Monday, July 13, 2009

Some Frankie with your Long Island tea

It's the time of year when you can't help but break out some old Sinatra to spice up a late afternoon cocktail on the veranda.

Years ago, when my kids were growing up, we'd make our annual trek to Cape Porpoise, Me., where we learned to artfully dodge the nearby Bush compound in bustling Kennebunkport.

The pace was much slower and quieter at the Fish House, where we lodged for the week in full view of the cape's spectacular beauty. From our perch on the deck you could smell the incoming tide before it arrived, and we would cast spoons into the teeming waters for schooling tinker mackerel.

The CD player would invariably be playing "Summer Wind'' or something else appropriate for the moment. I wonder now what the lobster men thought about that selection.

Like painted kites, those days and nights went flyin' by
The world was new beneath a blue umbrella sky
Then softer than a piper man one day it called to you
I lost you, I lost you to that summer wind

Speaking of flying by, it was 70 years ago today -- 70 years! -- when Frank Sinatra entered the recording studio for the first time to record "Melancholy Mood'' and "Bottom of my Heart'' with the Harry James band. Not surprisingly, the 78 record you see here is one of the most sought after Sinatra collectibles. Brunswick "full-range recording'' No. 8443, with the original dust jacket, can be purchased online for $3,995.

It's much easier -- and a whole lot cheaper -- to put in Frankie's Greatest Hits and start listening while you ice down that drink...

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