Frank Sinatra Sings of Days and Loves Ago
Tonight will not swing. Tonight is for serious.
Inside, the musicians, led by coatless, posture-free Gordon Jenkins,
rehearse their voice-empty arrangements. Waiting for his arrival.
Outside, in the hall, the uniformed guards wait and wonder what to do
with their hands.
Unruly fiddle players, who love recording like they love traffic jams,
tonight they bring along the wives, who wait to one side in black beaded
And these wives and these fiddle players and all of these are different
tonight. For in a few minutes a poet will begin to speak of years ago.
He arrives. Tie loosened, collar loosened. The guards at the studio door
edge out of the way.
"Good morning, sir," he says. "Who's got the ball game
Thirty orchestra wives wish they had the late scores memorized. Four
men look around for a transistor radio.
"Hello, Sidney, how are ya. What's happening in the music business?"
He strolls up behind Gordon Jenkins, who is rehearsing his strings. Sinatra
listens for 32 bars, then turns to Mike Romanoff. "The way this guy
writes strings, if he were Jewish, he'd be unbearable."
The Prince wakes up a bit.
"You ready, Gordie?"
"I'm ready," replies Jenkins. "I'm always ready. I was
ready in 1939."
"I was ready when I was nine."
He walks to his music stand, clearing his throat. "Think I swallowed
a shot glass."
Jenkins starts a song, conducting with arms waist high, sweeping them
side to side. Not leading his orchestra: being the orchestra.
Sinatra begins to sing his September's reflections. Jenkins, on the podium
two feet above, turns from his orchestra to face his singer. He beams
down attentively, his face that of a father after his son's first no-hitter.
The wives in their black beaded sweaters muffle their charm bracelets.
He sings of the penny days. Of the rose-lipt girls and candy apple times.
Of green winds, of a first lass who had perfumed hair. April thoughts.
He sings with perspective. This vital man, this archetype of the good
life, this idolized star...this man pauses. He looks back. He remembers,
and graces his memory with a poet's vision.
He has lived enough for two lives, and can sing now of September. Of
the bruising days. Of the rouged lips and bourbon times. Of chill winds,
of forgotten ladies who ride in limousines.
September can be an attitude or an age or a wistful reality. For this
man, it is a time of love. A time to sing.
A thousand days hath September.
September Of My Years (1965)
Reprise 901 014-2
The September Of My Years
How Old Am I?
Don't Wait Too Long
It Gets Lonely Early
This Is All I Ask
Last Night When We Were Young
The Man In The Looking Glass
It Was A Very Good Year
When The Wind Was Green
Hello, Young Lovers
I See It Now
Once Upon A Time
Of My Years from Amazon.co.uk.