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).

Sinatra nicknames:

Ol' Blue Eyes
The Voice
Chairman of the Board
Frankie Boy
The Bony Baritone
The Innkeeper
The Swing-Shift Caruso
The Lean Lark
The Groovy Galahad


Anonymous said...

siiiigh! Oh Frankie!

Chris said...

lol! I think you just swooned.

Blognor Regis said...

Thought of you earlier.

I happened to catch this on the radio coming home this evening.

Fridays from the 20 April 1903-1930
Michael Freedland presents a four-part series looking at the life of Frank Sinatra as seen through the eyes of those who knew him. This will not be a series featuring stars, the obvious names of a few remaining contemporaries who like to think some of Sinatra's glory will rub off on them. Instead, accompanied by appropriate music, Frank's biographer Michael Freedland will talk to people whose lives were influenced by him - even if he did not know it himself.

I'm certain you can use the 'listen again' feature over there.

Chris said...

Thanks, Mark! I appreciate the thought. It's nice of you to call attention to this. I'll check it out!