Musings on Frank Sinatra, the Moon, and a Favorite Song

My aunt and I celebrated reaching the end of Frank: The Voice by James Kaplan recently, which we read together and enjoyed very much. I’m already looking forward to volume two; my aunt isn’t so sure yet. It was a warts-and-all biography, which is the best kind. In many ways, he was very flawed and not a likable person, but what musical and acting gifts he gave to the world.

The book led us to watch the 1943 musical film Higher and Higher last night on Netflix. It was a nice bit of froth featuring Frank Sinatra, Mel Torme, Victor Borge, Jack Haley, and Jane Withers, who had been in many films and was Josephine the Plumber in the Comet ads on TV. Frank played himself, which led to these lines of chuckle-worthy dialogue:

Mr. Drake: Who was that?

Secretary: Bing-Bang Sinatra.

Mr. Drake: Oh, he’ll never get anyplace.

Later on, two of Mr. Drake’s servants are talking, and one says to the other, “That Mr. Sinatra sounds just like someone I heard on the radio.”

Last week was the supermoon. We looked for it, but it was too overcast. No matter how many times I see the moon and stars in all their phases, they always look different. Same with the sun, the clouds, flowers, and trees. The supermoon made me think of my favorite Sinatra song, “Fly Me to the Moon.” This is a live performance from 1964.

As we read, we also listened to some Sinatra recordings–his early and late work. It cracks me up every time I remember that someone early in his career suggested that he take “Frankie Satin” as a stage name. In no uncertain terms, he said, “You want the singer? Keep the name.” Frank couldn’t have been more right.


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