In 1959 Frank Sinatra was at the top of his game. He’d recorded a series of hit albums (Come Fly With Me, Songs for Swinging Lovers, In the Wee Small Hours) that remain among the best regarded in the American musicsphere. In 1953 he had won an Oscar for Best Actor and was redefining what it meant to be a Star in Vegas. It was a time when as one card recalled, “Sinatra said ‘cigarette’ and nine lighters came out.”
This was the introduction to the story of Frank’s difficult love hate relationship with Australia. See the original post and get some nice tunes here
When I was 11 years old I spent a year in the States. For a young lad like me who had no recollection or experience of the United States, this was a mind blowing year. The sweet food, the huge bottles of Coke, bacon every morning for breakfast, The Mod Squad and Hawaii 5-0, the Johnny Cash Show and the Indianapolis 500 and Disneyland are just some of the memories that will always remain fresh.
I had lots of cousins in southern California, around the huge sprawl of LA. I spent a good part of the summer 1968 riding bikes all day in those amazingly clean and wide streeted suburbs. In the evening we turned on the TV and spent hours lost in another world where Dean Martin, Joey Bishop, Perry Como and of course Frank Sinatra reigned supreme.
Smoking cigarettes and cupping glasses filled with scotch and soda, calling women ‘dames’ and exuding an absolute sense of confidence and supremacy over everything they surveyed, these men were the polar opposites of everything my family and clan held to be of value. And I was fascinated.
Tonight I share a slice of that 1960s mood music. Frank Sinatra epitomizes America in the 60’s, the height of Empire. A time when every living room housed a long wood encased stereo, where every basement house a bar where the men retired to smoke and joke, when skirts were mini and husbands and wives were unfaithful without much remorse.
This is a beautiful record. I’ve listened to it many many times and it exemplifies the glory of Sinatra. A man with a voice and attitude that truly covered the water front from brash and in your face to genuinely tender and loving. Each song here is a lover’s. Delivered with intent, subtlety, sincerity and sexiness. Lovely music for a lovely woman (mistress or wife?).
Take it away Frank!
01 All Allone
02 The Girl Next Door
03 Are You Lonesome Tonight ?
05 What’ll I Do ?
06 When I Lost You
07 Oh, How I Miss You Tonight
11 The Song Is Ended
12 Come Waltz With Me