Friday, October 21, 2011

Frank Friday! Frank Sinatra Sings Rogers and Hart

Review # 49
Artist: Frank Sinatra
Title: Frank Sinatra Sings Rogers and Hart
Format: LP
Label: Capitol
Year: 1962
Songs: 12

I've liked Frank Sinatra for a long, long time. But it wasn't until my great uncle and aunt had both died, roughly ten years ago now, that I started buying his records. My Aunt Mary and Uncle Jim were both near and dear to me, and both big Sinatra fans. I remember hearing Sinatra playing at their house from back when I was a little kid, especially at Christmas time. They saw Sinatra in concert more than once. The organist even played "My Way" at my uncle's funeral. After they were gone, I started buying Sinatra LPs. I'm not sure exactly why it was, but it made me feel closer to them. And it made music I already liked feel more special. Over the years, I have developed a relationship with Sinatra's music independent of my memories of Mary and Jim, but I still think of them often when I listen to Sinatra. This is where it all started: Frank Sinatra Sings Rogers and Hart was the first Sinatra record I picked up. Not because of the songs on it or anything, but just because it was the first one I saw at a thrift store once I decided to buy some Sinatra records. For a little while, it was the only one I had. I would frequently come home late from punk rock shows, feeling perhaps a bit tipsy, and want some music to listen to that wasn't loud while I made a grilled cheese sandwich or something. So I would often give this record a play. Because this was a common occurrence, and this record had no other Sinatra competition for a time, this is probably the Sinatra record I've played most.

I've got lots of other ones now of course, but this is still one my favorites. This record is the perfect mix of classic Sinatra swing, "The Lady is Tramp" and "Blue Moon" being probably the best known songs on the record, and the more wistful and sentimental Sinatra tunes that always get me. Songs like "Spring is Here," "It Never Entered My Mind," "Glad to Be Unhappy," and "It's Easy to Remember," are perfect for late nights or Sunday mornings when you're feeling a little sad and you want to accept it with some dignity. They aren't songs for being desperate or depressed, they're songs for being sad in the mature way of someone who knows that life has it's ups and downs and sometimes when you're in one of the down periods you've just to accept that it hurts. Frank has a lot of tunes like that, but this record is nice because it mixes them up with some more upbeat numbers as well.You get the ups with the downs.

The funny thing about my love for this record is, a lot of these tunes are from musicals. I mostly hate musicals, and I mostly don't like the music from them. I've always found them unforgivably corny and annoying, which is saying something because I like a lot of corny (and some would say, annoying) stuff. But, you just can't deny that Rogers and Hart wrote some good tunes, and when they're sung by the master vocalist that was Frank Sinatra, they sound good to my ear.

Check out "Spring is Here," one of my favorites from this record.

Total songs listened: 610

No comments: