Rick Michel's Blog

Sinatra Cool
03/07/2014
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“Cool” is rarely a descriptive term someone is unhappy about being labelled with. In fact, for many, it’s something for which to strive. Seemingly, and I would love to know if you agree with this, those best at attaining a state of “coolness” seem to be those who put the least amount of effort in its acquisition. Even as children, the most popular are said to be a part of the “cool kids club.”

 There are few, if any, who would argue that Frank Sinatra was cool. The Rat Pack seemed to have been founded around the word. If there had been bylaws or a mission statement for the Pack – which obviously would have been the antithesis of cool – I’m pretty certain the word “cool” would appear under Article One.

 Now, being an artist, I enjoy and appreciate all forms of art – even having taking up sculpting. So, I was most satisfied to learn about a fantastic new photography exhibit running from February 7 through November 7, 2014 at the National Portrait Gallery, a part of the Smithsonian Museum, in Washington, DC titled American Cool.

 The exhibit’s introduction defines “cool” as “to exude the aura of something new and uncontainable.” They go on to state that the modern usage of the word “cool” is due to jazz saxophonist Lester Young and that “Every individual here created an original persona without precedent in American culture.”

 And, you guessed it, the Chairman of the Board is featured, represented by a Roger Marshutz photograph. Marshutz, who passed in 2007, created some iconic celebrity images and documented other substantial subjects.

 American Cool’s write-up on Frank ends with these words, “The cultural hero of the Greatest Generation, Sinatra was and is beloved by singers and musicians the world over, from Antonio Carlos Jobim to Miles Davis, from Bruce Springsteen to Bono.” And I couldn’t agree more.

 My goal is to make certain you all have a chance to see my vision of Sinatra’s cool when I present my Las Vegas show, Frank … A Musical Journey.