Several times a year, without fail, Ol’ Blue Eyes gets under my skin and here’s nothing I can do-be-do-be-do about it. And with the onslaught of Frankie fever in anticipation of the upcoming centennial of his birth, once again I’ve got no defense for it.
For the next 12 days, leading up to Sinatra’s birthday on December 12th, we’re putting on a heck of a party for Frankie, and to steal a phrase from Sinatra in 1953’s High Society, what a swell party it is! Our social media feeds will be full of all things Sinatra, along with special guest posts from fellow Frankie fans. We’ll also be hosting giveaways of Sinatra-related goodies, and invite you to join in! Follow #12DaysOfFrankie on Twitter to get in on the fun, and be sure to visit our Frank Sinatra command central at The Retro Set: www.theretroset.com/12DaysFrankie.
I’m kicking things off with a little nugget of goodness that is one of the many, many, many reasons that Frankie flies me to the moon.
First, a brief bit of background. Prior to his Academy Award winning role in 1953’s From Here to Eternity, Sinatra’s career had become a total write-off. From bobby-soxer idol to matinee movie star, Sinatra surrendered it all to face scandal head-on by marrying the woman of his dreams in 1951, Ava Gardner. The press had not been kind. Nor had his fans been loyal.
In between Frankie’s rejuvenating venture as a vocal artist with “In the Wee Small Hours” (1955) and his poignantly beautiful “Where Are You?” (1957), Sinatra’s resurrected career as popular recording artist and movie star benefited from this little MGM musical, 1956’s High Society. A remake of 1940’s The Philadelphia Story, it’s a lesser film than the original but, oh, the musical numbers definitely atone for the sins of the picture.
The Retro Set can (and will!) write volumes on Frankie but for the time being, I would like to simply revel in this delightful moment of unbridled frivolity in which, it is quite obvious, Frankie is having an absolute ball. The demons were still around the corner, chasing him as they always had and always would be, but it’s marvelous to see Frankie bring his A-Game in charming fraternal intoxication with Bing Crosby in High Society.
What a swell party indeed!