…and life gets more exciting with each passing day

If this were “What’s My Line” you’d no doubt guess the name of this individual after the first hint: Each year on his birthday the Empire State Building lights up with blue lights in reference to his nickname.

Of course you know who we’re talking about, but just for fun I’ll drop in a few of the awards he garnered in his lifetime:  Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded by President Ronald Reagan; three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, for his contributions to:  Motion Pictures, Recording and Television;  named the “Greatest Voice of the Twentieth Century” by the BBC and in case your name is Arlene Francis and you still haven’t figured it out, he was inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame a decade after his death in 1998 – when the lights of the Las Vegas Strip were dimmed for ten minutes in his honor. “Ring a Ding, Ding!”

Born in Hoboken, New Jersey in 1915, Francis Albert “Frank” Sinatra was the only child of a Genoese mother and a Sicilian father. Much has been written, of course about how he began his musical career with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey and was soon following in the footsteps of his crooner-hero, Bing Crosby, becoming a ‘40s idol to bobby soxers everywhere and establishing himself as the first modern pop superstar by creating an intimate, sensual new-style of singing.

When his career began to falter in the early ‘50s he turned to acting, winning an Academy Award (as Best Supporting Actor) for his performance as Maggio in “From Here to Eternity” and with his mojo firmly back Sinatra lead a swing revival that took popular music to new levels of sophistication. After signing with Capitol Records in 1953 (the start of “the Capitol years”) there are many among us who believe that Frank Sinatra was at his peak with  albums that included “Songs for Swingin’ Lovers”, “In the Wee Small Hours”, “Only the Lonely” and (our favorite) “Come Fly With Me”.

Today’s selection is the comeback single that started it all.  Written and published in 1953 with music by Johnny Richards and lyrics by Carolyn Leigh, Sinatra was the first to record the song and it became such a major hit (selling well over a million copies) that they renamed the movie he was filming with Doris Day to “Young at Heart” and featured the song in both the opening and closing credits.

As an interesting aside, this was the film that helped to establish Sinatra’s ‘50s persona (as seen on many of his album covers), in which he played a romantic loner, in front of a piano with his tilted hat and dangling cigarette, or at the bar with a shot glass within reach and a countenance displaying anything but the ability to laugh at dreams falling apart at the seams…“better set ‘em up Joe.”

 LISTEN TO TODAY’S SELECTION – Saturday 28 April

Young at Heart

  Fairy tales can come true

It can happen to you

If you’re young at heart

For it’s hard, you will find

To be narrow of mind

If you’re young at heart

 You can go to extremes with impossible schemes

You can laugh when your dreams fall apart at the seams

And life gets more exciting with each passing day

And love is either in your heart or on its way

Don’t you know that it’s worth every treasure on earth

To be young at heart

For as rich as you are it’s much better by far

To be young at heart

 And if you should survive to 105

Look at all you’ll derive out of being alive

And here is the best part

You have a head start

If you are among the very young at heart

 And if you should survive to 105

Look at all you’ll derive out of being alive

And here is the best part

You have a head start

If you are among the very young at heart

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