Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Missed Masterpieces: Frank Sinatra

Posted By on May 17, 2011, 9:40 AM

When I was a teen, we would all go to my friend’s basement, drink and have laughing contests where the loser had to date a homely girl from the neighborhood (mean, I know). We weren’t very covert about it, but his dad didn’t seem to care. He wasn’t religious and had a “boys will be boys” attitude.---

After my mission, I became as close to his dad as I am to him. For a decade, once a week, I would walk the two miles to his home. Either from his deck, or work studio, we would sit and talk for hours. We always made sure to have a large glass of Irish whisky in our hands. He would fascinate me with stories about hitching-hiking across the country during the 1940s. And I could talk to him about ANYTHING. In the end, I watched him slowly die of cancer. It devastated me.

Every time I went there, Tony Bennett, Billie Holiday or Frank Sinatra was quietly playing on his sound system. I got to where I loved that music, especially The Chairman of the Board.

Sinatra was rumored to be all “mobbed up,” but his F.B.I. file, exposed after his death, showed that belief to be grossly overstated.

Many rock & roll artists of the past 25 years have studied Sinatra to help them improve their phrasing. He was the master.

Almost all of his best songs are on the Columbia collection, with the exception of a few gems like “Summer Wind.”

The album contains 20 songs. So, if you’re a person like me who sleeps to music (or at least tries to), this length is great. There’s nothing worse than getting up all night to constantly change the CD, unless it’s getting up to pee (or try to).

Sinatra didn’t always have class, but he always had style.

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