Friday, December 06, 2013

Every single lovely day...

Tonight's the kind of night for the good stuff -- the Great American Songbook, Francis Albert Sinatra, "It Was A Very Good Year" -- the perfect punctuation for a cold and wet end to the workweek.

Can't get in a Christmas music mood just yet, so I've turned to Frank's Reprise years, thinking of life as vintage wine from fine, old kegs, pouring sweet and clear.

Driving to Beaver Brook Country Club after work, I flipped the radio to Siriusly Sinatra. Blossom Dearie was singing "It Amazes Me." I mouthed the lyrics when I remembered them, hummed along when I didn't, keeping time with the windshield wipers.

And hum this music you can. It isn't of my era, but so what? This is Music that deserves the capital M, lyrics and melodies that serve as time travelers, reminding you of what once was -- that first love, the true love you thought would be the end of you for sure, man in the looking glass.

The other day I heard "Strangers in the Night" and was transported to 20 years ago, Bel Air Grill, a forgotten lunch with a lovely girl who married someone else. She may have forgotten, but the song remembers.

Perhaps it's best heard in small bars or bistros, just you and the bartender and the tune, at a quarter to three, no one in the place 'cept you and me.

It's funny. I remember listening to "It Was A Very Good Year" years ago and thinking that 35 seemed an eternity away. Now it's a memory in the rearview mirror.

 It comes back to you in pieces. The scent of perfume, blue eyes crying in the rain, trying to stay younger than spring and knowing it's a fight you won't win.

But the music, it endures. Sinatra may have left this world in May 1998, but tonight he's here in the room, leaning against the piano, sipping Jack Daniel's and taking a drag on an unfiltered Camel, crooning about the nights it gets lonely early.

It was really more than lovely, wasn't it? Truly lovely, wasn't it?

Every single lovely day...

Jake Mabe will co-host a special birthday tribute to Frank Sinatra with Bradley Reeves on the WDVX-FM "East Tennessee Quiver" at 10 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12. WDVX can be found locally in Knoxville at 89.9 FM, 102.9 FM or streaming worldwide here

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