100 Years a Legend

frank_sinatra
SINATRA

On this day, 100 years ago, an American Original was born.

What can be said, but THANK YOU  ??

Thank you Frank, for setting a standard that, like the Beatles and Brando, Picasso and Hemingway, will never be tampered with.

Thank you for the love songs, the ballads, the anthems, the melodies and memories…

The way you sang those two words “Fah-buu-lous Face”

Thank you for conjuring 60’s parent parties, sitting on the edge of the bathtub watching my mom getting ready. Playing with her false eyelash kit, rubbing the gummy glue between my tiny polished (just for the night!) fingers, teetering in her heels, drawing faces on styrofoam wig stands with her powdery blue eyeshadow. Her transformation never failed to fascinate me. Was this glamorous lady really still my mom??!

Later, long past bedtime, stealing glimpses from around the hallway corner, the clink of ice cubes & frosty martinis in a smoky living room, cigars glowing outside, voices and laughter escalating, music growing louder as the record arm was gently, oh so gently, placed on Sinatra’s records spinning on the teak hi-fi.

 

frank_sinatra-1

 

Guests are dancing now. I’m running back to bed if spied…too exciting!!  Eventually falling asleep, perhaps one or two exotic canapés left drying on a crumpled cocktail napkin by my pillow, as Frank’s voice carries me off.

The next morning, inspecting the left-overs, heaving ashtrays, lipstick smudged champagne flutes, the scent of my mother’s evening perfume still lingering on my jammies and hair, Frank’s lyrics would dance back into my head.

They stay with me to this very day, as clear and memorable as they were over 5 decades ago.

Every single word. Every single song. How does that even work?!

 

I think it’s simple, really.

 

Frank_Sinatra_by_Gottlieb_c1947-_2

 

It’s magic.

 

 

7354945736_43bc02a626_o

 

 

 

Singer and actor Frank Sinatra, Hollywood, California, c. 1963. (Photo by Underwood Archives/Getty Images)

 

 

Pure Magic.

 

 

sinatra618

 

 

7e97aa1dd1bc6b6e5497530f4e1af

 

This is my favourite Frank Sinatra song.

 

The Summer Wind

 

What’s yours??

 

Thanks for the memories Mr. Sinatra.

 

xoxox SP.

 

~

52 Comments

  1. Thanks so much for this post, Slim. This was the music of my parent’s generation, too. The greatest generation. They lived through the great depression, and fought in WWII…some of them never returned. I always loved their music. Much more so than the music of my generation. I lost my mom a little over four years ago, and my dad just this past November. So many wonderful memories! The end of an era.

    This happens to be my favorite Sinatra song too, although Witchcraft runs a close second.

  2. The Chairman done as only Slim can do! Two American originals! “Come Fly With Me” is my #1…but when it comes to Frank I must have 50 to 60 #1s!

  3. And don’t forget Friday with Frank and Sunday with Sinatra on the radio every week! That’s how my sisters and I learned every song and every lyric. My parents also threw great parties and I remember sitting on the stairs when we were little listening to them laugh and sing. Now we listen to our kids laugh and sing when they threw their parties 🙂

  4. Ah yes, the sound of my father’s baritone voice coming from his man cave (he let me help decorate at the tender age of 10, (who knew then, I would become an interior designer)… blood red walls, dark paneling, the black bar top, the square marble cocktail table with clear neon gas tube top, watch the neon flow through endlessly, (we designed that together), swivel club chairs, the tufted back leather sofa in front of the fireplace and the hanging basket chairs by the wall of shelves and cabinets, his cigarette smoke circles blown in the air, the clinking of the ice in his manhattan (I got to eat the maraschino cherries)….”when I was 17, it was a very good year”……..and by the second manhattan, “I did it my way”……my Dad and Sinatra they were bff’s…….when he was diagnosed with lung and brain cancer I bought him a walkman and every Sinatra cd so he could listen and hum while he faded away……whenever I hear that silky voice, I can’t but think of the memories of my father, those were the days….

  5. My fickle friend, The Summer Wind, is my favorite song…thanks for sharing your absolutely gorgeous memory of you as a little girl and Sinatra all in the same breath!

  6. Love your description of your parent’s party with Sinatra on the hifi!
    My very favorite Sinatra song is Long Ago and Far Away. Rod Stewart also sings a beautiful version of that song!

  7. What a beautiful picture you painted, Slim! So many memories came flooding back from your words. My husband and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary last June and I always think of our song we danced to with much fondness – Fly Me To The Moon. Our photographer captured the dip at the end. It was perfection! Frank is one of our favorites to listen to around our house. His voice is timeless. Pure silk.

  8. I was amazed listening to his music this week while watching t.v. special that I knew every to every song. I must have absorbed it into my brain vault as my mom played his records endlessly. Fond memories!

  9. It isn’t one of his best known, but I love “The Rain in My Heart”. My favorites are probably “The Lady is a Tramp” and “Come Fly With Me”…. Honestly, there isn’t one I don’t love!

  10. I love Sinatra. I have a few favorites ; The Way You Look Tonight, In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning, and One More for My Baby, and One More for the Road.

  11. Even though I am a decade beyond you I have very similar memories of parties and preparations of evenings out – oftentimes with Frank playing in the background. I feel I know every word of every song he recorded. They seemed to resonate with us – then and now. Makes me a little nostalgic…

  12. Frank opened the then Knickerbocker Arena in Albany, NY about 25 yrs ago, still the best performance they have had in thatbuilding.

  13. Thank you Slim! You took me right down memory lane to my parent’s 60’s parties. The festivities would slowly build with Frank and Dean playing in the background. The chatter, and the clatter, growing louder as the Martini’s and Whiskey Sours flowed. Soon, things would really start to ramp up with Chuck Berry and now, everybody’s doin’ The Twist! I’m watching, from down the hallway, and I’m doin’ The Twist too! The night grows late, guests reluctantly depart, gradually the giddiness turns to melancholy, as Mom sits in the dark aftermath, slowly swaying to her own favorite crooner , Johnny Mathis, as he smoothly delivers “Chance’s Are”. Party’s Over… I can see and feel it all as if it were yesterday.
    Thanks for the memories…

    • Cindy, I was a teenager in the mid to late 60’s and loved Johnny Mathis, especially Chances Are. About ten years ago, my husband met him on a golf course in LA. How I wish I’d been with him!!

      • Sally, My Mom absolutely loved Johnny Mathis! She played his records over and over every night so, I got to know all his music too. Whenever I hear one of his songs now, it gives me a lovely memory of my Mom. That is so cool that your husband got to meet him! I still picture him as he was on his album covers! Dark and handsome.

        • Cindy, when my husband met Johnny Mathis, he was struck by how humble and almost shy Mr. Mathis was. He thanked my husband for coming over to meet him!!
          I can know how your mother felt listening to his records! I would listen to them for hours, pretend in my current boyfriend was singing them to me. Dreamy!!

  14. I have the similar memories, of dancing neighbors, thick green shag carpeting, smoke-filled living rooms….and Frank on the HiFi.

    My parents were always filling drinks, laughing or arguing, but always having a good time when Frank was on.

    Miss those days..

  15. Thanks Slim. Being of Italian descent and growing up with Sinatra in the background was an education in music that was a gift from my parents. I can still see my Dad quickly grabbing my Mom to do an impromptu dance in the living room while Frank sang. My dad and Frank Sinatra share the same birthday and I miss them both so much. I like to think that Frank and Nick are somewhere celebrating together.

  16. Gosh I grew up listening to my parents records of Frank Sinatra. I still remember all of the lyrics to his songs. My dad was a neurosurgeon. When he was diagnosed with lung cancer that spread to his brain, we played Frank’s songs for him til the end. I can still see him in his chair, eyes closed, drumming his fingers to the beat of the songs.
    My fav?…… all of them!

  17. I stole only one thing in my life. A record. Frank Sinatra singing All The Way. Took it right off my mom’s friend’s record player. And when she called my mom to report it missing right about the time I left her house…I was playing it on my record player. Busted. Big time. Worth every minute of my grounded punishment! Francis Albert Sinatra was the best.

  18. Slim, thanks everso for starting this conversation! Btw, my husband also saw your husband on a golf course, either in Bermuda or the Bahamas/-can’t remember, many, many years ago!

  19. Thanks for sharing SP. You painted a great picture. Awesome! My wife’s memories of Sinatra are closer to yours than mine. She grew up in Beverly Hills. A child of a Las Vegas Top Tier performer. You’d know his name. My memories of Frank Sinatra and a fav tune are a little different. My first memories of Sinatra tunes are bar related. I just told my wife this memory last night as we were driving home together from work listening to Sinatra. Long story short… I grew up in South Jersey across the river from Philly. Legal drinking age in the 70’s was 18. We hit the local small bars when we were 17. The regulars were (to us) old! We didn’t care. Draft beers were 25 cents and we were there to get loaded. The jukebox in the corner played 3 tunes for a quarter. 1 out of every 3 songs played was a Sinatra tune. To this day whenever I hear a Sinatra tune it takes me back to Mitchell’s Tavern in Palmyra, N.J. “It’s a good thing Anthony” GBG. My fav FS tunes are “That’s Life” and “The Way You Look Tonight”. Thanks for asking!! If Sinatra doesn’t affect you in some way, check your pulse. You’re dead.

  20. This guy hits all the senses, Touch, Taste, Sight, Hearing, Smell. If you have ever drank whiskey, smoked cigarettes, with your favorite girl next, and listen to his songs, than you have not lived. To quote, badly, JFK. When JFK, had a dinner party for 50 Nobel Peace Prize winners, he is reported to have said: “There has not been so much brain power in one room since Thomas Jefferson ate dinner alone” To paraphrase: “If we didn’t call it “Rock and Roll Music” we could call it, “Frank Sinatra.” He is the best, ever.

  21. My mother LOVED Sinatra and one of her fondest teenage memories was going
    to the radio station in Jersey City to hear him singing live. She reported that all
    the young girls swooned, including herself.

  22. Slim I was fortunate to see him perform twice and they were two of the best performances I have ever seen! He has thrilled several generations with his timeless music. The Summer Wind and Fly me to the moon are just a couple of my favorites!

    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena
    More Books for the Holidays!

  23. “The Summer Wind” is the song my Dad used to sing to me as a child in San Francisco.
    Frank Sinatra’s iconic voice brings me back to those sweet days.
    Thank you Slim for this beautiful post!

  24. Ahh Slim- you caught every detail….evening perfume….my mother’s was Evening in Paris. I keep a bottle to remind me of her and those golden days.

  25. My parents loved Frank and he was often on the turntable when they hosted friends. I love him too. I was buying his albums when I was in my late teens. The feel good song of his that ranks up there in the top 10 is Fly me to the Moon.
    Great post.
    xo,
    Karen

  26. When my husband.and two small children visite New York, we went to dinner at a place called Patsy’s. Frank and his friends entred the restaurant and when he came to our table, he stoped and said “how are you to my little daughter. She said”fine” and he went up stairs with his friends. My daughter said to us, “I will never wash my hair again”. The waiter asked if she knew who that was, and we said she did. He went up and told Frank what she had said, and said that Frank would send her an autograph pictur if she would like one. When we returned home, the picture was there,with the inscription, To Patricia,my very best wishes,Frank

  27. Not only do I love his music but his looks—-you see he looked just like my Dad…my Dad always wore a suit and hat and truly looked like Frank.
    My Dad used to dance with me in his suit and tie and was my first dance instructor……..and Dad loved playing his music on the stereo.
    To pick a favorite song would be like picking a favorite child–impossible. Love them all. Thanks for the lovely trip down memory lane and “High Hopes” was one of my favs!!!

  28. “Just The Way You Look Tonight” was our first dance at our wedding. We had practiced beforehand but when the music started my husband seized up and couldn’t move. He said “I didn’t realize everyone would be staring at us!” I gently moved him to the music and even lifted his arm to spin me around and he eventually relaxed. To this day every time we hear that melody in a restaurant or other public place we both stop and smile at each other. 26 years later and the magic is still there!!

  29. ‘It was a very good year’ is my favorite song from ol’ blue eyes. I grew up to Sinatra myself -my grandma is his self-professed #1 fan and has been since 1939 (she’s a 92 yr old bobby soxer!). Now that my grandfather has passed away and she’s in a small apartment in an old folks home – the living room is a frank sinatra SHRINE. Original movie posters line the walls of every movie he was in, dolls, figurines, every Record, cd, dvd etc ever released of him in bookshelves. Intense! No one compares.

  30. What a lovely evocative memory you conjure! I had tears and a smile, then burst out laughing with “drawing faces on styrofoam wig stands with her powdery blue eyeshadow” – I remember this! Beautiful writing, beautiful memories of this golden time in our lives … sneaking up to listen to grown up parties. Thank you for this. I’ll pass it on.
    So many favorites, but have always loved the ultimate Frank comeback song: http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=that's+life&view=detail&mid=B664A8489A2E17A8DAD8B664A8489A2E17A8DAD8&FORM=VIRE13

  31. I so appreciate everyone sharing all their stories, both happy and poignant, of Frank. What an impact his music has had on our lives. The quilt of shared memories is a cozy one, especially at this time of year. xx SP

  32. Our neighbor in Palm Springs was Ben Lane, a retired Hollywood make-up artist during the 50s through the 70s. During our visits, he would reminisce on the various celebrities he had known over the years. On one occasion, I asked him of all the stars he knew, who was his favorite. Without hesitation he said Frank Sinatra. When I asked him why, he said Frank would always stop and visit with him if they met on the street, invited him to his house for dinner several times, would financially help other people in the business if they were down on their luck, even allowing them to live in his house until they got back on their feet, never wanted publicity for his good deeds. He was just a regular guy. Hard to pick one favorite song of his, but “Send in the Clowns” would be up there pretty high on my list.

  33. OMG. Remembering Frank as one of my first purchased albums for my brand new
    HiFi. Those were the days.. Too bad there will b generations that never really knew
    Such raw talent that always did its”his way”.

  34. I love Frankie! Unfortunately, I was sick on my birthday, and I watched Frank Sinatra’s 100 years Biography on TCM and PBS, this all made me smile. He still makes all of us swoon.

  35. Thanks for the memories. Every one rings a bell with me, even the Evening In Paris perfume!!
    That was in the 40’s.
    I grew up and carried on the tradition of the same fun house parties in the 60’s. Yes we had Elvis and others. But there was always Frank!!
    Now my grandchildren are carrying on that Sinatra “torch”. The love of his music and memorabilia.
    There is just something so unique and fascinating about the man. It truly can only be called ‘magic’!!
    I saw him in Vegas twice, (once front row center) and once in New Orleans with a lead in act by Red Buttons.
    Frank Sinatra had a charisma on stage that was hard to beat and I saw most of the stars during those years.
    Loved every song that ever came out of his mouth, so many favorites, but one always warmed my heart, “My Funny Valentine”.
    Thanks for this trip down memory lane😊

Leave a Reply

(*) Required, Your email will not be published