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Category Archives: frank sinatra

How Do I Love Thee…?

Let me count the ways.

Ah…l’amour. Thrilling, euphoric, tragic and agonizing. No more complicated emotion, but truly the “essence of life”.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

— 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

For your Valentine’s Day enjoyment, the Music Maven VD play list:

All You Need is Love - The Beatles
I Love You for Sentimental Reasons - Sam Cooke
Prisoner of Love - Billy Eckstine
In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning - Frank Sinatra
Chapel of Love - The Dixie Cups
Crazy Love – Poco
I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You - Elvis Presley
Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow - Carole King & James Taylor
Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman - Bryan Adams
You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling - The Righteous Brothers
When I Fall in Love - Nat King Cole
Trust in Me - Etta James
Have a Little Faith in Me – John Hiatt
Ring of Fire – Johnny Cash

 
4 Comments

Posted by on February 14, 2011 in Elvis, Etta James, frank sinatra, holidays, love

 

Rat Pack Tuesday

 

 

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Martin.  Davis.  Sinatra.

In the early ’60s, every man wanted to be them and every woman wanted to be with them.  They epitomized the swingin’ sixties and reigned over the short, yet prolific time between 1959 and the Kennedy assasination when “The Summit” was the height of cool.

Tonight’s feature of Rat Pack songs on American Idol will likely fly way over the heads of the younger audiences and I’m thinking that even the performers will have a difficult time with the material.  Can’t help but wonder if Idol was influenced by John Mayer’s recent performance of Sinatra. 

In the spirit of the theme, here are some of Music Maven’s favorite Rat Pack performances…we’ll see if they make an appearance tonight.

  Memories Are Made of This, Dean Martin

  Summer Wind, Frank Sinatra

  What Kind of Fool Am I?, Sammy Davis, Jr.

  That’s Amore, Deano

  That’s Life, Ole Blue Eyes

  Mr. Bojangles, Sammy

  Everybody Loves Somebody Sometimes (with banter), Deano

  The Tender Trap, The Chairman

  Candy Man, Sammy

  Ain’t That a Kick in the Head, Deano

  Three Coins in the Fountain, Sinatra

  Keep Your Eye on the Sparrow (Baretta’s Theme), Sammy Davis, Jr.

….I could go on and on and on….

 
 

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Lovin’ JM

Mayerliciousness

Mayerliciousness

My Mayer love is well documented.  If you search the John Mayer tag on this blog, you’ll find many a tidbit concerning the young guitar hero.  I’m really not fangirly over Mayer…I mean he’s cute and all, has a wicked sense of humor, and lives the most enviable life, but more and more I gravitate to JM for the music.

I still find myself migrating  back to Continuum tracks when I’m surfing my iPod on plane trips.  Good music does that.  It beckons listeners back to visit and enjoy.  Now, I know that there are MANY Mayer haters out there (several have visited this blog), that think Mayer is a sell-out and even go so far as to call him “untalented”.  Sorry, but I can’t go there with you.  Mayer’s guitar prowess, alone, commands respect of the music appreciater.  Whether you like the dude or not, his talent is proven.

Besides, he is not in the generic mold of the current day Pop Star.  From his famously big mouth (sardonic & sarcastic) to his unconventional “style” (arm sleeve tattoos and ever-changing hair style), John Mayer is a non-conformist.  Mayer has been able to expand and explore other genres, despite his label trying to keep him constrained to high-selling “pop”.  He can do this because his audience accepts it and even demands it, giving him the leverage to basically do what he wants.  That’s how big talents roll. 

Ray Charles didn’t stay confined to blues and R&B.  He ventured deep into Country, traditional Adult Contemporary, and even a little Rock & Roll.  He did so and was readily accepted because the audience loved and appreciated his TALENT.  I see John Mayer in the same way.  And, before you submit some snarky comment….NO, I’m not saying that John Mayer is on par with Ray Charles.  At least, not yet.  However, he has proven his music ability which has given him the leverage to expand his horizons and that IS in the same vein as the great RC.

Perfect example is Mayer’s alter ego, The John Mayer Trio and their foray into heavy blues, jazz, and “standards”.  I was so pleasantly surprised to find this gem from Mayer’s traditional Thanksgiving night visit to David Letterman.  Normally, I would balk on a “pretender” trying to cover Sinatra on one of my favorite Sinatra tunes, but Mayer takes it and makes it his own, without bastardizing or dramatically retarding the song and its wonderful essence.

Bravo.

  Wee Small Hours of the Morning

 

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Big Ole Jet Airliner, Don’t Carry Me Too Far Away

Sorry that I have been mindfully absent for a few days.  Over the last three weeks, I have been on an airplane more than on the ground, it seems.  Busy time of year in my business, but it’s all good.

Flying presents lots of contemplation time and while there’s a certain thrill of flying to far away cities to important meetings, that feeling generally fades about 10 minutes into my flight.  Then, I’m counting the hours until I’m home again.  The bustle of airports, rental cars, taxis and hotels wears on me much more now than when I was in my 20s and 30s.  My trusty iPod generally keeps me occupied and I usually have ample work to make the time pass more quickly, but each time I leave, I can’t wait to come home to my comfortable surroundings.  Yes, I am old.

However, I still am in awe of the wonderousness of being able to fly in the sky like an eagle.  God’s wonderous creation of sky and earth never ceases to amaze me and the views are just so cool.  Like the puffiness of the clouds on my way to Memphis right after Hurricane Gustav…

Or, the magnificent hues of blue that greeted me over Atlanta….

Or the most gorgeous sunset over Alabama on the final leg of my flight home from New York City, reassuring me that all was right with the world and God is in His heaven…

As the sun was setting, my naval gazing grew deep and I was reminded of the old sailor’s axiom,

Red sky by morning, sailor take warning….red sky by night, sailor’s delight.

There’s just something about being so high in the clouds that makes me so appreciative of the fact that I am so drawn home and “grounded”.

So, here’s a little tribute to those big ole jet airliners that take me back “where I belong”.

First, the late, great Paul Pena’s Jet Airliner.  Steve Miller made it popular, but it was the brillance of Paul Pena that captured feelings about flying to and fro.  The lyrics are pretty much perfect…

Leavin’ home, out on the road
I’ve been down before
Ridin’ along in this big ol’ jet plane
I’ve been thinkin’ about my home
But my love light seems so far away
And I feel like it’s all been done
Somebody’s tryin’ to make me stay
You know I’ve got to be movin’ on

Oh, Oh big ol’ jet airliner
Don’t carry me too far away
Oh, Oh big ol’ jet airliner
Cause it’s here that I’ve got to stay

Goodbye to all my friends at home
Goodbye to people I’ve trusted
I’ve got to go out and make my way
I might get rich you know I might get busted
But my heart keeps calling me backwards
As I get on the 707
Ridin’ high I got tears in my eyes
You know you got to go through hell
Before you get to heaven

Big ol’ jet airliner
Don’t carry me too far away
Oh, Oh big ol’ jet airliner
Cause it’s here that I’ve got to stay

Touchin’ down in New England town
Feel the heat comin’ down
I’ve got to keep on keepin’ on
You know the big wheel keeps on spinnin’ around
And I’m goin’ with some hesitation
You know that I can surely see
That I don’t want to get caught up in any of that
Funky shit goin’ down in the city

Big ol’ jet airliner
Don’t carry me too far away
Oh, Oh big ol’ jet airliner
Cause it’s here that I’ve got to stay

Oh, Oh big ol’ jet airliner
Don’t carry me too far away
Oh, Oh big ol’ jet airliner
Cause it’s here that I’ve got to stay
Yeah, yeah yeah, yeah

Big ol’ jet airliner
Don’t carry me too far away
Oh, Oh big ol’ jet airliner
Cause it’s here that I’ve got to stay

Oh, Oh big ol’ jet airliner
Carry me to my home
Oh, Oh big ol’ jet airliner
Cause it’s there that I belong

Paul changes up the lyrics a bit in this version done on the Conan O’Brien show shortly before his death…

  Jet Airliner, Paul Pena

While no other “airplane” song quite captures the essence of business flying, for me, here are a few other “flying” songs…

  Come Fly With Me, Frank Sinatra

….gotta love that “exotic booze in old Bombay”.  Here’s a lovely new twist on the old classic of Leaving on a Jet Plane…

  Leaving on a Jet Plane, Jewel

Of course, I have to include James Taylor’s perennial hit, Fire and Rain

  Fire and Rain, James Taylor

And, one of my favorite Tom Petty songs is Learning to Fly (even though it’s really not about airplane flying)…

  Learning to Fly, Tom Petty

 

 

 

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Ole Blue Eyes Goes Postal

That’s right.  Finally, Francis Albert Sinatra achieves the hallmark of greatness known as the postage stamp homage.  I must say that the USPS picked a photo that is the epitome of The Chairman of the Board. 

The stamps officially go on sale on Tuesday, May 13th after ceremonies in New York, New Jersey and Las Vegas.

Most of you know of my Frank fetish, but just in case you don’t, check out the post that has the second highest hits ever on this blog…The Chairman of the Board.

Quality is timeless and Mr. Sinatra was definitely quality.

UNGH.

 

p.s.  Somebody else now has been immortalized on stamps, but not officially commemorated USPS stamps.

 

 

 

Colette’s Corner: Sweet, Comic Valentine

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From the Music Maven, here is one of my favorite Valentine songs:

My Funny Valentine, Frank Sinatra

More importantly, Colette weighs in after a long absence with a special Valentine treat. Take it away, Colette….

Sweet Hearts & Hot Kisses

Happy V-Day! Valentine’s Day is all about love, love, love — and so is popular music. But love is a happy and sad experience, kisses are sweet and bittersweet, hearts are aglow and broken. So here’s a yummy sampler box of Valentine’s musical treats — think of it as Godiva’s chocolate for the ears, and the soul.

Starting out sweet, with a big smooch from Satchmo:

A Kiss to Build a Dream on — Louis Armstrong

And enjoying those giddy memories of kisses that swept you off your feet, from Mary Chapin Carpenter (singing a song by the great Lucinda Williams):

Passionate Kisses — Mary Chapin Carpenter

Sometimes, a big delightful, big ol’ paper valentine comes your way, like this one from marvelous Marvin:

Take this Heart of Mine — Marvin Gaye

But not all love is requited, as we well know. And if anyone can get the agony of that across, it’s the divine “Love Man,” Otis R:

“Pain in My Heart” — Otis Redding

Sometimes love is a prison, and you’re desperate for a jail break, as Joe Cocker can tell you (in this Ray Charles tune):

Unchain My heart — Joe Cocker

Sometimes love is a search, with no end in sight, as Neil Young knows:

Heart of Gold — Neil Young

But as Cesaria Evora, the great Cape Verde singer makes abundantly clear in this sweet-and-sour rendition of “Besame Mucho” (“Kiss Me a Lot”) once you find that great love, revel in those smooches:

Besame Mucho – Cesaria Evora

And sometimes, when times get really tough, heart and soul are all you need to get by:

Heart and Soul – Taylor Hicks

 
7 Comments

Posted by on February 14, 2008 in colette's corner, frank sinatra, holidays

 

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.

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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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