Video: Willie Nelson – “Summer Wind”
From My Way, due September 14 on Sony Legacy.
I love Frank Sinatra. When I was in college I visited a friend in Ann Arbor and we went record shopping and I ended up finding a mint used copy of the 4-CD Reprise Collection. We found somebody to buy us forties and we went back to his apartment and drank and listened to Frank while we thumbed through his roommate’s collection of Penthouse and Hustler magazines.
In a moment permanently etched into my memory, we were in the middle of Disc 2 when we both realized Frank was singing directly to the two of us:
To the guy who’d throw a party if he knew someone to call
Here’s to the losers, bless them all
From then on I’ve always associated “Here’s to the Losers” — and Frank’s Reprise years in general — with being a dopey college kid who dreamed of being all ring-a-ding-ding but in reality was way more dum-dee-dum-dum-dum. Still, good times.
Willie Nelson loves Frank Sinatra too.
“I learned a lot about phrasing listening to Frank,” he recently told AARP. “He didn’t worry about behind the beat or in front of the beat, or whatever — he could sing it either way, and that’s the feel you have to have.”
And now Willie’s releasing a new album, My Way, that pays tribute to Frank with 11 songs he made famous. “Summer Wind” is a breezy tune that originally appeared on Strangers in the Night in 1966. This is the era when 50-year-old Frank was sporting a new Caesar haircut and a new 20-year-old wife named Mia Farrow. Peak Sinatra bravado.
Willie is 85 now and doesn’t need a new haircut or a young wife to proves he’s not slowing down. This will be his second album of 2018, following April’s Last Man Standing. Willie’s cool is effortless.
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