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Let’s Be Frank

December 17, 2010

Frank Sinatra - She Shot Me Down

Frank, as in Frank Sinatra. One of my heroes.

Frank Sinatra, a hero? Before you move on, please consider this. If a hero is someone ordinary who does extraordinary things, then Frank Sinatra is a hero. Actually, he is one of the best examples of a hero, because his flaws were also right out there for the world to see.

Aren’t we all a mass of contradictions?

Sometimes, we resort to the lowest level of human behavior and sometimes we can give all we’ve got in kindness. Sometimes, we waste away our talents and other times we’re in the flow of being ourselves, and making a difference. That’s life. (a Sinatra song!)

Back to Frank Sinatra. He is a hero to me because he was given an extraordinary gift and he developed it to the fullest. He gave it all he got. He did it his way (in the best sense of the word).

Now, I am lucky in that my father was a huge Sinatra fan and we heard his music constantly growing up. It has become ingrained in me. But my Dad also took the time to tell me why Frank Sinatra was so good.

  • His phrasing, or the way he worked the words around the melody in a unique way.
  • His breath control, which he said he learned by watching Tommy Dorsey play the trumpet. “He could blow a whole song on one tank of air.”
  • And the subtle emotion he evoked in his songs.
  • Another thing I discovered on my own was his incredible connection with the band. While singing it was as if he and the band were one – very mystical!

The casual listener may not be aware of these incredible gifts because he made it look so easy. Many just think of him as a good singer of standard love songs. But there were all kinds of successful singers that sang what Sinatra sang and even had better voices, but he rose above the rest.

There is only one Frank Sinatra.

If you want to learn more about Frank Sinatra as an artist, I would recommend the book, Sinatra! The Song Is You: A Singer’s Art, by Will Friedwald. It focuses on his career completely through song and is a delight to read. Not much mention (that I can remember) of wives or mob connections. The focus is on the music.

Last Sunday would have been Frank Sinatra’s 95th birthday. He died twelve years ago. Yet, his music lives on, and even the very young are still discovering his work, as can be read on Twitter. I collect favorite tweets about Sinatra on my page – Best of Frank Sinatra on Twitter.

Here are a few of my favorites.

  • Listening to summer wind by frank sinatra. why can’t music still sound like this?
  • You know what kinda day it is? It’s a listen to Frank Sinatra kind of day.
  • Listening to Frank Sinatra on my first full day at 25yrs old. That’s what you do when you get older right?
  • There is no such thing as too young/hip for frank sinatra, i promise.
  • Is jayz the modern day Frank Sinatra?
  • Frank Sinatra and apple pie. It’s like both things you’d do on a rainy day. I have Franky on, that’s why I bring it up. =]

Who is a hero that you believe completely developed their gifts?


Related Reading

Top 10 Frank Sinatra Love Songs

Frank Sinatra Concept Albums

Fly Me to the Moon

4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 17, 2010 12:56 pm

    Frank really was an incredible talent and quite the interesting man. I can see why he is one of your heroes. “Dean” and I are smiling… 😉

    • December 17, 2010 3:12 pm

      Bev, you’re probably tired of hearing me talk about my love for Frank. 🙂 Dean definitely developed his gifts too! And boy, they sure had a good time doing it too.

  2. December 20, 2010 1:00 am

    Now that is a challenge, to outdo Frank…although I know that is not quite what you were asking 🙂

    My uncle, that just passed away, is a man I consider to be a hero. Not only was he the kindest person I’ve even known, he was also a brave hero. After his ship was kamikazed by Japanese planes he spent the night in the ocean in only a life jacket! What a hero…and he never let that experience change who he was as a man. One other thing…he LOVED to fish and happily took my little guys out on the lake to teach them what to do, ever patient…cuz if you know anything about fishing and little boys…uhgg! it can be frustrating. To this day my boys still call him Uncle Fish =D

    • December 20, 2010 1:46 am

      Someone ordinary who does extraordinary things. With that definition, Uncle Fish is definitely a hero. Wow! Thank you for telling me about him. You and your kids will always have him as a model of a hero.

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