Sinatra On My Kindle   3 comments

I haven’t written much about my Kindle lately, even though I’m as happy as can be with it. One reason I haven’t mentioned it is that I mostly try to write about musical things, and even though it does play MP3 files I’m not sure if that counts as music related. But I do know of at least one definite musical connection — Sinatra is on my Kindle. No, not MP3 files of his singing (although I could do that). I’m talking about a book I mentioned in a previous post, James Kaplan’s FRANK: The Voice.

Although I love to read, I have to admit that I don’t actually buy a lot of books. Not only am I frugal — OK, cheap — but I lean mostly toward sci-fi or mysteries, and usually just get them from the library. However, I do occasionally purchase a book if I think it’s one I’ll want to re-read or refer to in the future, and that would certainly be the case with the Sinatra book.

It’s a huge and comprehensive work, one that not only includes just about everything you’d ever want to know — good and bad — about Ol’ Blue Eyes, but also a lot of information about the many people he encountered during his long career. Included among them were just about every major or minor celebrity around, and one of the guilty pleasures of the book is reading scandalous tidbits about those people too.

But it is first and foremost the story of Sinatra himself, and is filled with the stories behind memorable times in his life. A couple of examples are below. First is the song that became Sinatra’s first big solo hit, made in 1940 while he was working for Harry James (although it didn’t become a top seller until reissued later). Below that is a short film the young singer made near the end of the war as both a public service and to help his own image a little — not unlike many of today’s celebrities. (Later: video removed at source.)

Frank Sinatra w/ Harry James Orchestra – “All Or Nothing At All”

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3 responses to “Sinatra On My Kindle

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  1. Thanks for one more encomium to this book–it’s on my list, I guess next to read. I, too, have fallen with the kindle (at least books are cheaper that way, and Amazon actually gives public domain stuff away for free. I’m reading an Anna Karenina now (trying to fill my knowledge void of the classics and enjoying it!) that I got that way

    I tend to gravitate to biographies and other documentary/historical stuff for reading, and one of the things I like best about those books is the pictures. I’ve been leery of reading them on the kindle for that reason–what’s your take on the pics in the Sinatra book as far as the kindle is concerned?

  2. Ralph, I have to confess that I first got the Sinatra book from the library, but once I read a couple of chapters and realized that it was 700+ pages of fascinating stuff, I began to consider the Kindle edition. I then downloaded the free sample and compared it to the real thing — exactly the same, including all the pictures, which do just fine on the Kindle. They’re all black and white anyway, and the Kindle allows each to be zoomed into for better viewing. I bought the full Kindle edition and returned the book to the library (where there is a waiting list for it.)

  3. Not one to be shy about promoting myself, I did a column on Frank last December. If you’d like to hear 8 or 9 more songs you can check them out at http://www.timegoesby.net/weblog/2010/12/elder-music-frank-sinatra.html

    I haven’t encountered the book, I must look out for it.

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