Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Happy Birthday Frank Sinatra!

12/12 is the Birthday of one of the world's greatest entertainers/icons/singers/bon vivants, Mr. Frank Sinatra, a true hero of mine and many others.  Here are 3 clips that sum up for me some of what made him great.  As Louis Armstrong once said about jazz and I think life itself, "If you don't get it, then you never will...."    Cheers Baby!

Here's Howard Cosell's brilliant ad-lib introduction of Sinatra from his Main Event Live Concert from Madison Square Garden.

This is Sinatra in 1965 with the mighty Count Basie Orchestra performing one of his greatest song with the furious Quincy Jones arrangement of "You Make Me Feel So Young."  If you're not familiar with Sinatra here he is at his swinging best. 

Pete Hamil in his great book Why Sinatra Matters, writes that the greatness of Sinatra's singing was how he projected the heartbreaking sadness of lost love or the euphoric joy of a love that is found.  Here he is performing the epic torch song by Harold Arlen & Johnny Mercer"One For My Baby (and One More For the Road)."  Quite possibly my favorite song.  A Hemingway short story as song.  Sinatra truly owns it and performs it brilliantly.  As one musician said during a recording session of Sinatra's genius for torch songs, "he really believes this shit..."   Radio personality Sid Mark had a Sinatra radio program throughout the 50's until the 90's would devote an hour every week to just Sinatra doing torch songs and it became nicknamed famously, "the suicide hour..."  
Enjoy, you if you don't get why Sinatra is great or matters after seeing these clips amongst hundreds of other, then you never will.   Cheers Baby! 

Below is an extra that I added to this post with the wonderful NYC writer and acquaintance of mine Pete Hamill discussing Sinatra and his excellent book Why Sinatra Matters.