10 January 2009

Happy Birthday, Frank, Jr.!

Frank Sinatra, Jr. is 65 today.

To celebrate, check out his 2006 That Face cd, with a very nice version of a great Cahn and Van Heusen song "Walking Happy."

I'm fairly certain that, if Frank, Jr. had any other name, he'd be far better respected than he is. An excellent musician, great bandleader, and a fine singer, he is in an entirely different class than a Harry Connick, Jr. or a Michael Buble. If you really listen, you'll understand that.

His problem, however, has always been twofold:

1) He sounds, thanks to genetics, more like Frank than is beneficial to anyone because you can also clearly tell he's not his father. Before you hold this fact against him, of course, remember that NO ONE is another Sinatra (and certainly not the aforementioned Connick or Buble).

2) From the beginning of his career in the early 60s, he's been rabidly anti-rock-music. (And I don't mean just anti-heavy-metal, or anti-rap, or anti-grunge...I'm talking anti-Beatles.) Given his generation, even if he prefers a Rodgers and Hammerstein to a Lennon and McCartney, there's no need to continually condemn it. That ship has sailed, and, by refusing to accept it, his campaign to keep the Great American Songbook alive and well is, in some ways, discredited...especially since plenty of more contemporary artists have acknowledged, indeed EMBRACED, Sinatra as a seminal influence, musical and otherwise.

Anyway, Franklin Wayne Sinatra (not really a junior at all)...Happy Birthday!

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