An Album for My Dad on Father's Day


Dad enjoyed this Sinatra album from the '50s.

I've written about my dad before, but with Father's Day coming up, I thought I would dedicate the next entry on my Favorite Record Albums of All Time list to his memory.

In the early 1960's my dad briefly joined The Columbia Record Club, one of the "Buy 4 Albums, Get 1 Free" variety that was advertised every week with an insert in the center of TV Guide.  I am not sure how long we had a membership, and my memory of what albums he ordered is quite foggy. But I do remember one, This is Sinatra!

This is Sinatra! was a mid-stage album for Frank, a collection of some singles from the 50's and a few new tunes. This was well before the more kitschy "New York, New York," and "Something Stupid" Sinatra.  I absorbed most of the songs on Side One - we are talking LP's here, of course, no CD's or downloads in those days!  "I've Got the World on a String," "Three Coins in a Fountain," "Love and Marriage," and "South of the Border"  were all stored in the recesses of my mind, with the latter resonating every time we "went down Mexico way." Side Two is more of a blur.

I can't say the album turned me into a big Sinatra fan. I was a bit young for that, and the British Invasion was headed this way. But watching a Frank Sinatra Special on a PBS Pledge Drive the other night brought back thoughts of that album and my dad just in time for Father's Day.

The Columbia Record Club wasn't the only subscription service that Dad got hooked into. A few years later he joined the "Literary Guild of America," a great way for getting hardcover copies of current best-sellers. I remember him ordering (and my reading) political thrillers like Fletcher Knebel's "Vanished,"  my first taste of John LeCarre with "A Small Town in Germany," and, as a curious 12-year-old, my introduction to literary porn with Phillip Roth's "Portnoy's Complaint."

Dad like waitresses too, but I don't think he had a subscription for those.

Anyway, Happy Father's Day, Dad. Maybe somewhere you, Mom, and Linda are listening to Sinatra croon. I hope so!

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