Rick - Short Signature

Rick Michel's Blog

03/04/2017
Chances are you’ve never heard of a symphonic poem; while it was once in vogue to create a piece of orchestral music to invoke the feelings behind a poem, book, painting or some other artistic work, the genre fell out of favor as Romanticism died and the tone poem was, essentially, forgotten. Ol’ Blue Eyes embraced this genre for an album in 1956 called Frank Sinatra Conducts: Tone Poems of Color. Read More

02/23/2017
The year was 1962 and there must have been an early hint of spring fever in the air because Dean Martin recorded the album, French Style fifty-five years ago this month. At that time, Martin was a popular and busy man, with his films and music much in demand, and the recordings of the year highlighted his international appeal as he brought some of that European cool to meet his own patented American bravado. Read More

02/17/2017
The Academy Awards are almost here, which starts me reminiscing on how Frank Sinatra was able to transcend being the best popular singer of his time to also become a brilliant actor. He won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for 1953’s From Here to Eternity and even hosted the 35th and 47th Academy Award shows, but awards don’t always tell the whole story as his performances in The Manchurian Candidate and The Man with the Golden Arm, for which he was nominated for Best Actor in 1955, may have surpassed that earlier role. Read More

02/09/2017
Dean Martin is an American icon, perhaps one that is somewhat overlooked because he seemed happier letting his often-hot-headed Rat Pack pally create most of the headlines, but if you read about Martin today, there’s one word that never fails to get mentioned describing him: cool. 2017 is a special year for Martin’s fans because it marks what would have been his 100th birthday, so it’s no wonder he’s being honored by the Los Angeles Italia Film, Fashion and Art Festival from February 19-25. Read More

02/02/2017
If there was ever another candidate for “The Voice” of the 20th century, it would be Mario Lanza. I was reminded of this incredible tenor when I noticed a marathon of his movies on TCM January 31st, his birthday. Although there is no record of he and Ol’ Blue Eyes ever recording together, it’s only natural that these two great vocalists would have a connection. And for one amazing movie scene, Dean Martin would come into the picture too. Read More

01/26/2017
Jupiter, Florida, look out! I’ll be in town February 3rd, 2017 for a one-night performance of Sinatra Forever at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre - a sort of Frank Sinatra/Burt Reynolds reunion. Does anyone remember the Cannonball Run movies of the early ‘80s? They were a high-energy fun-filled blast, which undoubtedly contributed to their success at the box office and they took place right when the Maltz Jupiter Theatre was headlining some very big names. Read More

01/19/2017
Anyone can attract attention by yelling, but it takes immeasurable talent to make someone stop and listen with a soft voice; Frank Sinatra could do this and there’s a song that highlights this uncommon ability that isn’t one people normally think of when talking about the best Sinatra singles - What’ll I Do. Read More

01/12/2017
I caught the 1944 film, “Bathing Beauty” on TCM last week - that Red Skelton is such a funny guy - and while Red was on stage singing a duet with the Esther Williams, he sang, “You heard that Sinatra fellow,” to which Williams replied, “I swoon when he gets mellow,” and I realized there are quite a few tunes out there that reference “Ol’ Blue Eyes” in the lyrics. Can you think of any off the top of your head? Read More

01/05/2017
The tale of Robin Hood is a true classic, a highly skilled, flamboyant underdog robbing from the rich to give to the poor - the ultimate symbol of a savior from corruption and injustice - but, let’s face it, prancing around an English forest in tights wouldn’t exactly compliment Rat Pack cool, so the story was changed a little to better suit the actors and attract the maximum number of fans. Robin and the 7 Hoods is a fun, light film meant to give Rat Pack fans what they want: Frank, Dean, and Sammy entertaining them for a spell. Read More

12/29/2016
It may be cold and gloomy weather in January, but that can be the perfect time to warm up with some lovely music. Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin enjoyed their share of success during this wintery month, in fact, some may argue that it’s the best time to sell a romantic song, giving lovers an excuse to cuddle up by a fire. Who am I to argue with that logic? Read More