24, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Hey Mr. Sinatra! I an on YouTube and I found a video of my boyfriend Jasepr T. Jowls getting electrocuted. It’s really hard to hear over his screams, so yell.

     
  29. tabi clemmons

    January 24, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Hey Mr. Sinatra! I’m on YouTube again and I found the funniest video. It’s a cat and its talking. All you do is rub its head or its tail and it gets freaked out and talks. LOL! ROFL!

     

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