|Sinatra in 1955|
While reading Sinatra: The Chairman, (which I recently reviewed), I would often search out photos or clips of the people, events and performances that biographer James Kaplan wrote about to get a better picture of what happened to the singer and who he knew. It was a great way to supplement the book, and I ended up finding still more clips that I loved. Here are a few that I really enjoyed.
How lucky that there were television cameras present when Sinatra recorded his legendary take on the Kingston Trio tune It Was a Very Good Year. While the folk trio's version was wistful and low key, Frank gave it a swooning, romantic feel and a subtle sizzle of sexual heat. In the relatively intimate setting of the studio (there was an audience after all) the singer's laidback eroticism and joy in bringing the lyrics to life are incredibly exciting to witness. It is clear that he was really in his element in the recording studio:
Palm Springs was Sinatra's haven, the place he went to escape from the rest of the world. His luxurious desert compound was mentioned so many times in the book that I finally decided I had to see what it looked like. This hour long program gave me a great tour of the compound today, which has apparently been preserved to look much as it did back in Sinatra's day:
There are lots of mentions in The Chairman about Sinatra's many failed attempts at stage humor. The guy had an edge, so often when he made a joke, it would come out sounding mean. He could be funny though, silly in fact, as he demonstrates here in a television appearance with his daughter Nancy. It's fun to see him cut loose: