When I was coming of age, listening to music as a preteen and teenager, it was your basic British invasion, and American response, Motown, and the like that I related to. It was NOT those old fogeys such as Dean Martin or Francis Albert Sinatra. In fact, Sinatra had the AUDACITY to actually chart a few times in the 1960s, including a duet with his daughter Nancy called Something Stupid (which I STILL feel is pretty vapid).

But somewhere along the line, I started appreciating his work. First it was the Capitol albums of the 1950s, and even the Columbia albums of the 1940s, then eventually even the Reprise songs from the 1960s and beyond.

When Albany finally got a decent-sized performance arena in 1991, then called the Knickerbocker Arena (now the Times Union Center), the very first concert was by Sinatra. I didn’t go, but it did cross my mind at the time.

In honor of what would have been his 95th birthday, I came up with a Top 10, but I’ve discovered that he would re-record some songs. He had a hit with That’s Life in 1966, but I owned the song on a 78. And I’m not expert enough with Sinatra to always distinguish them.

10. Young at Heart (1954)
9. Here’s to the Losers – couldn’t find a recording of Frank, but this is a Sinatra Review
8. Learnin’ the Blues
7. I’ve Got the World on a String
6. Hey Jealous Lover
5. Well, Did You Evah. This is a duet with Bing Crosby, from the movie High Society. Very much of its time, to be sure.
4. Night and Day. I like this 1961 Reprise version much better than the more poppy 1957 Capitol version.
3. Chicago
2. Witchcraft
1. That’s Life
Wild Thing by Jimi Hendrix, a live version featuring Strangers in the Night in the solo section.
Happy birthday, GC, who hated Sinatra.

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