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┬ásinging 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.

Say It

“Whatever else has been said about me personally is unimportant. When I sing, I believe. I’m honest.” It is one of my all time favorite Frank Sinatra quotes. I like it because of what it says about character, confidence, and honesty.

frankAs with any megastar, much of Frank’s life was an open book. You’ll find no shortage of books about him, and opinions of what everybody thinks he was “really” like. Well, as much as I’d like to say otherwise, I didn’t know Frank either. I decided early on that because of that, I would rely on what he said about himself and what those that were closest to him said about him. I think that’s the best way to try and understand it all.

It was when I stumbled upon this quote that my research into Frank really opened up. It makes perfect sense. Frank’s story lies in his music, in his truest way of expressing himself. When he sang, he believed. It was when he was the most honest. Who was Frank Sinatra? Who was the person behind The Voice? To find out, all you have to do is listen.