A Little Self-Indulgence

May 14, 2008 at 8:26 pm 1 comment

Ha, as if this blog is ever anything else.

I’m in love with Frank Sinatra.  I grew up with a lot of his shittier albums, the Greatest Hits and Duets I & II and so forth, but I’ve always been a big fan thanks mostly to my Grandpa and my dad (the other side of the family leant more towards Dean Martin and Tony Bennet – guess which side THAT is).

I think he’s great, always have, and as I write this I’ve just put down a copy of Mark Steyn’s Passing Parade, which is a collection of Steyn’s best obituary writings.  I’ve mentioned Steyn here before so I won’t hash on him for too long, but he’s a funny, smart writer, and when he wants he can lend gravity to just about any subject you put him to.  By way of closing his book (and sorry to spoil the end for you) he selected his obituary for a guy named Bill Miller. 

Bill Miller was Sinatra’s accompanist (not accompanyist, which is how I would have pronounced it without knowing any better and Caitlin probably would have smacked me for it), and held that position for the better part of Sinatra’s career.  And there was one song that Sinatra never, ever, performed without him, live or elsewhere, even during their decade-long breakup in the late 70s.  That song was “One For My Baby (And One More For The Road)”. 

If you click the photo of Sinatra and Miller above, it’ll lead you to a 1971 performance of that song.  Sinatra is wearing a terrible hairpiece, he seems tired, and his little “drunk” impression can get a bit hammy at times.  But otherwise, it’s just fantastic.  “Baby” isn’t really my favourite Sinatra song – that place goes to either “Under My Skin” or “In Other Words (Fly Me To The Moon)” – but it’s a great performance and I’m betting my very bottom dollar that you’ll like it too.  Look at the way Sinatra “picks” the tobacco from his tongue as he does the opening sung-monologue; he was big enough to not be buying cheap cigarettes, the kind that would flake on you, but the character that he’s playing WOULD be buying the cheap ones, and I think that’s important to note.



Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

It’s 5 a.m. – do you know where your RAWK is? Blogging the Summer #4

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Colonel Robert Neville  |  May 15, 2008 at 1:28 am

    Dear Sul, hey, you’ve been Steyned! Great stuff and a nice write up.

    Yes, Sinatra…30 years from now and at 3:am, all the pretenders will have faded, and SInatra will still be on stage, approaching his endless perfect moment for telling a story, THE story, and getting it just right…and always, always touching our soul with his authentic artistry and hell, balls .

    “Where are you, baby? She shot me down…”

    All the best kid, and I’ll come back. Colonel Neville.


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About Upper Lip

It's mostly a collection of sweet links and copious amounts of talk talk talk. I like it more and more every day. And yes, even the ugly blue/green color scheme is not without a certain charm.

Yours Truly

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And I'm email enabled at steven.j.woodhead@gmail.com

May 2008
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