January 23, 2015

What good is a fantasy about the swingin’ recreational life in Palm Springs if you haven’t got a soundtrack to back it? In a mid-century modern lifestyle the Chairman of the Board (isn’t that a great pic?) has to play a major role, dontcha think? So gather up your friends, make yourself comfortable with a martini, a mai tai, or a highball, and let FS set the mood:

10. My Kind of Town (1964) – Back in the late ’70s when Macs Two Lounge in North Billerica, MA used to be a regular bar/lounge, this song was on the jukebox next to the likes of Heart, Bob Seger, and Steve Miller, and my brother Mark and I would get a kick out of playing this song just to get the crowd wondering who on God’s green earth put that damned song on. It sounded good then, still does now.

9. Come Dance With Me (1959) – A swaggering Sinatra performance backed by a kick-ass Billy May arrangement. I think Billy always brought that extra bit of swagger out in Frank.

8. Fly Me To The Moon (1964) – Sinatra singin’. Accompanied by Count Basie. Arranged by Quincy Jones. With a trio like that how can you not get a swingin’ performance?

7. Nice and Easy (1960) – Is there a song that fits the carefree Palm Springs lifestyle better than this? A Nelson Riddle arrangement, very classy. If Billy May brought out Sinatra’s swagger and Gordon Jenkins Frank’s melancholy, Riddle brought out the classic Sinatra sound. All did the Chairman right in their own unique way.

6. I’ve Got You Under My Skin (1956) – Probably the best performance of Frank’s career, and in my humble view one of the top five pop music recordings of all time. A real kick-ass Nelson Riddle arrangement that he absolutely rolls with and kills. Listen for how Riddle uses the strings to build a tension that is only released by that cat blowin’ the trombone and tearing the house down. I put it at #6 on this list because I wouldn’t want my party to stop while everyone listens with their mouths open in amazement. You don’t want to break the mood, right?

5. Witchcraft (1957) – I mean, how does this song not make you think of swinging parties on the patio? This spell-binding, finger-snapping Sinatra performance conjures up three words: taste, class, and appreciation.

4. Summer Wind (1966) – Dig the organ and saxophone (tenor, alto, baritone) opening – it’s really inventive. Whenever I hear this song I’m camping with Jim Connell and a bunch of drunks up at the Saco River – I think they played this song a hundred times. But it’s still a classic sixties tune that just smacks of “nice and easy” Palm Springs afternoons.

3. Strangers In The Night (1966) – Lots of people don’t know it, but many of the musicians backing Frank on this tune come from the same bunch of “Wrecking Crew” musicians utilized by Phil Spector and so many other artists on more ’60s hits then you could ever imagine.

2. Come Fly With Me (1958) – I mean, how much more swingin’ can you get if you were a Pal Springs jet-setter back in the late fifties / early sixties? What a great Billy May arrangement! Whenever I hear this tune I think back to the shows the Masonic Lodge I belong to put on back in the 80s. It was my brother Dave who got me and my friend Paul during the words “beat the birds” to make an arm motion like we were, well, beating birds. To this day it just comes naturally to me.

1. That’s Life (1966) – That rockin’ organ intro is the perfect backdrop for this ultimate swingin’ sixties tune perfect for the highball generation. This ballsy Ernie Freeman arrangement brings Frank as close to letting loose as he’d ever get.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 02:44 | Comments (6)
  1. Great pic.

    I would have swapped ‘My Kind of Town’ with ‘Luck Be a Lady’, myself.

    Comment by Dave Richard — January 23, 2015 @ 10:57 am

  2. That’s Vegas, baby. Ain’t no gambling in Palm Springs!

    Comment by The Great White Shank — January 23, 2015 @ 11:24 pm

  3. I need to send you a copy of A Man Alone, which is an album that my friend Rod McKuen wrote for Frank. They were very good friends. I have quite a few FS cd’s and love listening to them while sipping on a Tall Blond martini.

    Comment by Jana — January 24, 2015 @ 6:47 am

  4. Yo, bro! Guys and Dolls (Luck Be a Lady) was set in New York, and ‘My Kind of Town’ was in Robin and the 7 Hoods, based in Chicago.

    Neither has anything to do with Palm Springs.

    And I still like Luck Be a Lady better.

    Comment by Dave Richard — January 24, 2015 @ 7:46 am

  5. Yeah, I don’t care about those kinds of details. It’s all about the feeling of the songs. And besides, it’s my blog – if you want to submit your own FS Palm Springs list send it along and I’ll post. 🙂

    Comment by The Great White Shank — January 25, 2015 @ 10:59 am

  6. That’s a great album, Jana. I went out on YouTube and searched for Sinatra A Man Alone and heard a couple of those tunes. Not swing’ enough for “Palm Springs Lounge Lizard”, but perfect for what I’m thinking of for my next music collection, “Mood Indigo”, which will be more quieter and melancholy tunes from the same period as PSLL. Perfect for late nights on the patio. I’m thinking instrumentals, Frank, Dinah Washington, etc. etc.

    Comment by The Great White Shank — January 25, 2015 @ 11:02 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Search The Site

Recent Items


September 2021
April 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006



4 Goodboys Only

Site Info