Rick Michel's Blog

Thanks for the Memories
11/28/2014

Thanksgiving is about memories – giving thanks for both past and new ones. Memories are something to cherish much more than anything you can acquire on Black Friday or Cyber Monday and that in itself makes the mere title of the song, “Thanks for the Memory” exquisite.

 This ditty immediately brings Bob Hope to mind because he was the first to sing it, as a duet with Shirley Ross, in the movie “The Big Broadcast of 1938” and, after it won the Academy Award for Best Original Song, he made it his signature tune. The song was such a hit they managed to film and release a movie of the same name with Hope and Ross that same year.

 Like many songs of that era, “Thanks for the Memory” was transformed for different artists to cover. Big names like Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Harry Nilsson, and Rosemary Clooney successfully recorded it, but my favorite, which is likely no surprise to you, is Frank Sinatra’s version.

 He included it on his 1981 album, “She Shot Me Down.” The album would turn out to be a critical success, something that was important to Frank because he wanted to give the aging arranger and conductor Gordon Jenkins something positive after the critical flop (although commercially successful) of “The Future: Reflections on the Future in Three Tenses,” part of “Trilogy: Past Present Future” from the year before. “She Shot Me Down” would go on to be considered one of the best of Sinatra’s later releases.

 “The Voice’s” vocal styling with “Thanks for the Memory” is brilliant. The tempo is varied yet ethereal and I just don’t think other versions measure up artistically or technically and it is the highlight of the album.

 I wrote a version of “Thanks for the Memories” of Frank Sinatra’s life that I’m very proud to show before most of my www.SinatraForever.com shows, along with visuals that depict his life in chronological order. It represents periods from Harry James, Tommy Dorsey, His Radio and Movies Years, Marriages and more…

 I hope your Thanksgiving was fantastic and that you added more treasures to your bank of memories – like I do every time I perform for the marvellous audiences that come out to see me. That’s something for which I’m definitely grateful.