Sunday, October 10, 2010

Frankly Speaking

by Anna Campbell

When I was recently in New York (now, how's that for a way to start a blog?), I was lucky enough to get a ticket for the musical COME FLY AWAY. My first Broadway show (well, on Broadway!).

This combines Twyla Tharp's classical given a modern twist choreography with the beloved songs of Frank Sinatra. Basically we're talking a ballet. Frankly (yeah, I know, pardon the pun!), I was in heaven!

They had a big band on stage and a female singer who would occasionally duet with Frank but mostly it was just Frank. His voice floated above the beautiful, original arrangements in all its rich baritone richness. I'm not quite sure how they did it technically but it was very effective. The only thing better would to have been have Frank himself - but that would, sadly, have involved a seance. John Edward? Are you in the house? There's an opportunity here for you!

The musical was about love in all its various permutations from hot and sweaty and passionate to sweet and innocent. Appropriate when some of the greatest love songs ever written formed the score. The dancers were mainly from classical companies and were spectacularly good.

But the best bit was still the music!

As you'll probably have gathered by now, I love Frank's voice. I love his way with a lyric. Just check out how beautifully he delivers the story behind "I Get a Kick out of You" in this video:

There's been a lot of imitators but I don't think anyone comes close to the combination of worldly sophistication and weary romanticism he conveys.

One of the things I loved about COME FLY AWAY is that they concentrated on the later, swinging Sinatra (not often you can use 'swinging' without irony, is it?), the Chairman of the Board days. The 1940s Sinatra who the bobbysoxers lined up to see was just a bit too vulnerable for my tastes. While the voice was effortlessly brilliant and he delivered those lyrics like Shakespeare, the unrestrained emotion of his early performances doesn't strike my heart the way his more restrained later work does.

By the late 50s and 60s, he's a guy who's been around the block a few times and he knows if he wears his heart on his sleeve, someone's going to rip it to shreds, then throw the bloody remnants into the mud and stamp all over them.

But he's still got a heart and much as he tries to pretend he can roll with the punches, love and life hit him hard. Sigh! Adore those songs.

One of the most romantic songs I know is "Fly Me to the Moon". Listen how he delivers this beautiful lyric with a jauntiness that somehow underlines the deep emotion the man is expressing.

By the way, check out that groovy Orrefors-glass style backdrop on that video! Wow, baby!

Another breathtakingly romantic song is "Strangers in the Night". Listen to the crackle of emotion in his voice as he sings this. He's getting old in this recording - finding videos for this piece ended up being quite hard - but you get that emotional punch in spades, don't you?

Have you heard the joke?

SOCRATES: To be is to do.
ARISTOTLE: To do is to be.
SINATRA: Doo be doo be doo.

One of my favorite songs is one you don't hear so often but it's on a beautiful compilation CD I own called MY WAY: THE BEST OF FRANK SINATRA. It's "A Very Good Year". I couldn't get a video of Frank singing this but here's a compilation of evocative photos from his life that go beautifully with these lovely lyrics:

I think the first time I heard this I was a very little girl and it was in a tire ad (might even have been for Goodyear!). It's always made me want to cry - that yearning reedy oboe in the introduction cuts right to the quick.

Sinatra always used amazing arrangers (Nelson Riddle is the one everybody mentions). The way the orchestra or the big band weaves around his voice or answers back or comments on the action creates sonic magic. This arrangement for "A Very Good Year" is one of my favorites - it's quite subtle but so beautiful. For example, listen to the way the pizzicato strings echo champagne bubbles when he likens his memories to vintage wine. Or in that last verse again, how the grim march of time is subtly alluded to in the slow throb of the woodwinds. Magnificent!

"A Very Good Year" is very beautiful but rather melancholy. So I thought I'd finish this rave about Mr. Sinatra with the very upbeat "New York, New York"

This song has special significance for me because before I was published, I used to press repeat on my stereo and lie in the bath and sing it over and over. Always cheered me up! Not sure the neighbors felt the same! They probably wished me in New York, New York!

So to me, Frank is A number 1, top of the list, king of the hill!

Any other Sinatra fans out there? What are your favorite Sinatra songs? Do you prefer another singer of the golden age? I know Dean Martin and Tony Bennett and Perry Como and a host of others have their admirers. Let's go old school for the day!


Helen said...

Is he coming to my place

have Fun

Anna Campbell said...

Wow, Helen, you were quick off the mark! Perhaps you and the rooster could do a two-step to today's music!

JerGirl54 said...

Hi Anna....My first introduction to Frank Sinatra was watching him with my parents when he was on the Ed Sullivan Show. I rediscovered him while working at my job during college. "It was a very good year" is a great song, my all time favorite though is "My Way". I actuallay got to see him in concert once.

Helen said...

Anna LOL I don't know about me dancing but I love the post and yes I love Frank's songs whoo hoo I have just been watching all the y tube clips and loved them I am humming New York New York now LOL. One of my favourite Sinartra songs is I Did It My Way I think that he gives the idea that he is a person who can do things and yes we all can too. One of my other favourites is Dean Martin be still my beating heart I love Deano singing That's Amoure (I don't know how to spell it I can't find my Dean Martin CD) and I have a few Perry Como CD's as well love him as well and one of my favourites of his is For The Good Times.
I have this great CD which is called Memories Are Made Of This and it has lots of the singers from this era on it and I do love playing it and singing along do you remember Frankie Ifield and I Remember You I think I need to put this CD on.

Thanks for the memories Anna sounds like that show on Broadway was fantastic.

Have Fun

The GR and I are going to have a rest I think I have been up the coast for my sisters 50th and have not long got home time to read and releax with Tim Tams of course

Laney4 said...

Ya know, Anna, if I had it MY WAY, I'd run to NEW YORK, NEW YORK (because it's MY KIND OF TOWN) to see THE WAY YOU LOOK TONIGHT (okay, okay, you were "recently" in New York, let's be accurate), despite hearing rumours that THE LADY IS A TRAMP (LOL). CALL ME IRRESPONSIBLE, but I'm pretty sure I'd be BEWITCHED, because THE BEST IS YET TO COME if LUCK BE A LADY TONIGHT. We could be STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT - IF I WERE A RICH MAN - and then it might be possible to FLY ME TO THE MOON - using STARDUST, of course - but either way, I'm sure I'd say IT WAS A VERY GOOD YEAR because I'VE GOT YOU UNDER MY SKIN and YOU ARE THE SUNSHINE OF MY LIFE, according to OL' MAN RIVER.

Pissenlit said...

LOL @ Laney4
That was awesome!:D

Frank Sinatra had a fantastic voice and I totally loved him as Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls! I don't think I can pick a favourite Sinatra song 'cause there were so many good ones!

Keziah Hill said...

I like the duo with Bing Crosby in High Society.
"Have you heard, it's in the stars, next July we collide with Mars?"

PinkPeony said...

Hola Anna!

I used to listen to my parents' Sinatra LPs when I was a kid. Still have the LPs in the garage. One of my faves is "I've Got You Under My Skin", "The Summer Moon, and "A Very Good Year." Used to bang out "Strangers in the Night" on the piano, but I was nine and changed the lyrics and the title to "Strangely In the Night". They, whoever "they" are, say that what set Frank apart from other singers was the way he phrased the lyrics. I have his Duets Cd somewhere...might have to go dig it up! I love Tony Bennett too. "The Shadow of Your Smile" and "The Good Life"... have to check out this musical..I hope it's still playing!

Are you big on Burt Bacharach songs?

congrats, Helen!!

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Kathy! I've loved sharing your Frank memories over on Facebook. I rediscovered him too after a hiatus - had a boyfriend who really liked him and I can remember sitting up late listening to the wonderful music.

Anna Campbell said...

Helen, I LOVE My Way. I've recently started playing it on the piano (very badly - well, I suppose you could say I play it MY WAY!). I love the way it builds and builds. Great stuff! I've got a really good Dean Martin CD too - love That's Amore and Sway and Volare (love Volare!). I've also got a great Nat King Cole CD (hmm, perhaps he can be my material for a future column - he was such a wonderfully smooth singer and also had a great way with a lyric). But I've gotta say, Frank's my fave!

Put your feet up and enjoy your Tim Tams. And don't let that rooster eat too many!

Anna Campbell said...

Laney, obviously we have the SAME Frank Sinatra CD. What a fabulous response! I get a kick out of you! ;-) Yanno, if I WAS giving away a prize, you'd win it!

Anna Campbell said...

Pissenlit, there's a stack I love that I couldn't fit in or I couldn't find video footage for. Shows you how times have changed - anything modern is up on Youtube before you can say Jack Robinson! I love Frank singing Cole Porter - that way with a lyric goes so well with those wonderfully witty words.

Yeah, Laney's post was fab, wasn't it?

Anna Campbell said...

Keziah, I LOVE that song. Do you know that was the only film they ever appeared in together? Can't say I've ever been keen on Bing (my granny loved him so listened to a lot of his records growing up - and they WERE records back then! She even had a 76 rpm button on her stereo! Actually now I think of it, she didn't have any Frank!). But that's such a clever song - again Cole Porter!

Anna Campbell said...

Jen, this will make you smile. When I was about 10, for some reason, Strangers in the Night was the height of naughtiness to me! I'm not quite sure why - when I hear the lyrics now, it's all very sweet and romantic! It was regularly on the radio when I was a young 'un. That's another one I've started bashing out on the piano - this post inspired me to dig out some sheet music. Oh, I love the Shadow of your Smile. I actually really love Burt Bacharach songs too - clearly I'm not a groover! Always have - they're shocking to play on the piano though, they're so syncopated. Have you tried? I adore This Guy's in Love with You. Always makes me come over all soppy. Actually maybe I should do BB some time in a post!

Anna Campbell said...

Jen, Mum and Dad had the duets CD. I've got to say I thought the partners detracted rather than added to the original songs in most cases. It's like I only like classic Tim Tams! ;-) Actually Tony Bennet is great - and I love that he's still going strong!

PinkPeony said...

Maybe it's the Virgo in us, but I LOVE "This Guy's In Love With You"...I had a mad crush on Herb Alpert when he sang that song. Remember the cover of "Whipped Cream and Other Delights"?

You're right, the Bacharach, the arrangements in my Hal David/Bacharach songbook are difficult. We're thinking about buying a piano so I might be torturing our neigbors soon.

The classic Sinatra arrangements are much better than the newer ones. Strangers in the Night always made me think of film noir, dark shadows and something clandestine. Heartburn was a glance away, a hot tamale's chance away...(my nine-year-old mind)

Would love to see a post about Burt B! I still think he's hot. :)

Carol L. said...

Hi Anna,
Great post. Frank was a favorite. No one could make lyrics sound like they just fell from his lips like Frank. Very smooth. My Way and That's Life were two of my favorites. I LOVE Dean Martin. A very sexy singer :)Johnny Mathis was another with a voice like melted butter. This was a really enjoyable post. Thanks Anna.
Carol L.

barb said...

Have a good time with GR Helen but I don't think I will be up as I have just got back from my 4 day sewing retreat with not much sleep plenty of socialising, sewing and eating.... for those ladies who ask about this retreat, we are a group of ladies who go to dormitory style accomodation and have our sewing machines and whatever else we need in the big room and we organise projects between us so we only have to pay for accomodation which includes all food.... this time there were 15 of us... we have one a year but we are all looking forward to next year.

As for Frank I like I did it my way and New York New York.... I also like Perry Como's catch a falling star...

Christine Wells said...

Hi Anna, great blog! You have such a vast and broad knowledge, you continually surprise me! Sounds like you had a wonderful Broadway experience.

I enjoy Sinatra when I hear him but I wouldn't go out and buy one of his CDs. Although I have to agree with Keziah--he was great in High Society. "Well, did you evah? What a swell party this is."

I may or may not have crooned Dean Martin songs to my children to get them to sleep when I ran out of nursery rhymes. My Dean impression still makes them laugh. *G*

Helen, congrats on the rooster! Have fun with him today:)

Gillian Layne said...

Moonlight in Vermont is so sweet. Nat King Cole makes me melt; Mona Lisa is one of my favorites, and I also love anything by Dean Martin. Just a pleasure to listen to.

Janga said...

I love Sinatra singing "The Way You Look Tonight" and "Summer Wind." But I like Nat King Cole even better, and Mel Torme is my favorite from that era. I never tire of "Born to Be Blue." I think "Now my world's a faded pastel--oh, well" is such a brilliant line.

Nancy said...

Helen, congrats on the bird! Don't let him swipe too many Tim Tams.

Anna, my favorite Sinatra song is My Way. I also like Andy Williams' rendition of Moon River, from the same era, sort of.

It's interesting that this show is on Broadway, adapted from Sinatra's music. Mamma Mia is an Abba compilation, and Moving Up (I think that's the title) is based on Billy Joel. I wonder if this is a trend.

jo robertson said...

Yay, Helen, are you making the rooster work or giving him a day of rest?

Great tribute to Sinatra, Anna. I always loved his voice. No one else ever had the smoothness he did. Thanks for the wonderful links to take us down memory lane.

Karyn Gerrard said...

Oh God, I LOVE Sinatra, one of my fav tunes is "One For My Baby", I have about 8 Sinatra CD's, Dean Martin is a close second, love it when he sings those Italian love songs.
I also like Andy Williams! And this from a hard rock chick, I like classical music too, and some blues.
But, Sinatra, RULES!
I first saw some of his old movies when I was a teenager and have loved him ever since, 'Pal Joey' and 'Young at Heart' were favs!
Great blog!

♪in the wee small hours, of the morning...♪

catslady said...

He was just a tad before my time but I do remember him in his later years and do love his songs. My mom skipped school (only time in her life) to see him perform - with a lot of screaming girls!

Speaking of NYC - I'm going in a few weeks to see my first broadway show too - The Lion King. Can't wait.

Caren Crane said...

Helen, congrats on taking the chookie by the beak! I hope you both have a great day together.

Anna, I have to admit that Frank and his compatriots had their heyday before I was born (1965), but I can appreciate a fine voice when I hear one. I have always enjoyed Frank's voice, but he seemed to me (as a child) kind of smarmy. I think because he was already The Chairman! *g*

I only knew of Perry Como from his Christmas specials and knew little about Tony Bennett. I did know of Dean Martin from movies, though, and I liked him a lot. I always thought he was very handsome and the epitome of a playboy!

Big Crosby, though, always fascinated me. He had that tremendously deep, resonant voice and I thought he sounded like the best dad ever. My own father - all the men in my family - had deep, resonant voices, so that was my gold standard for men's voices. Most men in popular music then didn't have those sorts of voices, so Bing really stood out to me.

Here is Bing with the incomparable Grace Kelly singing "">True Love. He could sail me away!

Caren Crane said...

PinkPeony, my father had Herb Alpert's "Whipped Cream and Other Delights" and all of us kids thought that album cover was the raciest thing ever! I loved the music, too, though, and we listened to it often. Great memories!

LindaC said...

I love Frank Sinatra and have two CD's with his music. I never knew there were words to Moonlight Serenade until I heard him sing them. I also love Chris Botti, Nat King Cole, and Michael Buble.

My parents also had a copy of Herb Alpert's 'Whipped Cream and other Delight's' that I used to listen to.


Donna MacMeans said...

Anna - What a fun nostalgic blog! I remember growing up with Sinatra playing on my dad's brand new stero. We've come a long way from those 33 rpm days of cleaning dust off the diamond needle. We watched him as well on the B&W TV screens - Perry Como show, Jack Benny, Ed Sullivan, Johnny Carson... Frank is truly the consumate performer.

I love his songs for the sincerity he puts in each and every one. Wish I'd taken the opportunity to see him perform when he was in town many, many years ago - but back then couldn't afford the tickets. What a testament to his talent that his songs live on long after he did. Guess he it did it his way.

Nancy said...

By the way, Anna, did you know Nelson Riddle, whom you mention in the blog, wrote the theme for the Batman TV series?

Nancy said...

LindaC, I remember Herb Alpert! A friend of mine, who played trumpet in the high school band, was huge Herb Alpert fan. Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass (or TJB, as my friend called them)--great music!

Louisa Cornell said...

Good on you, Helen! The GR will help you read and relax so long as there are Tim Tams involved.

Great tribute, La Campbell !! Glad you got to see the show in New York. I'll bet it was fabulous!

Sinatra had what most of the current crop of "Singers" don't have these days - a voice. Just as a writer's voice needs to be distinctive and something uniquely her own, so a singer needs a sound that is theirs and theirs alone. These days they all sound alike. Sinatra had a sound. You can hear him sing a song and in a few bars you know it is him. What do you expect from a man who grew up listening to Italian opera? :)

The Way You Look Tonight is one of my favorites, as is A Very Good Year. And I do have a very big soft spot in my heart for The Lady is a Tramp.

Nancy said...

Louisa, I agree with you about distinctive voices. I love Carole King's. I heard one of the current corp of teen idols sing "Natural Woman" and cringed at the TV. Nothing BAD about her voice--it just lacked that earthy distinctiveness of King's.

Anna Campbell said...

Jen, ask and you shall be given! I'll definitely do Burt! Actually maybe I should do Herb Alpert too! A friend of mine played the French horn professionally and he had all the Tijuana Brass albums - the musicianship was just that good. And even better, when he gave away his record player, he gave me all his old LPs, including those. At one stage there, my flat was Tijuana central!

I think Frank's arrangements were amazing! They're one of the things that mean you can listen to those songs over and over and still get something new from them.

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, thanks, Carol. It was such fun to put this post together - I spent ages looking at old film clips. Poor old Frank trying to be psychedelic in the 60s! So glad you enjoyed it. Oh, Johnny Mathis, you're right. Until the 12th of Never!

Anna Campbell said...

Barb, the sewing retreat kinda sounds like our writer conferences. Not much sleep but LOTS of fun! What a great idea! So glad you enjoyed the post. My mum liked Perry Como - Memories are Made of This...

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, Christine, and now I HAVE to hear the Dean Martin impression. Clearly I have to stock up the grog for your next visit so you won't get all bashful and refuse us the pleasure! So glad you enjoyed the post! I'm a huge Frank fan as you can probably tell!

Anna Campbell said...

Gillian, I love Moonlight in Vermont! And I'm a huge Nat King Cole fan. In fact, so far this blog is doing great stuff with offering me new topics to blog about. So far we have Herb Alpert, Burt Bacharach and NKC!

Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, Janga, I'll have to check out Mel Torme's song. It sounds lovely! I love the world weary sophistication that you hear in so many of these songs of the classic era. There's a lovely Mel Torme version of Blue Moon.

Anna Campbell said...

Nancy, the Billy Joel musical Moving Up is from the same team. I think when great songs are there to be plundered, people will...plunder! Never saw Mamma Mia. Have to say I was NEVER an Abba fan. I love Moon River too!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Jo, so glad you checked out the links. Sometime, I have to learn how to embed videos. If I can do Amazon click throughs, I'm sure I can do embedding! And thanks for saying you enjoyed the post! You know how I love to ramble about music I like!

Anna Campbell said...

Hey, Karyn! It's been such a relief to find out I'm not the only girl crazy about Sinatra's singing! I just think he's a master at delivering a song - nobody does it better. And I'm a sucker for a great baritone anyway. Oh, wow, love the wee small hours. And all that stuff about flying around the world when planes were still so new and cool. There's a bar in far Bombay!

Anna Campbell said...

Catslady, everyone I know who's been to the Lion King absolutely adores it! Have fun! Actually I had plans during my NY visit to see a couple more shows but I ended up seeing people instead - kinda made sense! But I couldn't pass up Twyla does Frank (snicker!). Frank was actually before my time too but I had older parents so we never listened much to the current stuff when I grew up.

Anna Campbell said...

Ooh, Caren, what a lovely video! And that is such a beautiful song. My dad liked Bing (and my dad's mum). Not so much me - probably not enough darkness. I was clearly going for the dark hero even as a kidlet! I was old enough to remember Frank on the radio (in the 60s) which was like his last hurrah. I can remember the first really big trip we did as a family, down to Sydney when I was eight, and My Way was actually in the charts. We kept changing radio stations in the car and every one seemed to feature My Way! Still brings back such memories for me, that song. Mind you, it's a great song even without the associations!

Anna Campbell said...

Caren, Whipped Cream is still kinda saucy (pun intended!).

Annie West said...

Call me old fashioned, Anna, but I loved the old songs where singers sang in a way that showcased the song and their voices.

Had to smile when I saw you were devoting a day to Frankie baby. One of your faves! There's nothing quite like returning to music you were familiar with from your childhood, is there, especially when it's come to hold a special place in your life.

I'm more of a Dean Martin fan myself. I think it's imagining the twinkle in the eye even while his voice is as smooth as melted chocolate.

Roll on the golden oldies!

Anna Campbell said...

Hi Linda! Actually it looks like most of us discovered this music through our parents' record collections. And nothing wrong with that! Mum and Dad actually didn't have any Sinatra, until someone gave them Duets very late in the piece.

Nancy said...

Janga and Anna, my favorite Mel Torme is "The Christmas Song" (I think that's the official name for the one about chestnuts roasting on the open fire).

Anna Campbell said...

Donna, My Way was the perfect song for Sinatra, wasn't it? Do you know it was originally a French pop song? I think something that's really good will live on - it's interesting, I actually think Frank is cooler now than he was twenty years ago. I remember those variety shows too - we used to get them here. Remember Dean Martin - didn't he shimmy down on a pole to start the show? And they had some amazing guest artists on!

Anna Campbell said...

Nancy, I didn't know that! I did however know he wrote the rather catchy hornpipe for the Ghost and Mrs. Muir TV series. Ha ha, I LOVE the Batman theme - it's just perfect. Nananana nanana BATMAN!!!!!

Nancy, isn't it interesting how the pro musicians all love Herb Alpert? I think those songs are so catchy. I had a couple of parties at my place after I got my friend's LPs and HA really got the joint bouncing!

Anna Campbell said...

Louisa, I'm snickering at your fondness for the The Lady is a Tramp! No comment, hon!

Actually as far as that distinctive voice thing goes, I was thinking exactly the same thing yesterday. I turned the radio on while I was doing some washing up and Frank was singing Charmaine. Within about three words, I knew it was him!

Anna Campbell said...

Nancy, I think everyone loves that distinctive voice. Considerably less tuneful, but I ADORE Leonard Cohen's voice. It just adds this emotional depth to those songs - and let's face it, those songs are flooded with emotional depth anyway! Jen mentioned Burt Bacharach. There's something about the way he sings his own songs too that always grabs me by the heart. He hasn't got a wonderful voice by any means, but the sincerity just flows out of him.

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, Nancy, that's lovely too. I love Judy Garland singing the one about a Merry Little Christmas too. Not a dry eye in the house! Mel was the one they called the Velvet Fog, wasn't he?

PJ said...

Congrats, Helen! Is the GR serenading you today? His voice may not be good but it's certainly distinctive! :)

Anna, what a lovely walk down memory lane. I discovered Ol' Blue Eyes through my parents' records. My mom was a fan so his albums were played often in our house. His voice was so smooth and distinctive. I think my favorites of his are probably "It was a Very Good Year" and "Summerwind."

I love Perry Como's and Nat King Cole's Christmas albums and anything Dean Martin sang in Italian.

I saw Johnny Mathis in concert when I was in my early teens. I can still close my eyes and hear (and see) him singing "It's Not For Me to Say", "Chances Are", "Misty", "The Twelfth of Never"... ::Sigh:: Such a beautiful voice and certainly lovely to gaze upon as well!

I had that Herb Alpert album! In fact, I may still have it. It was one of my teen favorites.

Anna Campbell said...

PJ, have you noticed how often people have mentioned It Was a Very Good Year? And yet it's one you rarely hear. I think it's the most exquisite song - always makes me want to cry. Hey, cool that you're another fan - of course you are, you're a woman of exquisite taste! Love the Summer Wind. Actually I like I Have Been a Rover too. Interesting how it's the songs about lost love that seem to really hit the mark!

I'll have to dig up more Johnny Mathis. I do love a man who can sing!

Anna Campbell said...

Snort! You a Dino Martino fan???!!! I nevah knew!!!

(For those not in the know, when Annie visits my house, the Dean Martin Greatest Hits album is on constant rotation!).

Annie, I have very fond memories of singing when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie in the back of your car with the kids. That's amore!!!!!

I certainly like a lot of modern music but I think there's something magical about the way these classic singers delivered a song. LOVE IT!

PJ said...

Anna, check out The homepage plays a continuous rotation of his songs.

Annie West said...

But Anna, when I come to visit I DO say I'm happy to listen to new cds! I love discovering new music. One of the joys of driving my son around is the often unusual music he searches out on the radio. Talk about expanding my horizons!

PJ said...

Annie, I have very fond memories of singing when the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie in the back of your car with the kids. That's amore!!!!!

Anna, don't tell anybody but I do that too...usually at the top of my lungs while dancing around my the accompaniment of barking dogs. You think they're trying to tell me something? *grin*

Anna Campbell said...

PJ, what a lovely site. I just read his bio - amazing stuff. Do you know he had to decide between coming to Melbourne as part of the US Olympic team and going to New York to record his first album? What an amazingly talented guy! Chances Are is playing right now - lovely!

Anna Campbell said...

Snort, Annie. I always put on Dean when I want you to crit my work. It calms the angry lion(ess!). Snork!

Anna Campbell said...

Nah, PJ, they're just joining in with the fun. Actually this singing incident was one of the first times I met Annie's husband. I think he thought his wife had started to hang out with loons! The kids had a good time, though ;-)

jo robertson said...

Hey, Anna, embedding the video links is something I really need to do. Hmmm, maybe I need a tutorial. They really add to the posts, I think.

Anna Campbell said...

Jo, I agree. And I think people are much more likely to click on a video link with a picture. Maybe we should see if anyone in the Bandits can teach us (no use asking the cabana boys - they're purely decorative!).

Annie West said...

Anna, my husband has no probs with me hanging out with loons. I'm a writer, remember? He's used to oddness - it goes with the territory.

As for soothing the savage lioness - snork! You know I'm a pussy cat when critiquing your work. I'm always afraid you'll come after me with a carving knife like that first time - talk about threatening!

Mon said...


I'm a huge fan of Frank as well. I listen to him a lot - that voice was soooo smooth and sexy. Great music to write to.

My faves are Love is the Tender Trap (cheeky and fun), Night and Day (gosh, I LOVE that one!), Witchcraft (sexy as hell) and All the Way (can't beat that for a romantic song).

I have Dean Martin, Nat King Cole and Tony Bennett on my iPod as well, but Frank's the man. Wish I could have seen him perform live *sigh*.

:-) Mon

Anna Campbell said...

Annie, I still claim the carving knife story is completely apocryphal! ;-) By the way, your line was meant to be "You're not odd, dear Anna."

Anna Campbell said...

Oh, Mon, I LOVE All the Way! And you're right about the Tender Trap - it's funny and cute and sexy. I like High Hopes too - like Frank when he was in a jaunty mood! Oh, and I love Night and Day and Witchcraft - both so sexy! Hey, it's been great to find so many Frank Sinatra fanciers! I think he was fantastic - and I love how individual he was. Nobody sings a song like Frank!

Julia Smith said...

Anna - sometimes I wonder if we might have been separated at birth.

Frank had the best voice of all time in my not-so-humble opinion. His 1950's voice is the one for me. It's so perfect it boggles the mind.

Witchcraft is way, way up there as my favorite Sinatra tune. But then there are:

Fly Me to the Moon
The Best is Yet to Come
Three Coins in the Fountain
One For My Baby (And One More For the Road)
That's Life
My Way

In fact, if I try to sing along with My Way, I just cry.

Pat Cochran said...

Hi, Anna,

So many marvelous voices came out
of that time period. The 40s-50s, even into the 60s: Bing Crosby,
Dean Martin, Nat Cole, Tony Bennett, Steve Lawrence, even
Tom Jones. (I know, my kids are laughing at that one!) But none can top Frank Sinatra. I can't select a favorite song because, to my eyes & ears, everything he did was excellent!

Anna Campbell said...

Julia, it's weird, isn't it? Clearly there's some genetic link there! I really like some of the 1940s stuff but he's just too weepy and waily. But once he was Mr. Cool in the 50s, I as just THERE, you know? I love listening to the songs in terms of censorship back then - I mean, it's pretty clear what he's talking about in the Best Is Yet to Come, isn't it? Snicker! Love your selection. I also play Three Coins on the piano - lovely little fountain effects with arpeggios!

Anna Campbell said...

Pat, wonderful to meet another fan. Yeah, there must have been something in the water back then. So many fabulous singers! I think also they had some great songwriters to call on - and they weren't ashamed of heading to older songs like the Cole Porters and George Gershwins. I really think the great American songbook is GREAT!

Julia Smith said...

Wait, wait - I forgot Where or When!

And I totally forgot to mention that ballet is my freakish passion, and I've seen a program of Twyla Tharp's Sinatra Suite with Baryshnikov in the 70's on TV - so going to the show you saw would be a form of bliss for me.

Anna Campbell said...

Julia, ballet was the first performing art that really took over my mind and heart. I was so desperate to learn ballet - still regret that I never did. I still absolutely love it. The whole combing Frank with Twyla Tharp thing was my idea of nirvana too! Hey, wouldn't it be fun if one day, we could go to the ballet together!

MsHellion said...

I'm a Frank fan. He's the best. And gorgeous to boot. :) And him and Gene Kelly together in a musical? Divine.

Favorite song: All the Way. (Though I love Fly Me to the Moon and Nice & Easy as well.)

Now I need to listen to some Frank today. :)

Anna Campbell said...

Helly, the post definitely inspired me to listen to a LOT of Frank! And I ended up ordering some DVDs of his stuff too. I love All the Way although I must say I think Fly Me to the Moon JUST pips it as my most romantic song ever!