Well, when it comes to a significent slice of the Great American Songbook, there's the Sinatra Was God camp and the Sinatra Wasn't That Big a Deal camp. I reside in the latter. For good reason. Sinatra had a way about him, no doubt about that, but his singing voice was just a melodious fashion after sprechestimme for the most part, and he was one of those about whom much lament was uttered once he'd adapted others' compositions to his whitebread forte. The same was true of a lot of the pop singers of the day. Turning black musics white, for one, isn't the easiest thing to do if you never understood the original composition in the first place. There's a lot more there than just the notes on the page. Doug Ferony and his latest, You will be my Music pose a surefooted runner in the Sinatra race, as everything about him and the CD's arrangements surrounding the chosen songs is pure Vegas.
This is a good thing if you're from the camp across the river, and Scott Yanow, not exactly a tin ear, claims Ferony "has proven to be one of the more enjoyable and musical crooners of the 21st century". That's a bridge waaaaay too far for me, but Ferony's definitely a permanent resident in Camp Frankie. Unfortunately, where Yanow sees him giving the pop classic I Love You More Today than Yesterday new life, I see the already dubious hit falling flat here…just as it would have with Sinatra. Same with Do You Wanna Dance, but even more so. Trust me, I've spoken with some knowledgeable aficionados, Doug MacIntyre (who conducted a killer interview with Artie Shaw years ago) on KABC radio for one, and I…still…just…don't…get…it.
That said, there's not much more to say. Frank's legion of fans will fall head over heels for Ferony, I have little doubt about that, and this release will be a slice of key lime pie with whipped cream and a shot of tequila for a chaser, but as for me, sigh!, I think I'll go to my grave wondering what the hell the big deal ever was. But that's also true about quite a few figures surrounding that odd charismatic and his style, and thus best, I think, to view such things in the same light as UFOs and Big Foot. Cool for what they are, but what are they?
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2012, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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