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Wanna Be Frank With You:
What it Takes to Be Frank Sinatra
By psychologist, Dr. Bruce L. Thiessen, aka Dr. BLT, The Rock Doc
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One-song "soundtrack," I
Wanna Be Frank With You:
Frank Sinatra, aka, Chairman of the Board, is arguably the crowned King of Crooners. He was, and is, the crooner's crooner. The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock and Roll calls Sinatra "the model and envy of rockers from the beginning." I've tried to conceal my own Frank envy in the song and in the following article, but I'm afraid I haven't done such a great job. Maybe I'll just trade in concealment for good old fashioned honesty and frankness: I admit it. I'll be frank with you: I envy Frank Sinatra (well, except for the fact that he's no longer living... or is he?).
When it comes to setting the stage for an optimal auditory ambience for a sentimental, romantic evening with my sweetheart, is it any wonder that I would declare in a song, I Wanna Be Frank With You!? One may say that Frank Sinatra decidedly dismissed the dream his Sicilian-born father had envisioned for him-that of becoming a prize fighter in the ring. However, I haven't heard a Frank Sinatra song that wasn't a dead-ringer for a TKO, have you?
How did such smooth-sounding grooves emanate from a man who once grew up in the roughneck river city of Hoboken, New Jersey, lined with hobos, harems of harlots, and hard-bitten hatchet men? Not only was Frank Sinatra smooth, but he was strong-willed and resolute in his determination and perseverance--- characteristics he may have inherited and/or modeled from his Italian mother.
Born December 12, 1915, Sinatra arrived like a Christmas gift delivered straight from the gates of heaven. It was the year Graham Bell introduced the first shore-to-shore telephone conversation between San Francisco, and New York, the city across the river of Sinatra's humble home of Hoboken. The rapidly advancing technology would be instrumental in spreading Sinatra's voice around a troubled, turbulent world.
1915--It was the year the U.S. remained committed to a passive course, hiding from the daunting face of Germany, a burgeoning, increasingly belligerent, bellicose menace to the civilized world. On May 12th, 1915, the Germans sunk an American vessel known as the Lusitania, killing all of its 1200 passengers. Dreams of driving the Germans out of Northern France also sunk at the infamous Third Battle of The Artois, in which tens of thousands died. With the fall of Vilnius on September 19, Germany had officially captured all of Poland. And yet, the U.S. remained a sleeping giant, the same sleeping giant that was found woefully unprepared for what would take place on September 11, a date so permanently etched in the human psyche that the year is rarely mentioned. It was into such a turbulent world that a peaceful voice would come forth--"The Voice," that would soothe the souls of a world silently awaiting the arrival of two world wars. Sinatra kept spirits alive through this minatory period in history and beyond. In fact, his legacy is timeless and his larger-than-life persona is an ageless archetype of the man who holds a monopoly on an unstoppable, ever-abundant flow of merciless wit and forever-engaging, contagious charm.
Let me preface my conclusion with the following statement. The Bible teaches us to be grateful for what God gives us, and to be good stewards of the gifts he has freely offered. Sometimes, we need to pray for a grateful heart or we will fall prey to our own envy. Thank includes Frank envy. In the meantime, we must ask God to forgive us for our ungratefulness and be honest about our failure in being grateful. Dear listener, please be patient with me. God is not finished his divine work in my heart. I can no longer conceal my Frank envy from the world.
"Ol' Blue Eyes," had hundreds of hits and wore his hat with a recalcitrant tip. He performed countless shows and starred in multiple movies. His style and his bold, yet elegant delivery influenced virtually every style of music, including gospel and contemporary Christian music. The world could not, would not, and will not ever get enough of Frank Sinatra. Allow me to summarize with a quote from a poem that I designed to further conceal my Frank envy (but miserably failed to do so). This is called I Want What Frank's Got:
An Oscar and Grammy-winner, he was summer and winterIn conclusion, indulge me in this sweet illusion
I wanna be Frank