Frank: The Voice

Frank: The Voice Bestselling Author James Kaplan Redefines Frank Sinatra In A Triumphant New Biography That Includes Many Rarely Seen Photographs Frank Sinatra Was The Best Known Entertainer Of The Twenti Eth Century Infinitely Charismatic, Lionized And Notori Ous In Equal Measure But Despite His Mammoth Fame, Sinatra The Man Has Remained An Enigma As Bob Spitz Did With The Beatles, Tina Brown For Diana, And Peter Guralnick For Elvis, James Kaplan Goes Behind The Legend And Hype To Bring Alive A Force That Changed Popular Culture In Fundamental Ways Sinatra Endowed The Songs He Sang With The Explosive Conflict Of His Own Personality He Also Made The Very Act Of Listening To Pop Music A Personal Experience Than It Had Ever Been In Frank The Voice, Kaplan Reveals How He Did It, Bringing Deeper Insight Than Ever Before To The Complex Psyche And Tur Bulent Life Behind That Incomparable Vocal Instrument We Relive The Years To In Glistening Detail, Experiencing As If For The First Time Sinatra S Journey From The Streets Of Hoboken, His Fall From The Apex Of Celebrity, And His Oscar Winning Return In From Here To Eternity Here At Last Is The Biographer Who Makes The Reader Feel What It Was Really Like To Be Frank Sinatra As Man, As Musician, As Tortured Genius

James Kaplan is a novelist and nonfiction writer whose essays, reviews, and profiles have appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, Esquire, and New York He coauthored John McEnroes autobiography, You Cannot Be Serious, a number one New York Times bestseller, and coauthored the bestselling Dean and Me with Jerry Lewis He lives in Westchester, New York, with his wife a

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  • Hardcover
  • 800 pages
  • Frank: The Voice
  • James Kaplan
  • English
  • 14 August 2019
  • 9780385518048

10 thoughts on “Frank: The Voice

  1. says:

    from 1955 to 1959 frank sinatra recorded four of the greatest and saddest albums of all time with four of the greatest album covers ever printed check em out 1955 In the Wee Small Hours 1957 Where Are You 1958 Only the Lonely 1959 No One Cares ranging from the lush melancholy to the almost unbearably bleak, this is the finest collection of ballads, saloon songs, and torch songs sung by the greatest crooner of all time tied with morrissey who, incidentally, considers frank as one third of his holy trinity kaplan s biography stops a year before this remarkable string of albums his book tracks sinatra s rise through the early and mid 40s, his ruinous fall at the end of that decade, and his resurrection in 1952 3 after winning an oscar for from here to eternity and partnering up with genius musical arranger nelson riddle and there s all kinds of fun, gossipy stuff along the way fights with reporters, singers, managers, lawyers, journalists fucks with lana turner, ava gardner, and thousands other anonymous starlets drinks till the wee small hours with actors, mobsters, crooners, restauranteurs, zillionaires and all that stuff is great kaplan infuses it with the novelist s sense of purpose and drama and is pretty brutal about what a motherfucker frank could be but what makes this a special book is the attention kaplan pays to sinatra the artist sure, kaplan delves deep into the technical aspects sinatra s particular genius in phrasing, reading songs lyrics as poetry, etc but interesting is how kaplan tackles as best as words can hope to untangle the ineffable majesty of pure musical feeling that thing, that ghost, that shade, that x factor sinatra possessed kaplan quotes a reviewer for the london times who attempts to get at it Here is an artist who, hailing from the most rowdy and self confident community the world has ever known, has elected to express the timidity that can never be wholly driven out of the boastfullest heart To a people whose idea of manhood is husky, full blooded and self reliant, Sinatra has dared to suggest that under the crashing self assertion, man is still a child, frightened and whimpering in the dark.yes it is very much that sad, existential quality that lies at the heart of much of frank s artistic genius the swing numbers are terrific, his readings of the classics have become the standard, but, for me, it s sinatra s ability to convey the inherent longing, sadness, and fear inherent to the human condition that separates frank from the rest particularly at a time when popular music wasn t really all that much about exposing existential despair it s who he was by nature as much as frank played at being and eventually became a parody of the tough guy, saloon singing, new jersey bruiser, he was an incredibly complex, sensitive guy exploding with the temperament of the miserable artist after ava gardner left him for that spanish bullfighter frank was of a drunken, suicidal wreck than usual frank, afraid to be alone, moved a friend into his beverly hills apartment here s jules styne s recollection of those months alone with frank I walk into the living room and it s like a funeral parlor There are three pictures of Ava in the room and the only lights are three dim ones on the pictures Sitting in front of them is Frank with a bottle of brandy I say to him, Frank, pull yourself together And he says, Go ahead, leave me alone Then he paces up and down and says, I can t sleep, I can t sleep Then he paces up and down some and maybe he reads, and he doesn t fall asleep until the sun s up.in an attempt to re engage life, frank has friends over for poker a friend recalls He went into the den, opened a bottle, and started drinking alone There s Frank drinking a toast to a picture of Ava with a tear running down his face All of a sudden we hear a crash He had taken the picture, frame and all, and smashed it Then he had picked up the picture, ripped it into little pieces, and thrown it on the floor So we go back to the game and a little while later Sammy Cahn goes back to Frank, and there he is on his hands and knees picking up the torn pieces of the picture and trying to put it back together again Well, he gets all the pieces together except the one for the nose He becomes frantic looking for it, and we all get down on our hands and knees and try to help him All of a sudden the doorbell rings It s a deliver boy with liquor So Frank goes to the back door to let him in, but when he opens it, the missing piece flutters out Well, Frank is so happy, he takes off his gold wrist watch and gives it to the delivery boy.alright, enough if you re not already sold, just watch this the 15 seconds b t 2 30 2 45 are just fuuuuuucking haunting.

  2. says:

    This is the first volume of a two parter It ends just after Sinatra wins an oscar for From Here to Eternity and ressurects a stagnant career Kaplan is still working on the second part Kaplan apparently took his cue from Gary Giddens s two parter on Bing Crosby He alludes to Giddens s work several times Frank is well written and thoroughly researched Probably the best of the four Sinatra bios I ve also read several books that pertain to Sinatra s music I ve read although I read Earl Wilson s Sinatra bio so long ago that I really don t remember it I disliked Kitty Kelley s book Her Sinatra was a one dimensional lout and much of her info is open to question, although Kaplan does use her as a source at times Tamborelli s book was good but Kaplan goes a little deeper and delves into Sinatra s music than previous bios have done Will Friedwald s book The Song is You is really the volume for those interested in Sinatra s music, but it is commendable that Kaplan addresses it as well as he does Kelley and Tamborelli really don t go into what a comsumate artist Sinatra was, concentrating on the show business and or sensationalistic aspects of his career.

  3. says:

    James Kaplan has penned what is one of the most spectacular biographies I ve ever read A rabid Sinatra fan it was thrilling for me to discover lots of things I hadn t learnt about Ol Blue Eyes definitely can t wait to read book 2

  4. says:

    I have always liked Sinatra s singing but didn t know much of his life beyond the Rat Pack image I became interested to know about him after seeing a couple of his films recently, and was intrigued by this book because it looks in detail at his early career, which I knew little about It s certainly a dramatic story, telling how the brilliant but troubled singer originally rose to fame as idol of the Bobbysoxers He then saw his career plummet during his disastrous marriage to Ava Gardner, even making a series of suicide attempts, but clawed his way back to the top with his Oscar winning role in From Here to Eternity The book ends with him clutching that Oscar and with most of his best known albums and films still to come Kaplan is currently working on volume two Much of the time it is a fascinating read, especially when Kaplan discusses recording sessions, the contributions of the various musicians, and Sinatra s interpretations of particular songs I was able to listen to many of these recordings online as I read, and now have several albums I need to buy However, to my mind the book comes unstuck at times when Kaplan who is also a novelist leaves the facts behind and tries to get into people s heads He sometimes veers into writing sub Chandler hardboiled prose, imagining conversations and even people s thoughts Some of these sections also come across as rather sexist surely we don t need a description of what a group of young girl fans in a hot theatre might have smelt like I also suspect the whole relationship with Gardner might come across differently if seen from her angle rather than his So maybe my four star rating is a bit generous, but I have lived and breathed this book over the past week and can t really give any less.

  5. says:

    Added 5 1 15 This book was first published in 2010 5 2 15 I listened to the unabridged audio of this book It s disappointing to hear the downside of Sinatra s life I d rather remember him for all the enjoyment he gave us with his great talent It seems it s always the first wives of celebrities who get the short end of the stick Celebrities like Sinatra are subject to too much temptation.At any rate, I m reliving the days when the teenagers screamed and swooned when Sinatra sang The book says that that phenomenon was manipulated by Sinatra s publicity people What started as an innocent thing was turned into what became a huge publicity stunt.It s interesting to hear about Sinatra s early days with the Dorsey band Sinatra eventually revolutionized the music industry with his singing style But he had his ups and downs.

  6. says:

    Interesting book to review It has a tremendous amount of detailed information about Frank Sinatra For me, that was a positive and a negative Having detailed info is good, but I finally got tired of reading that much detail If I were a huge Sinatra fan who wanted to learn as much as possible about Sinatra, I would feel differently about the amount of detailed info in the book While the author includes a ton of info about the part of Sinatra s life the book focuses on, the book addressed only the first 39 years of his life He lived to be 82 The author may have a two volume biography in mind I don t want that amount of detail.

  7. says:

    As with most other popular culture icons, biographers examine the National Enquirer tabloid style details about Frank, and what is not to like with that approach Mafia ties, tons of women, excessive drinking, tragedy and triumph and tragedy and triumph None truly explore how his talent worked, his psychological motivations and needs, as well as what made the man tick.This biography is the first to do that The lurid details are here, especially in the section dealing with Ava Gardner crazy love indeed, they were absolutely obsessed with each other but also the deep physical and psychological scars of a childhood in Hoboken, the twisted mental aftershocks of his early family life, the long slow steady obsessive climb towards superstardom including rivalries with Dorsey and Bing Crosby, the famine years when popular fashion left him behind, and the desperate climb back to relevancy, begging as Johnny Fontaine the supposed Sinatra stand in in The Godfather for a role he was born to play in From Here To Eternity He somehow manages to do so, and we leave Frank at the end of this book, having just won the Oscar for that role, suddenly relevant again but not for singing, permanently cut off from the love of his life, Ava Gardner, and still wanting to revive his singing career.What sets this apart from other biographies, and why I do indeed give it five stars, is that not only does it cover all of the bases with a significantly higher level of respect and sympathy for its subject than other books, but Kaplan actually explores Frank s VOICE and how he used that instrument in a distinct and unusual way He refers to the recordings, noting the evolution of his voice into the rich baritone the world has come to now, but explores phrasing, inflection, the tender caresses of notes and diction, and the intelligence Frank brought to bear with his recordings THAT is the root of Frank s genius, that he sang songs as a great actor would deliver their lines, as if they were spontaneously singing to YOU on the other side of the speaker Despite the reservations of many critics and readers, this along with the sequel Sinatra The Chairman is likely to remain the definitive biography of Frank SInatra, and for the exploration of his art, we should be grateful.

  8. says:

    This is a pretty recent book I think it came out in 2010 It covers Frank Sinatra s life up to the moment of the 1953 Oscar ceremony, when he awaited the verdict on his nomination as Best Supporting Actor for FROM HERE TO ETERNITY I won t tell you if he won or not Chances are you have an opinion about the man and an opinion about the music James Kaplan s book goes into great detail about Sinatra s climb.What I came away with was a sense of how dependent entertainers were on newspaper columnists in the mid twentieth century More to the point, this book shows Sinatra at the mercy of Louella Parsons and Hedda Hopper, who weren t so much columnists as mouthpieces for the movie studios Parsons and Hopper acted as social police I don t think there is a 21st century equivalent of Walter Winchell, but he could ruin an entertainer with a keystroke Sinatra battled, quite literally, with a minor version of Winchell, a scold named Lee Mortimer, who took Sinatra to court in the 1940s over an ambush Sinatra seems to have arranged That is, a physical beating at a restaurant I forget who won the case, but Kaplan has included a great photo of Mortimer in the courtroom, hand on hip, staring at Sinatra, who may or may not know he s being stared at We see Sinatra in the foreground, seeming to lean his head on the surface of a desk, a wary expression on his face The caption is Pure hatred This book essentially makes the case that Frank Sinatra overcame significant odds in becoming the cultural touchstone we know A profound insecurity was one obstacle Add to it the prejudice against Italian Americans when he was coming up, the entertainment world s insistence on an appearance of sexlessness, and the Mob s grip on the music industry and you ll see that Sinatra was struggling to be heard He made things extremely difficult for himself, but he was fighting for his art Difficulties would have found him if he hadn t had a desire for self expression But that very desire is what made him contribute that inimitable sound so many have imitated and so few have ever matched.

  9. says:

    Frank Sinatra makes good copy Just ask Kitty Kelley, Pete Hamill and a host of other biographers who have charted the transformation of the small fry singing sensation from Hoboken, N.J., into an international star Excuse the hackneyed phrasing, but the style of James Kaplan s ambitious yet pedestrian tome is infectious.A fresh approach this is not Although he does add some worthy research to the story, Kaplan relies heavily on the previous Sinatra biographies, while indulging in clich s such as describing the young Frankie as a boy who could not punch his way out of a paper bag Kaplan begins his biography with an epigraph from Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, clearly signaling that this is a serious biography along the lines of what Gary Giddons has done for Bing Crosby and Peter Guralnick for Elvis Presley But Kaplan cannot write with either writer s grace or critical skills.This detail laden biography, which ends in 1954, is a kind of compendium, when what is needed is a rigorous rinsing out of stories already familiar to Sinatra fans And Kaplan enjoys retelling certain stories even when he cannot vouch for them.For those just beginning their seminar on Sinatra, reading Kaplan is a good start But Sinatra still awaits his best biographer.

  10. says:

    I read the second book of Kaplan s two part Sinatra bio first Having done this, I think if you haven t read either book you should read The Voice first if you want to better appreciate it Reading Sinatra The Chairman first, I found I enjoyed this book because I found this era of Sinatra s life interesting In The Voice, there s so much to muddle through and it s not all happy To me the book didn t really start rolling until he met Ava, and right when it gets to a pivotal moment in his life, the book s over.If you re really that interested in Frank s first thirty years, pick it up You may appreciate The Chairman for it.

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