January 5, 2015

STANDARD TIME:

It Was A Very Good Year : Sinatra Song of the Century #1 (Steyn's Song of the Week, January 5, 2015, SteynOnline)

[T]o mark this centenary year, we're celebrating Sinatra's art with one hundred of his songs, from his earliest hits through to the barnstorming showstoppers of his final years on tour in the Nineties - twice a week from now through to the anniversary of his birth on December 12th. From "Night And Day" to "New York, New York", "The Lady Is A Tramp" to "One For My Baby", these hundred songs are simultaneously a portrait of one man's legend, the times he lived, and a century of American popular music. Here's what I wrote in Mark Steyn From Head To Toe:

"Rock'n'roll people love Frank Sinatra," said Bono at the 1994 Grammy Awards, "because Frank Sinatra has got what we want. Swagger and attitude. He's big on attitude. Serious attitude. Bad attitude. Frank's the Chairman of the Bad." If only 20 per cent of the gossip is true, it was an amazing life... But what's even more amazing than the life is that the records live up to it, and then some. The swagger and attitude, the chicks and mobsters are the incidental accompaniment; the real drama is in the songs.

So these are the songs: some are by famous men - Cole Porter, Rodgers & Hart; others are by obscure figures like E A Swan or Joseph Myrow, whose names live on in one outstanding 32-bar contribution that Sinatra noticed and chose to keep alive; some of these songs are numbers written for Frank that he made into standards; others are from forgotten shows and films from a generation earlier that survived because of his championing of them. Indeed, the very notion of a standard - a song that transcends mere Hit Parade ranking and can be re-investigated in different styles over and over across the decades - is one of Sinatra's great contributions to American popular music. Just ask Bob Dylan, whose own album of Sinatra "uncover versions" (as he calls them) is about to be released.

Posted by at January 5, 2015 4:59 PM
  

blog comments powered by Disqus
« THE cONSERVATIVE CANDIDATE: | Main | THESE ARE THE SAME FOLKS WHO CLAIM TO BELIEVE IN EVOLUTION...: »