January 10, 2009

Somethin' awkward

I'm one of those persons who loves the duet between Frank Sinatra and Nancy on "Somethin' Stupid." It's such a charming recording/performance that I can easily overlook the questionable rationale of having a father and daughter sing lyrics such as "The time is right your perfume fills my head, the stars get red" to each other. But to have her bro, Frank Sinatra, Jr., sing it with Nancy just seems awkward, to say the least. And this version is really sped up, thus ruining the relaxed charm of the original. The Smothers Brothers are as funny as usual:

It's nice how the harp part is so audible - I love that little riff

I think the basic "problem" with Frank Sinatra, Jr. is that the sense of entitlement (due to being one of Frank Sinatra's kids) he has doesn't work for him like it does for Nancy. Nancy is Sinatra's little girl, and there was the song about her and everything, so she was able to carve out a little niche for herself in pop culture, as well as in the entertainment industry. He, on the other hand, was unfortunately destined to forever be but a shadow of his legendary father. That's life.

Incidentally, "Somethin' Stupid" was written by C. Carson Parks, brother of frequent Brian Wilson collaborator, Van Dyke Parks, in 1967. C. Carson Parks recorded a version of the song with his wife as a duo called "Carson and Gaile" that same year.


gilligan said...

It seems the singers who manage to emerge from their parent's shadow are the ones that branch out rather than mimic their parent's career. Hank Williams Jr. comes to mind; even Nancy followed a path far different than her dad.... whereas Frank Jr. seemed to follow the Frank Sr. template.

Just a thought.

Chris said...

I think you are right. In Frank Jr.'s case, he could never break out of that shadow. And even if he had, he supposedly hated the musical culture of his generation, meaning he would never have branched out into the kind of things (you've covered them at Retrospace - your "Some Velvet Morning" post comes to mind) Nancy embraced.

Keith said...

I've never been a fan of Frank Jr. I love Nancy. She was able to move out of the shadow of her legendary father. Frank Jr. was not. I did like Nancy and Frank's version of "Something Stupid" whether it seemed strange since they were father and daughter to sing such a song.

Chris said...

There is a lot more to like about Nancy, that's for sure. And she actually put out some decent work.