Frank.

I was thinking about Frank Sinatra. Sinatra was a influence on many rock singers in the ’60s. It’s no big secret Jim Morrison (of the Doors) admired “Ol’ Blue Eyes”, and, as such, during the recording of the 1967 Doors album “Strange Days” Morrison used the same model of microphone Sinatra used on his earlier albums, to record his vocals. Sinatra didn’t care, really, for “rock music”. My fondness for Sinatra, like jazz, and a stiff “gentleman’s drink”, came to me much later in my adult life. Maybe, for me, it’s the allure of that era in which he was dominate. The allure of old Vegas, martinis, The Rat Pack, etc. Maybe because he was a rock star before there were rock stars. Maybe it was the self confidence, maybe because he could do anything, and he did anything he wanted to. He did it his way. It gets said often, but I will say it again, Sinatra recorded one of the first “popular” vocal concept albums (jazz albums of the era were largely concept albums however, as were folk albums of the ’40s), with his 1955 album “In the Wee Small Hours” a brilliant album of melancholy heartache and longing. He reordered well over 1,000 songs and as I was doing some research before writing this I had found out that he had one song on the charts every year between 1945 and 1995. That in itself is quite the feat. Going back to Sinatra not liking “rock music”, it is quite fascinating that in the ’60s, when he launched Reprise records, he more or less cashed in on that decade’s emergence of rock all the while really not caring for it. He was just savvy. I should mention Neil Young and Captain Beefheart moonlighted as Reprise recording artists.. Just to drive that previous point home. I think once a person does get Sinatra his catalog is easy to dive into. I have found, in the past, that he is best listened to on a Sunday coupled with a nice cocktail. My favorite Sinatra story is from U2’s Bono, when Frank told him in 1994 while recording their song for Frank’s “Duets” album: “I don’t usually hang out with guys who wear earrings.”

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