“Throughout my career, if I have done anything, I have paid attention to every note and every word I sing – if I respect the song. If I cannot project this to a listener, I fail.”
– Frank Sinatra
I sometimes say (JOKINGLY) that growing up in an Italian-American Catholic family, there are 3 almighties – God, the Pope, and Frank Sinatra. I must say that growing up as a rock star wannabe guitar player in the 70’s, it wasn’t until later that I began to fully understand the brilliance of Sinatra as an artist. Frank was more or less like a favorite uncle to me – always a part of every family gathering and everyone was always happy when they heard him fill the room. His rise to fame and his fighter mentality became a symbolic source of pride to generations of Italian-American families, many of whom experienced discrimination for generations after their families immigrated to this country.
Every vocalist should be so lucky as to have one or two signature songs in their career. Frank had dozens. In some circles the term artist is reserved for those who compose music. Frank destroyed that myth. His ability to take great American songs and make them his own through brilliant phrasing, interpretation, and nuance was revolutionary in 20th century music.
Here’s a link to a Charlie Rose broadcast of an interview with John Lahr, author of “Frank Sinatra: The Artist and the Man,” followed by a panel discussion in honor of Frank Sinatra – a candid discussion that covers his talent, his influence, his life, his flaws, and his legacy.
Here’s Frank at his stylistic best – performing one of his most memorable torch songs, “One for My Baby (And Another One for the Road)”