I Taught Frank Sinatra How To Sing

The Very Best of Frank Sinatra

I’ll never forget that cold blustery day in November of ’74. We were standing at the corner of 43rd and Lexington when all of sudden people started pointing. I heard some ancient fellow yell about the John Lennon of his time and wondered why he was talking about communists in America.

After the great Johnny Fitzgerald Kennedy had showed them commie bastards that they couldn’t park their missiles on the shores of some banana republic that was run by a washed up baseball player who couldn’t make the cut.

Anyhoo, I am standing there in the crowd when I see this fat, old man who is covering up his thinning hair with fedora, but the not the really cool Borsalino that the Hasids wore.

My dad says to me, “Jackie Boy, there goes Frank Sinatra.”

I don’t know what came over me, but I couldn’t help myself. “Hey Sinatra. I hate your singing. The Yankees suck and if the president had any sense he’d bomb the crap out of Times Square.”

Sinatra looks at me with contempt and snarls, “you don’t know Dick kid.”

I look at him and say, “Don’t go name dropping with me. I don’t care if you know the president. Go bore Kissinger and Agnew with your music and please ask my parents to stop hurting my head with those god awful tunes you call songs.

Confession Time

If you haven’t figured it out, that was fiction. I was five years-old in ’74 and can promise you I spent all of November at home in Los Angeles.

I haven’t a clue where that story came from, but when I thought about the headline I just ran with it. I played around with making it a fictional account of the guy who taught Sinatra how to sing. I thought it might be interesting to write a tale about how Sinatra had enormous potential but wasn’t able to harness it until Mick the Mike taught him some tricks.

BTW, I don’t really like Mick the Mike as a name but I needed a placeholder.

Second confession: I like Frank Sinatra’s music but I still hate the Yankees. Go Dodgers.


I said I would participate in Nanowrimo again this year but I really haven’t done much with it. It is not because I don’t have ideas, time or ability. I don’t really have a reason other than I just haven’t, but I am not worried about it.

This will sound arrogant, but I can pump out quality content in large volumes in short periods of time.  The point being that I can turn it on and still hit the 50,000 word mark by the end of the month.

My focus is elsewhere. That is really the issue. I am pushing in other directions and will get around to Nanowrimo.

I Love Posting Daily

I love being part of NaBloPoMo, you know the whole write a post every day for 30 days thing. All of this writing is invigorating. It energizes me.

Some people might be concerned about quantity over quality but I am not. That is because I see the increased emphasis on my part as being a productive use of my time.

All of this writing serves as a sort of whetstone I use to sharpen my knife. It is practicing my craft so that I can become a better writer.

That is a major part of why I blog- I want to become a better writer and there is no way to do it without writing.

Sometimes the only way to figure out where you want to go and what you want to be is to go backwards. That is why I am sifting and sorting through posts here.

Those posts carried me through time and brought me to this moment. You might not feel the magic, but I do.

Something tells me faith and clicks are calling- got to run. See you in the AM.

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  1. Jon Buscall November 16, 2012 at 3:51 pm

    True story: The Times (UK) one Saturday morning declared my 1999 novel College.com debut of the week.

    True story: I once got an email from a BIG Hollywood producer discussing making the book into a movie with Kate Winslet & Leonardo DaCaprio. But it didn’t pan out.

    True story: Another book later I realised writing fiction did my head in and that I was fragmenting just as much as the character I’d just spent five years with on my laptop.

    True story: I walk dogs nowadays instead of writing fiction. It’s better for my health.

    True story: I even struggle to read fiction now, which is kind of funny for a guy who spent twenty years with his nose in a book.

    But, I’ll tell you what: I’d read a novel about a boy who teaches Frankie to sing. I loved the voice in your text.

    • Jack November 16, 2012 at 11:06 pm

      Hi Jon,

      Those are good stories and they lead to all sorts of questions that one day I will ask.

      Thank you for the compliment, I really do appreciate it. There are stories stuck inside my head that I need to pull out.

  2. Joe November 14, 2012 at 7:07 am

    OK, so you hate the Yankees. You are a member of a VERY large club. But at least you’re not a Red Sox fan. I don’t know if I could continue reading…

    I was rooting for the Dodgers in the NL because your manager is none other than Donnie Baseball, the man who should have a World Series ring but he doesn’t – because time and circumstance can be punishing and cruel. I would love to see him get that ring with LA. He was my best buddy’s fave player, and he would smile from Heaven if Donnie got that ring…

    Was listening to Sinatra this AM in the car on the way to work. I fire up the Jack on the computer, and he’s talking Sinatra. Nice start to an otherwise ordinary Wednesday.

    • Jack November 15, 2012 at 12:24 am

      Hi Joe,

      Nah, not a Sox fan by a long shot. I like to tell them that Bucky Dent is going to greet them on their way to heaven.

      I am a Dodgers fan through and through. I won’t ever forget ’77 and ’78, damn Yankees. I met Steinbrenner at JFK in ’85.

      I saw him standing in the terminal and grabbed his autograph for no reason other than because.

  3. Mark November 14, 2012 at 6:00 am

    Motivated and sharpening my knife… You have that affect on me, Josh!

  4. Louise Ducote November 14, 2012 at 2:50 am

    One of the first things I taught my son to say was “Yankees yuck!” Glad you’re doing NaBloPoMo. Just because a novel can be written in a month doesn’t mean it should be. Frequent writing of short essays is a great exercise for writing something longer. Meanwhile, die Yankees, die.

    • Jack November 15, 2012 at 12:26 am

      Hi Louise,

      See, you found a blog where baseball is welcome. 😉 Agreed about not doing something just because you should, but I don’t want to not do something because I didn’t make it happen either.

      Decisions, decisions.

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