Happy 93rd birthday to one of my boyhood idols...The Chairman himself, Frank Sinatra. In honor of his memory, here's my top 5 Sinatra tunes of choice:
5. Me and My Shadow
This is the song you sing when you and your buddy plan to do some real damage to the town, and by damage I mean severe depletion of the alcoholic reserves in a local drinking establishment. Or, "Gettin' gassed", as they'd say in Frank's day. Interesting trivia: after being introduced to Jack Daniels by Jackie Gleason, he never left home without it. He always had reserves with him at all times. His preferred drinking method? Straight up, with lots of friends, and from sundown to sun up.
4. One for the Road
This song isn't typical "Sinatra". Gone is the swagger and the swing, and in its place is depression over a dame. This was his more sensitive side, the side that hated being alone. He loved a good party as much as the next guy, and he did have his womanizing ways to carry on...but when he fell, he fell hard. The hardest he ever fell? The day he fell for the lovely Ava Gardner. Ask anyone who knew him, and they'd tell you he never got back up.
3. Come Fly With Me
Picture this: it's a beautiful Spring day, where it's that perfect balance between a chill in the air and the warmth of the Sun. You're driving on a back road with fields, flowers, and beautiful countryside, and this happens to come on the radio. Tell me you wouldn't turn the volume up just a little louder than usual, and sing along with the words. This was back when travel was still new and exciting, where you didn't have to worry about being annoyed by your fellow passengers, and flying in a plane was still a thrill. This was nothing short of the anthem for the Jet Set era.
2. Summer Wind
Another Sinatra song that while it may not be up tempo like most of his other standards, it still swings in its own special way. I really don't have much to say about this one, except it's perfect all year round; particularly during the titular season.
1. Fly Me to The Moon
In my eyes, this is a legacy builder. It's got flowery romantic prose, an up tempo beat, and swing to spare. It's a song that's been used countless times, in countless movies, and countless situations; and it never gets old. The beat is so infectious, you can't help but want to dance to it yourself; and the lyrics so romantic you could easily sing them to the one you love and mean it. It's trademark Sinatra, and it's got all the reasons why we love the man and his music.
The trivia from this post comes from the book, "The Way You Wear Your Hat: Frank Sinatra and the Lost Art of Livin'" by Bill Zehme; which I'm currently reading in support of the Cannonball Read. Speaking of which, I'm sure you're all wondering why I put a Frank Sinatra picture in all the Cannonball posts. Well, when I signed up for the CR, I told Prisco himself that I felt like I was the Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. of the bunch. Though, I revised my opinion after remembering that yes, Frank Sinatra was in Cannonball Run II with his pallies. Hence the inclusion of the Sinatra picture, taken from Cannonball Run II.