A Art Sin

Yesterday evening, alcohol fuelled and without inhibition, I heartily sang along to the Frank Sinatra refrains streaming to my bluetooth speaker from Apple Music……. If crooning while inebriated was good enough for Francis Albert then it’s good enough for me. Or to put it more concisely, you could say the music was streaming and I was steaming!

Like hundreds who’ve tried to mimic Old Blue Eyes I didn’t, and never could, attain the levels of aural majesty of the late Hoboken-born singer. However, it mattered not as I find belting out the likes of Young at Heart, Come Fly With Me, Witchcraft et al to be highly cathartic.

I find little point in becoming disenchanted at not being able to attain Frank’s levels of vocal delivery; a vocalists expectations (whether amateur or professional) have to be managed better than that. You could argue an average balladeer is capable of achieving TV presenter/songbird Alexander Armstrong’s singing proficiency, but in my opinion no one will ever reach the plateau of the man who turned the Great American Songbook into the Excellent American Songbook.

I’m unaware if any neighbours of my East Ardsley abode heard my attempts to raise the roof with my musical mimicry. I’d submit, though, if they had they’d probably pour cold water on my aspirations to record a Christmas album titled ‘Around A Wakefield Xmas Fireplace – Gary Strachan Sings Sinatra’.

The title of my musical collection not the catchiest or most concise label for a 33rpm disc***. However, the consensus of opinion in the family is it’s better option than my brother Ian’s title suggestion of ‘Now That’s What I Call Someone Who Sounds Bugger All Like Sinatra’. Although both creative souls in a few genres of art, the Strachan brothers weren’t blessed with the gift of devising memorable album titles.

*** – A reference for those who prefer to listen to musical refrains on vinyl.


It’s not just our kid and me who’re ordinarily bereft of notions for pithy and catchy titles for an amalgam of songs on an anthology. Our mother Maggie’s appellation epiphany the not only wordy, but overly confrontational (or so I thought). ‘For Once In Your LifeWill You Stop Arsing Around, Gary‘…… Although that was potentially not an idea for an album title; moreover her admonishment of yours truly for ……… well, arsing around!

My sister Helen, the brains of the brood, responded “Stop Being An Absolute Arse! You’ll Never Achieve A Christmas Number One Hit, You Idiot!” To be honest, though, I thought her idea for an album title to be even more confrontational than my mum’s……. So much for being the cleverest member of the clan.

My eccentric uncle Bob from Normanton loves Frank Sinatra. So much so that he’s got fridge magnets of old blue eyes adorning his metal left arm. The idiosyncratic fellow had his original arm amputated in 2012 because its lack of metal content meant the fridge magnets kept falling off! Bob’s dog Tackleberry no doubt relieved that his paucity of metal bodily parts negates his master’s ability to also adorn the Labrador with Sinatra fridge magnets.

An anagram of Sinatra is ‘a art sin’……. An accusation you can’t aim at Francis Albert’s foremost back catalogue of refrains.


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