I can remember the voice of Frank Sinatra from back when I was a kid. My father wasn't quite a fan, but he had more than a couple albums which got played regularly and which I can still recall in my head when I want to. Certainly, Ol' Blue Eyes was a vocal technician of the first water. His intonation, treatment of even the simplest phrase, breath control and overall execution place him deservedly in a rarefied atmosphere shared with a scant few other artists, and that by itself is admirable.
However, it would seem as though there was more to Mr. Sinatra than a disciplined voice or an alleged connection to the Mob. This "new" facet was brought to my attention this morning by my wife, courtesy of an article which highlights an excerpt from a Playboy Interview of many moons ago. I'm placing a fragment of that piece below the fold here, but I encourage you to read the entire article.
It would seem that Frank's vintage was, indeed, a very good year ... for more reasons than one.
Playboy: You haven’t found any answers for yourself in organized religion?
Sinatra: There are things about organized religion which I resent. Christ is revered as the Prince of Peace, but more blood has been shed in His name than any other figure in history. You show me one step forward in the name of religion and I’ll show you a hundred retrogressions. Remember, they were men of God who destroyed the educational treasures at Alexandria, who perpetrated the Inquisition in Spain, who burned the witches at Salem. Over 25,000 organized religions flourish on this planet, but the followers of each think all the others are miserably misguided and probably evil as well. In India they worship white cows, monkeys and a dip in the Ganges. The Moslems accept slavery and prepare for Allah, who promises wine and revirginated women. And witch doctors aren’t just in Africa. If you look in the L.A. papers of a Sunday morning, you’ll see the local variety advertising their wares like suits with two pairs of pants.