February 14, 2006
"Nobody's ever been a bigger star than me. This'll never end."
Higher and Higher was the 1943 film debut of boy singer, Francis Albert Sinatra. He was billed third because the contracts of Michèle Morgan and Jack Haley prevented higher billing. Who were they? Exactly.
Here is twenty-seven year old Sinatra at the pinnacle of the first act of his career. This is "Swoonatra", the "Sultan of Swoon", the crooner who soothed the bobby-soxers with "The Voice". This is the Sinatra who was so skinny, he was said to disappear when standing behind the microphone stand. This is the recklessly cocksure, pre-career implosion Sinatra, the one, who, is quoted as saying "Nobody's ever been a bigger star than me," and, "This'll never end."
The clip features Frankie doing a Harold Adamson and Jimmy McHugh tune they wrote for him called "I Couldn't Sleep a Wink Last Night". I sing this to my cats on the mornings they've awakened me during the night (which is frequent). The bastards. It's a beautiful song, and it allowed Sinatra to display what he was becoming known for, which was the long, extended note, carried out over two or more measures (à la Tommy Dorsey and his slide trombone technique).
Ol' Blue Eyes
Chairman of the Board
The Bony Baritone
The Swing-Shift Caruso
The Lean Lark
The Groovy Galahad