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Tag: Frank Sinatra

Bob Dylan: Young at Heart

Tuesday, 24 May, 2016 0 Comments

The greatest singer-songwriter of the past half century is 75 years old today. A generation ago, Bob Dylan sang that The Times They Are A-Changin, but he appears to be Forever Young after a lifetime in the music business. He’s just released a new album, Fallen Angels, and he’s planning an extensive summer tour which kicks off in June.

Back in 1953. Johnny Richards wrote the music and Carolyn Leigh penned the lyrics for the song that’s the opening track on Fallen Angels. Frank Sinatra was the first singer to record Young at Heart and it was such a hit that a film he was making at the time with Doris Day was renamed after the song. The sentiments are fitting today:

“And if you should survive to a hundred and five
Look at all you’ll derive out of bein’ alive
And here is the best part, you have a head start
If you are among the very young at heart

Don’t you know that it’s worth
Every treasure on earth to be young at heart
For as rich as you are
It’s much better by far to be young at heart.”

Bob Dylan

Happy Birthday, Bob. Onward to “a hundred and five”!


1965 was a very good year for Frank Sinatra

Saturday, 12 December, 2015 0 Comments

Observing the 50th birthday of Frank Sinatra in 1965, Billboard magazine suggested that he might have reached the “peak of his eminence”. To confound those early obituarists, Sinatra proceeded to record the retrospective September of My Years, which went on to win the Grammy Award for Best Album of the Year, and he topped the charts with Strangers in the Night and My Way. The same year, he appeared at the Newport Jazz Festival with Quincy Jones and they began a long, productive musical partnership.

Frank Sinatra was not short of flaws and he could be very harsh, even cruel, but in the 1940s, when it was neither popular nor profitable, he began to insist that the orchestras that backed him should be integrated. He gave work to musicians, regardless of race, and he helped open the door for many black entertainers. In an interview with Ebony Magazine in 1958, he said: “A friend to me has no race, no class and belongs to no minority. My friendships are formed out of affection, mutual respect and a feeling of having something in common. These are eternal values that cannot be classified.”

In June 1965, at the “peak of his eminence”, Frank Sinatra, along with Sammy Davis, Jr. and Dean Martin, played in St. Louis to benefit Dismas House, a prisoner rehabilitation centre that helped African Americans in particular. It was a very good year for Frank Sinatra, and for lots of others who experienced his greatness and generosity.


Dylan goes noir

Wednesday, 4 March, 2015 0 Comments

Bob Dylan’s latest album, Shadows in the Night, is a collection of standards from the 1930’s through the 1950’s, including The Night We Called It a Day, which was written in 1941 by Matt Dennis and Tony Adair and recorded by Frank Sinatra and Doris Day. This being Dylan, comment is superfluous. The haters will hate it, and the believers will rationalize it. In the end, Bob gets away with it.