The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Annals of Public Performance #19

Tommy Dorsey and Frank Sinatra at the Meadowbrook nightclub in New Jersey
Tommy Dorsey and Frank Sinatra at the Meadowbrook Nightclub, New Jersey.


Tommy O'C said...

Dorsey has his hand out. "Okay, so it's half of your earnings for the rest of your life. And if you don't like it, whatta ya gonna do, sue me?"

jim smith said...

"...the next day my father returned, again with the release, and a check for $1000. But this time he had Luca Brasi with him. He assured the bandleader that either his signature or his brains would be on the release..."

rookgaroo said...

Anything for my Godfather. You know that, Mike.

Operator_99 said...

As a kid I lived in Cedar Grove NJ (where the Meadowbrook is located) and we had our Cub Scout troupe dinners at the Meadowbrook (early fifties) - you don't want to know what it is now, but the building is still there. The 1940's Charlie Barnet tune Pompton Turnpike (now rt.23) is referring to The Meadowbrook. Louis Jordan also recorded it.

Pompton Turnpike, that's
A very famous Jersey roadway
Full of country charm.
Pompton Turnpike, leads you
To a place not far from Broadway,
Still it's on a farm.
You dine with lights subdued,
The music interlude puts you right in the mood
To dance and find yourself romance.
Pompton Turnpike, ride your bike
Or if you like just hitch hike,
Come to Pompton Turnpike.

Kenmeer livermaile said...

The erosion of Sinatra's hairline presaged global warming.

Arthur Gilroy said...

It's easy to snipe at these guys, but Dorsey taught Sinatra how to to use his air to sing, primarily...and Sinatra taught much of white America how to swing from the '40s right on into the '70s and beyond.

How to swing musically.

Guys with guns are always running performance artists. So what? Our choices are most often either go with the flow or take up another profession. Jazz would never have grown into a worldwide art form w/out the mob guys' cooperation. W/out jazz, no rock. W/out rock, no pop. So it goes. Deal wid it.

And the hell with the Godfather myths, too. I've known a number of these guys. They are no worse...and no better, either...then most of our political and business "leaders." They're just more vulnerable to prosecution because they are so much less wealthy.

How does the "sleep with the fishes" idea translate to establishment language?

"Sell us your oil at our prices or we will invade your country."

Like dat.

Bet on it.

Why do Cheney and Bush II walk free today?

Mo' money.


That's all there is to it.

More money.