According to History.com, Francis Albert Sinatra emerged from an Italian-American family in Hoboken, New Jersey, to become the first modern superstar of popular music, with an entertainment career that spanned more than five decades. In addition to his great musical success, Sinatra also appeared in 58 films. By the late 1950s, Sinatra had become the epitome of show-business success and glamorous, rough-edged masculinity; he even headed up his own entourage, known as the Rat Pack, which included Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin, Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop.
My step-father Frank, was a huge fan of Sinatra. In our restaurant, the only music played in the dining room was that of Frank Sinatra. We had an eight-track tape player on the shelf in the bar, and every waitress and waiter in the place knew touching those tapes, or God forbid, putting something else in to play, was tantamount to handing in your two weeks' notice. Even though they knew they'd be out of there in less than two days, were they to risk it. When Frank Sinatra sang "My Way", he was singing my step-father's theme song.
Every single one of us had a catalog of Frank Sinatra songs in our head, and we knew every lyric. We had favorites. And we hummed and even sang along mindlessly while going about our work. It was somewhat of an hypnotization; by the end of one mere summer of waiting tables, it was difficult to remember what life was like before Frank Sinatra. It was hard to walk away not liking the Chairman of the Board.
There are too many songs to list, but I thought I'd share some of my favorites:
New York, New York
Come Fly With Me
Fly Me To The Moon
I've Got A Crush On You
It Was A Very Good Year
My Kind Of Town
The Good Life
Night And Day
You Make Me Feel So Young
Those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head. I think my step-father has every Frank Sinatra album every made. And I have a good amount of his songs on my iPod. My two favorite albums are Duets and Duets 2. And from that album, here are the two people I mentioned in the beginning of this post, singing "I've Got A Crush On You", which is on the first Duets album:
For me, it doesn't get any better than Sinatra and Streisand. Well, unless of course, they threw Johnny Mathis into the mix. That would require me to pour myself a scotch on the rocks and sit on my harvest gold velour couch (no, that's not me in the picture) while I stare at the wood paneling and think about how life couldn't be better than in that very moment.
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