All Or Nothing At All

Frank SinatraHappy Sinatra Centennial!!!

This is it!! Happy 100th birthday to Francis Albert Sinatra, the man who changed the world and loved life doing it. The man who has taught so many people so much about what it means to live. I couldn’t be happier or more excited, I’m sure. With a post like this, there isn’t really very much that you can say, honestly. It’s too big. There’s so much to say that I find myself unable to say anything. But if there’s one thing I’ll say, it’s that it may be 100 years now, but he’s still as amazing as he ever was. Only Frank could do that. So, take a moment and feel that magnitude. Oh, and:

Happy Birthday, Frank. And thank you for it all.

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The Single Man

I suppose I didn’t really think it would happen. Even yesterday I had my doubts. But…oh! my! goodness! Frank Sinatra Day is a mere 1 day away! TOMORROW!!! Tomorrow, everyone, it’s happening tomorrow! I am so excited that I really don’t know what to do with myself. And so, today we conclude our countdown. We’ve been going over 4 Reasons Frank Sinatra Has Influenced Your Life, and today we’ve reached our last one.

One of those pictures taken at just the right moment. One of my favorites.
One of those pictures taken at just the right moment. One of my favorites.

So, for Reason #4 (though last, certainly not least important and probably not what you were expecting at all): Frank was just a man.

I know that I tend to go on and on about Frank and how wonderful he was and all of that, and I’ll probably continue to do that for forever. But at the end of the day, Frank was just a man. He grew up in Hoboken, New Jersey and was fortunate enough to realize his dreams. He could’ve easily ended up in an office somewhere and the name Frank Sinatra wouldn’t have meant that much to the world. The difference is that his name does mean something to the world. He didn’t just end up in an office somewhere. He may have just been one man among many, but he made something of himself.

Frank Sinatra never, ever stopped trying. And you shouldn’t either. It is an extremely powerful lesson that he taught to many people. He changed the world he lived in in countless ways because he was not afraid to reach for something beyond the horizon. He became so much more than an influential musician, actor, and humanitarian because he saw beyond the rooftops of Hoboken and knew that he could “make it there”.

When all is said and done, Frank was just one man. But that never stopped him. And because it never stopped him, the world is a different place.

Learnin’ The Blues

3 more days! 3! Just 3! It’s so close I can almost taste the Tootsie Rolls and cherry Lifesavers. Frank Sinatra Day is just over the hill and our countdown continues! Yesterday we began 4 Reasons Frank Sinatra Has Influenced Your Life, and gave the first reason. Today we get to continue!

Frank working in the studio.
Frank working in the studio.

Reason #2: Frank redefined music.

For Frank, it was always about the music from day one. When learning a new song, he would sit down with just the lyrics, so that at that point it was just a poem. He wouldn’t just learn the words themselves, he would learn what the meant and what the song was trying to say. It was this approach to his music that gave him the deep appeal that he had from the start. People loved him because when he sang, you somehow knew that he meant every word of it.  He cared about every part of a song, every word and every note of music.

He wanted to make ripples with his music and reach people not just on the surface. His music found a way into the hearts of so many. In no way am I suggesting that Frank was the first or the only one to do this, but the way he did it was just different. There was always something about Frank that was just different. He changed what it meant to be a star, he changed what music was supposed to mean. It wasn’t just words and a tune, it was something that could reach inside your soul. When reading about him in various books, you can find evidence of this. Many people remember him for the way he sang and what music meant to him; for what he wanted it to mean to others.

When Frank Sinatra stepped onto that stage, music was simply destined to be different. Frank once said, “Whatever else has been said about me personally is unimportant. When I sing, I believe. I’m honest.” Frank may have been a wonderful humanitarian and actor, but music was always at his heart and the way he went about everything. Much of his humanitarian work was done through singing, for example. Not only was it his life, he happened to change it in the process. Music was changed by Frank Sinatra, and is the way it is today because of that change.

It’s A Wonderful World

And on our countdown we have officially reached 4 more days! 4 more days until Frank Sinatra Day everyone! Since there were no particular requests on yesterday’s post for further countdown posts, today I’ll begin something special. With 4 more days left, I’m going to begin (drum roll, please) 4 Ways Frank Sinatra Has Influenced Your Life. (I mean, it may still be a working title a little bit, and the acronym certainly doesn’t make sense but…) Yes, that’s right! Today I’ll begin to specifically tell you ways that Frank made this world wonderful, and how he influenced your life in the process.

Frank at the 1971 Oscars with his Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.
Frank at the 1971 Oscars with his Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.

So, for today’s Reason #1: Frank redefined fame.

When Frank rose to the top, being famous was something completely different. Stars were usually neutral politically to avoid losing popularity or support. And the solo artist wasn’t really a thing, honestly. There were people like Bing Crosby of course, wonderful Bing who was Frank’s idol. But in general there was really only so far an artist could go without a big band behind them. But when Frankie came to town, young Frankie with his unruly hair and floppy bow ties, things began to change. Frank came right out and declared that he had a party affiliation, he came right out and said that he was Frank Sinatra and that was that. It didn’t matter that he might lose popularity or even his career over it, he was honest from the beginning about where he stood. That was something pretty unknown to Hollywood at the time.

And more than that, Frank was politically active. He campaigned for presidents and gave speeches against racism in small towns. He showed other people in Hollywood that being famous was more than having your face on a record or the silver screen, that they could try and make a difference with the influence that they had. They could support things and raise awareness, and it could change the world for the better. He helped raise money for all sorts of charities throughout his entire career to the tune of $1 billion and throughout his life gave away millions anonymously. Post-WWII, Frank was one of the ones who tried to rally America into helping to save Europe’s Jews from the horrors of the Holocaust.

And these are only a few of the things that Frank did personally to help make the world a better place. The influence that he had on others to do the same was tremendous, and too far reaching to really understand. You can say that this would’ve eventually happened in Hollywood, of course, but Frank did it way before it’s time. He spoke out against or for controversial ideas and opinions when it wasn’t alright to do so. And with that, he helped to form a different world for all of us.