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…”


They Can’t Take That Away From Me

Commemorative stamp issued on May 13, 2008
Commemorative stamp issued on May 13, 2008

I would like to begin this post with a statement completely unrelated to what the post is going to be about. Here on Singing About Sinatra I like to name my posts after Frank’s songs, as you probably already noticed. However, that is actually a lot harder than you’d think. So, there’s that.

Anyway, it is officially less than one month until Frank Sinatra Day! Oh, goodness, I can barely contain my excitement! And no, I did not make this up. You can look it up and everything if you so desire. I’ll give you the history of it, which is pretty concise and to the point.

On May 13, 2008, one day before the 10th anniversary of Frank’s death, the United States Congress declared it Frank Sinatra Day in honor of his humanitarian efforts (which were many) and his large role in shaping American culture. He was also pictured on a 42¢ U.S.A commemorative stamp issued on the same day.

So, besides Frank’s birthday (which is on December 12) May 13 is a very, very important day in the life of this bobby soxer. I do celebrate it and it is so great. Like any other holiday that we find ourselves observing, for me it is a day to look forward to and make memories of. It’s something that you get to celebrate and have fun with no matter what anybody says or thinks because it makes you happy, and nobody can take that from you. I’ve officially begun the countdown, as you see to the right. As the day gets closer I’ll start posting different trivia about Frank and his life much more systematically. This way we can all look forward to it together and it’ll be a swinging time!