As I get ready for my performance of Sinatra Forever at the Peoples Bank Theater in Marietta, Ohio November 12th, the cooler temperatures with their murmurings of the approaching winter have started me thinking about the holidays that lead up to those shorter days and, of course, November 24th came immediately to mind. So, in that frame of mind, I thought it would be nice to put down my favorite three Frank Sinatra Thanksgiving songs.
The first tune that comes to mind for me is Autumn in New York. The song is smooth; Frank’s buttery voice melts into the mellow-yet-hopeful melody, becoming something both calm and inspiring. Written in 1934 for the Broadway musical Thumbs Up!, it’s become a true jazz standard that’s been recorded by everyone who’s anyone. You can play this song any time and it will set and suit the mood.
The next song is perfect for a family affair. I Want to Thank Your Folks was released by Ol’ Blue Eyes in 1946 and the lyrics invoke images of girls wishing he was singing about them. It’s sweet and simple, but the stripped-down nature of the tune makes you realize why he was called The Voice. Obviously it wouldn’t hurt to put this on the turntable if you want to impress a Thanksgiving date.
Autumn Leaves is a must-have for any fall playlist. The sounds and the lyrics compliment this transitional time of year and the longing in Sinatra’s voice, something he does so poignantly and effortlessly, command you to pay attention. This is a tune ideally suited for after your meal, perhaps when you have some time alone with a tumbler of Jack Daniels.
These songs suit the season; their extended notes highlight every breath and truly make you grateful for the simply wonderful music Frank has left for us.