At Least A Little In Love

smileThis week is it, everyone. The Sinatra Centennial is officially two days away. This is a time that I’ve been waiting for for years.

And as the big day draws nearer, it’s caused me to think a lot. I’ve always thought that this week would be marked by lots of celebration and it would be a big day. I mean, it’s the Sinatra Centennial!! This day is huge in the world of Frank’s fans.

But, interestingly enough, it hasn’t been anything like I thought it would be.

On the way home from work tonight I listened to Frank. It was wonderful! The thing is, I love Frank Sinatra. I’m a huge Frank Sinatra fan and always will be. But I don’t have to have a party all week this week to prove it or to celebrate it.

There have been concerts, album re-releases, new merchandise, and the suit and hat.jpglist goes on and on and on. And it has been amazing! In the Frank Sinatra world, 2015 has been absolutely great. And this Saturday, December 12, 2015, it will be Frank’s 100th birthday.

I guess you could say, that though I may not have been the best deliverer on this blog, that I’ve still been celebrating. And I hope that all of you have to.

I guess you could say that, looking back on this Centennial year, we’re all at least a little in love.

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All The Way

frankI’ll never forget the moment that I saw my very first Frank Sinatra record.

I was in Birmingham, Alabama, at the National Speech and Debate competition with my coach and two team members. We’d just gotten breakfast in this great little restaurant in Birmingham and saw an old record shop near where we’d parked. Naturally, there was no choice but to go inside.

It was up a narrow flight of wooden stairs, located in a tiny little room stuffed to the roof with records. Old movie posters covered the walls, tables and tables were filled with every record imaginable. The floor was covered in a thin carpet. Morning sunlight streamed through the windows and the air, of course, smelled slightly damp in the summer humidity. The shop had an old smell, and of course some music was playing from the corner.

I found the Frank records as soon as I possibly could, and purchased three, along with a Dean Martin record. For the rest of the trip in Birmingham they were my precious little find. I wrapped them carefully in my suitcase and prayed they would be safe on the trip back across the country.

And even more than that moment of finding the records in Birmingham, a moment where the sunlight streaming through the windows reflected off of the records like they were gold, is the moment when I got home and turned one on.

The very first song that I ever heard Frank Sinatra sing on a record player was “All the Way.”

I’d listened to Frank nonstop for years, but I’d never heard him on an actual record player until that very moment. My mom placed the needle on the record, and sound came out of the record player as if by magic. And then, in that really close yet somehow faraway and incredibly clear sound that a record player makes, he began singing.

“When somebody loves you, it’s no good unless he loves you all the way…taller than the tallest tree is, that’s how it’s got tofrankie feel. Deeper than the deep blue sea is, that’s how deep it goes if it’s real.”

I couldn’t help myself. I put my head in my hands and started crying. It’s been a while since I posted anything about Frank Sinatra, but most of you know that I’m a pretty big admirer of his. And when I heard that sound for the first time, it just got to me in a way I hadn’t expected.

Tonight I’m thinking about that experience, about how it felt. And it makes me grateful for beautiful things, and precious moments. For special things that tug at your heart and make you feel that deeply.

“Who knows where the road will lead us

Only a fool would say

But if you let me love you

It’s for sure I’m gonna love you, all the way…”

Confidence Is King

Frank was a confident man. To say the very least. A popular saying attached to him is three very powerful words: Confidence Is King. I love this phrase. I love it for several different reasons. I love it because I think Frank was not only supremely confident because he had every right to be, but because that’s just how he was. I think we could all learn a really valuable lesson from that. About what confidence is and how important it is.

But this evening, I mostly love it because I’m going to be super confident and say this: the new header image on this Sinatra world of mine is absolutely incredible. It’s killing me with coolness. I look at it and can’t believe it’s a real thing. So, there you go. Enjoy the crazy coolness of this new header image. It is my gift to you.

Merry Christmas!

Ad-Lib Blues

I was waiting for an event. Not edge of my seat waiting, but lounging back with patience waiting. (Which, knowing my capacity for patience, is actually extremely impressive.) It has been so long since I’ve published a post on Singing About Sinatra, to my ultimate shame, I’m afraid, that I was waiting for something tremendous to happen. Something incredible to write about that would make this lapse in writing justified and spring us into another round of commemorative posts. I was waiting for an event, not really expecting one, truthfully.

This morning, it happened. IT HAPPENED!

I was driving to work, about a 25-30 minute commute. I got in the car, plugged in bluesmy music, pressed on my Frank playlist, and went on my merry way. I don’t know how many of you have experienced a time when the shuffle feature decided to tell a story to you. But, this morning, this very thing happened to me. Here is the story it told me:

  1. One For My Baby
  2. Taking A Chance On Love
  3. How Could You Do A Thing Like That To Me?
  4. Someone To Watch Over Me
  5. Put Your Dreams Away
  6. You Make Me Feel So Young
  7. You’ll Get Yours
  8. When Somebody Loves You

The shuffle feature decided to tell me a story about a heart broken man singing in a bar about love gone wrong, who then decides that he’ll take a chance again – a chance on this love business, which apparently then goes horribly wrong AGAIN, in which case we’d all need a shoulder to cry on, which shoulder apparently turns out to accidentally fall in love with our resilient character, and brings him youthful joy, and then leaves – breaking his heart yet again- leaving him in a state to sing that it will probably happen to said lover once more, at which point our character writes an essay on love and what it REALLY means to love somebody.

So, the story itself doesn’t have an incredibly happy ending, but I thought about it all day at work. Why? Because songs themselves are stories- expressions of life. And when you have a string of them put together in such a lovely fashion that the individual stories come together and tell you an even grander story, that is really quite something.

That, is Frank Sinatra.

I’ve Got You Under My Skin

There is, quite simply, no way around it. I’ve thought about it under my skinendlessly. I’ve gone different routes and attempted to dissect it. All to no avail. I can’t figure it out, and probably never will. If I’d known in the beginning that this would end up happening…I’d probably still do it all the same.

I am not alone in this feeling of mine. Not at all. In fact, it has been the plague of Sinatra fans since the beginning of his career. The dilemma is this: we find ourselves drawn to Frank. There was always, and still is, something about him that got at you. There was something about him that got under your skin and wouldn’t leave, something that makes you keep coming back and listening to the music over and over again. In her book about their life together, Frank’s wife Barbara talks often about his incredible magnetism. How people just couldn’t seem to get away. There is only one way I’ve ever heard this accurately explained, and it is this: He’s Frank Sinatra.

During the height of his career, and perhaps even more since Frank passed away, we’ve been trying to figure out why people flocked to him. What is it about Frank Sinatra that just gets at you? Is it the fact that he started a young immigrant boy from New Jersey and ended a legend? Is it that, even after all the books and articles and the endless things you can find about him, there is always an element of mystery? It always seems that no matter how much you think you know about him, you really don’t know anything at all.

I’m far from being able to answer this question with any kind of authority. All I can say about it is from my own personal experience, and I’ve had these exact thoughts so many times. Each time I meet somebody new and tell them how much I love Frank, I get the same question every time. “Oh, why Frank Sinatra?”

frankThe fact that I can never really come up with anything to say makes me realize that I am in this same boat as everybody else. I can really only say as an answer, “What do you mean? Why not?” Because it is something so intangible, I doubt that all of us philosophizing about it will get us anywhere. There is no answer, it is just the way it is. He is wonderful because he is Frank Sinatra. His music and movies are phenomenal because, no matter what, he gets under your skin. And on top of all of that, he does it with class.

I’ve got you under my skin.
I’ve got you deep in the heart of me.
So deep in my heart that you’re really a part of me.
I’ve got you under my skin.
I’d tried so not to give in.
I said to myself: this affair never will go so well.
But why should I try to resist when, baby, I know so well
I’ve got you under my skin?

Taking A Chance On Love

There are lots of risks involved with living. I’ve come to realize, the older I get, how complex we as human beings are. Everything abFrank Sinatra.out the way we live is a risk. If you start thinking about life this way, we sound like a bunch of crazy people just throwing ourselves in the path of emotional or physical destruction daily. Well, today I wanted to talk about a risk in my life.

Whether you think of it this way or not, this blog was a huge risk for me. I started this blog for one reason, and one reason only. I did not start this blog for recognition of any kind or to start debates on controversial issues or any of a million other things. I started this blog because I love Frank Sinatra.

I love his music, his movies. I love reading about him. I love how studying about his life has taught me a lot about life. I love how his music turns a bad day into a great one instantly. I love how, no matter what, Frank Sinatra is timeless and wonderful. Whether you are a fan of his or not, you simply cannot argue with his success or his impact. I mean…it’s Frank Sinatra.

But nevertheless, there was a lot of risk involved. I was throwing myself out there with something I’m very passionate about, and as we all know that can go downhill very quickly. But I decided that none of that mattered. That this is something that makes me happy, and sharing it would also make me happy, even if it was only with one person.

When I first started this blog, the amount of followers I received started to really, really matter to me. I mean, come on! I lyricscan’t be the only one left on this earth who loves Frank. But the more that I have written this blog and thought about it, I’ve been reminded of the reason I started all of this to begin with. I started this blog because I love Frank Sinatra, not because I was trying to prove something or gain validation. Because there is absolutely zero validation needed.

With the Sinatra Centennial this year, I’ve been doing a more than usual amount of thinking about Frank and about this blog of mine. As a self proclaimed bobbysoxer, I feel obligated to make this year one of amazing celebrations. I don’t know how it will turn out, to be honest with you. But what I do know is that no matter what happens here on Singing About Sinatra, I am so incredibly glad for this risk I have taken.

Here I go again
I hear those trumpets blow again
All aglow again
Taking a chance on love…

I’m Going To Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter

And here it is! The very first while I’m away post! And I’ll have you know that I’ve just experienced divine intervention. I was on my way to go and choose which song title to use as the title of this post, and then this song just started playing on my computer. So, this is completely meant to be! And it really fits quite well, actually. At this point, July 1 in case you didn’t know what day it was, I’ve been on my mission for a whopping 7 days. A whole week. I mean, I’m practically a seasoned veteran, really.

ca95dfd7a6dc30d1c1f5385b6150437dYou know, Frank traveled a lot. (Understatement of the…duration of time.) He did a lot of things, he saw a lot of things. He reached heights that nobody would’ve ever expected him to reach. And through it all, he did it because that is what he believed in. He never let anything stop him. He did things because he knew that he could. One of his most famous quotes reads, “The big lesson in life, baby, is never be scared of anyone or anything.”

As I’ve been going about this pre-mission journey of mine, I’ve thought about that mentality a lot. I’ve thought about this great and life changing decision I’ve made, this adventure that is going to be absolutely wonderful and probably harder than anything I’ve ever done. There have been so many times when I was out of my mind scared, but you know, as I sit here listening to (now) the theme from New York, New York, I’m not scared anymore. This is what I know I’m supposed to be doing, and it’s going to be wonderful. I’m going to do it because it’s what I believe in, and nothing is going to stop me.

Just another lesson that Frank has taught me. I hope you can take it into your life as well.

How Could You Do A Thing Like That To Me?

To My Dearest Readers,

At this point, there aren’t very many of you. But you are a great bunch. I want to thank all of you for following this blog and for supporting me in this endeavor as it is most important to me. That being said, I have something I’d like to say to all of you:

Frank reading fan mail, 1943.
Frank reading fan mail, 1943.

I am so disappointed in you.

It’s been an entire week since my last post, here I’ve been, patiently waiting for requests for the posts while I’m away. There are enough of you that I should’ve at least gotten one. But no. Not even one request. When I did the countdown to Frank Sinatra Day, wonderful as it was, there was SO MUCH that had to be left out of Frank’s life. I mean, I didn’t want to write you novels every day or anything. Let’s face it, wonderful as Frank is, I figured you didn’t want a daily diary or anything. That being said, I just don’t understand what’s going on here. Are you all rebelling or something? I mean, I did mention that I wouldn’t post anything for a while as I was waiting for requests.

Oh, to be perfectly honest, I’m not too deeply hurt over here or anything. The hard part about writing a blog post like this is that some of you may imagine me on this end wearing a Frank t-shirt and sobbing endlessly into orange handkerchiefs. I assure you that isn’t the case. I’m sitting in a chair wearing an Alabama Crimson Tide t-shirt puzzling over what has occurred on this blog of mine. So, we’re going to try this one more time. I’ll give you a few days, and if you genuinely have no requests, I’ll just have to get over it.

That being recorded, you are all wonderful people. Really, I mean it with all my soul. Have a wonderful day!

Sincerely,

The Bobbysoxer

The Best Is Yet To Come

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Lyrics to the song, “The Best is Yet to Come.” The title of this song is engraved on Frank’s headstone.

It just so happens that…it happened again. I missed my Frank Thursday post again. And even though I have a completely legitimate excuse for it, I decided that I wasn’t going to tell you about it. Because Frank never operated around excuses. Then I thought that I’d just apologize for how lax I’ve been getting in that area. But then, I decided not to do that either. Because this is a Frank Sinatra blog, and Frank wasn’t one to apologize. So, though I do feel bad about missing Frank Thursday again, we’ll just commit to do better until I leave on my mission. And that will be the end of that.3dceaabd97dcc8e777f6ccf5f2654629

Another reason I decided not to do that was because Frank Thursday posts are all that I’ve been doing lately, and I know that that is absolutely not okay. I mean, they are extremely important because I tell you about all of the wonderful movies, but if that’s all I ever do then, let’s face it, this is one stupid and boring blog. We’ll just throw that out there. So. There is that.

And so, today, we’re going to do a little test. As I’m leaving very soon, I’ve got to get those posts that I talked about written and programmed to be published while I’m away. And though I’m certain I could come up with 18 posts about Frank, since I’ve been doing that and loving it, I want to hear your input.

So, for the next few days I won’t be posting anything, I’m just going to wait to hear from any of you. If there is something you want me to talk about, something you want to know, comment about it on this post and you’ll get an answer. And I mean, anything. Don’t be afraid to go into the controversy, because when I started this blog I knew that would come along with it. So, please, let me know what you want to read about while I’m away and you’ll definitely get it! If this endeavor is successful, I think I’ll definitely be able to say, “The best is yet to come.”

In the mean time, as Frank would always say at the end of his concerts, “Sleep warm.”

As Time Goes By

Frank singing at the 1969 Academy Awards ceremony.
Frank singing at the 1969 Academy Awards ceremony.

Finally! The Daily Prompt I’ve been waiting for! Today it states, “Your local electronics store has just started selling time machines, anywhere doors, and invisibility helmets. You can only afford one. Which of these do you buy, and why?”

Well, this was really the easiest question in the world to answer! Of course, if I found myself in this miraculous situation, I would purchase a time machine. As a history major, a time machine would be an amazing thing to have in my possession for obvious reasons, but to be perfectly honest that isn’t the first idea that came to me when I read “time machine.”

I would purchase a time machine for the sole purpose of traveling back in time in order to see Frank in concert…a few times. The possibilities here are endless, really. A time machine? I think, yes!