Baritone Frank Sinatra (December 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998) was indisputably the 20th century's greatest singer of popular song. Though influenced by Bing Crosby's crooning, and by learning from trombonist Tommy Dorsey's breath control and blues singer Billie Holiday's rhythmic swing, Frank Sinatra mainstreamed the concept of singing colloquially, treating lyrics as personal statements and handling melodies with the ease of a jazz improviser. His best work is standards- Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Jerome Kern, and the Gershwins- but Sinatra, despite his 1957 denunciation of rock & roll as degenerate, recorded songs by the likes of Stevie Wonder, George Harrison, Jimmy Webb, and Billy Joel. Not only did his freely interpretive approach pave the way for the idiosyncrasies of rock singing, but with his character- a mix of tough-guy cool and romantic vulnerability- he became the first true pop idol, a superstar who through his music established a persona audiences found compelling and true. (Click for full article.)
Alcohol may be man's worst enemy, but the bible says love your enemy.
Being an 18-karat manic-depressive and having lived a life of violent emotional contradictions, I have an overacute capacity for sadness as well as elation.
Cock your hat- angles are attitudes.
Fear is the enemy of logic. There is no more debilitating, crushing, self-defeating, sickening thing in the world- to an individual or to a nation.
For years I've nursed a secret desire to spend the Fourth of July in a double hammock with a swingin' redheaded broad... but I could never find me a double hammock.
Hell hath no fury like a hustler with a literary agent.
How can a free people make decisions without facts? If the press reports world news as they report about me, we're in trouble.
Hunger is inexcusable in a world where grain rots in silos and butter turns rancid while being held for favorable commodity indices.
I believe that God knows what each of us wants and needs. It's not necessary for us to make it to church on Sunday to reach Him. You can find Him anyplace. And if that sounds heretical, my source is pretty good: Matthew, Five to Seven, The Sermon on the Mount.
I like intelligent women. When you go out, it shouldn't be a staring contest.
If you possess something but you can't give it away, then you don't possess it... it possesses you.
I'm gonna live 'til I die.
I'm not one of those complicated, mixed-up cats. I'm not looking for the secret to life... I just go on from day to day, taking what comes.
I'm not unmindful of a man's seeming need for faith; I'm for anything that gets you through the night, be it prayer, tranquilizers, or a bottle of Jack Daniel's. But to me religion is a deeply personal thing in which man and God go it alone together, without the witch doctor in the middle.
I'm supposed to have a Ph.D on the subject of women. But the truth is I've flunked more often than not. I'm very fond of women; I admire them. But, like all men, I don't understand them.
I've always had a theory that whenever guys and gals start swinging, they begin to lose interest in conquering the world.
People often remark that I'm pretty lucky. Luck is only important in so far as getting the chance to sell yourself at the right moment. After that, you've got to have talent and know how to use it.
Put your sunglasses on, because you ain't going home 'til the morning comes.
Stop worrying about communism; just get rid of the conditions that nurture it.
What I do with my life is of my own doing. I live it the best way I can.
Whatever else has been said about me personally is unimportant. When I sing, I believe. I'm honest.
When lip service to some mysterious deity permits bestiality on Wednesday and absolution on Sunday, cash me out.
You can be the most artistically perfect performer in the world, but an audience is like a broad- if you're indifferent, endsville.
You gotta love livin', baby, 'cause dyin' is a pain in the ass.
(YouTube video: "Fly Me to the Moon")
(Today is also the birthday of Gustave Flaubert)