This year marks the centennial of the birth of Frank Sinatra, who came into this world on December 12, 1915 in Hoboken, New Jersey and died on May 14, 1998. Sinatra had many nicknames…The Voice, Ol’ Blue Eyes and The Chairman of the Board were a few. Each name represented different sides of his talent, good looks, charm and presence. Sinatra won nine Grammy Awards, performed on more than 1,400 records during his six-decade plus career. It was his honest voice that made the audience feel that he understood them.
When I think of Frank Sinatra, I think of my grandmother. I remember when I graduated from college in May, 1998 (the very month that Sinatra died)…my grandmother kept disappearing to the bar so she could talk to the bartender about Frank. It was as if she was in mourning for the loss of that time in her life.
I imagine that my grandmother would have loved to have been in the audience at The Copa Room in Las Vegas when Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin were on stage…sipping cocktails and smoking cigarettes. This beautiful generation seemed to know how to enjoy life to the fullest.
My grandmother would have loved to have read this book to her great-grandchildren and elaborate on his life and his songs.
My children like to listen to Seriously Sinatra in my car on the way to school. I knew they would enjoy the John Seven book, Frankie Liked to Sing. This is a spunky biography that follows Sinatra as he moves from his humble childhood across the river to New York City, begins a recording career and makes it in Hollywood.
3/4 oz Blue Curacao liqueur
1 oz sweet and sour mix
3. Frank’s favorite color was orange. He used to say, “Orange is the happiest color.”
4. Frank inadvertently helped name Scooby-Doo. CBS exec, Fred Silverman, found inspiration in Frank’s signature, “Scoo-Be-Do-Be-Do!”
5. Born in a New Jersey, apartment, Francis Albert Sinatra was not breathing when he was born. Baby Frank was thought to be dead and was laid on the kitchen counter while the doctor attended to his mother. His grandma picked up the newborn, stuck him under some cold water, and little Frank sang his first song. Thank goodness for grandma!
His music crossed the decades from World War II to the 1990s. He defined the classic American songbook for decades with verve and panache.
Any song that Sinatra sang was most likely the very best rendition of that song. These are just a few that are linked to this amazing entertainer over his career.
Fly Me to the Moon Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon” was the first song ever played on the moon.
I’ve Got the World on a String There have been many artists who have recorded their own versions but Sinatra’s is the most memorable.
Swinging on a Star “Swinging on a Star” was composed by Jimmy Van Heusen and Johnny Burke and originally sung by Bing Crosby in the 1944 film Going My Way. It has been covered by artists including Burl Ives, Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra.
New York, New York This love song to New York makes you want to be in a Broadway show.
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas This is the gold star of Christmas songs.
Let it Snow This song helps set the mood for holiday festivities. It’s romantic, happy and everyone likes to sing along.
Luck be a Lady Hearing this song reminds me of when I was in the musical “Guys and Dolls.” It’s full of energy and spunk.
Strangers in the Night Frank Sinatra’s version of Strangers in the Night, can’t be beat…it’s smooth and I imagine my grandparents slow dancing to it.
My Way This song was not Sinatra’s favorite but it sure is a favoirte of fans…one of his most popular hits.
Mack the Knife This song is pure New York!
May you live to be one hundred, and may the last voice you hear be mine.