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10 years later: Remembering Frank Sinatra

(Credit: Pet Rock: The Pop Culture Blog)

By Mark La Monica

On May 14, 1998, America lost two great icons of pop culture: "Seinfeld" and Frank Sinatra.

For me, the bigger loss was Sinatra.

Sure, "Seinfeld" was a classic American sitcom that will live forever in syndication and DVD box sets, but Sinatra was so cool, you had to call him "cat." That, my friends, is true transformation.

There's a reason they play Sinatra's version of "New York, New York" at Yankee Stadium when the Yankees win and Liza Minelli's version when they lose.

From Hoboken to Hollywood, Sinatra redefined cool. Actually, you could argue that he actually defined it since no one before him did what he could do. Bogart was legendary, but he didn't have the pizzazz to transcend generations upon generations.

Sinatra, or simply just "Frank," was the original king of cool, a man capable of capturing the fluttering hearts of women or appealing to the style of the everyman of any generation. Name another person, regardless of era, who could -- and did! -- get away with referring to women as "dames" or "broads" and be loved for it. In more than one book, you'll find a chapter titled "Broads." I'm just saying.

Even now, we look to Frank as the icon of cool (Just watch "Swingers" again if you need proof). See a man in a fedora, think Frank. See a man carrying drink after drink around at a party yet never getting drunk, that's Frank. (Read "The Way You Wear Your Hat" for that tip.)

Go to Vegas and try not to reference the Rat Pack at least once. In fact, the rule among my group of people is that "That's Life" must be played in the cab ride from the hotel to McCarran Airport after a Vegas weekend. I suggest you adopt the same rule.

We'll never see another like Frank Sinatra (the closest we have in this time frame are George Clooney and Johnny Depp, and neither of them have recording contracts). And that's just fine with me. There's only one Frank.

So help us celebrate the spirit of Frank Sinatra with this photo essay on the 10th anniversary of his death.

Flashback: The life of Frank Sinatra

It's impossible to delve deep into the legend of Frank Sinatra in a single blog post, so Pet Rock recommends the following items if you want to learn more about the man and his music:

Books

"Why Sinatra Matters" by Pete Hamill

"The Way You Wear Your Hat" by Bill Zehme

Movies

• "From Here to Eternity"

• "The Man With the Golden Arm"

• "Ocean's Eleven"

• "Guys and Dolls"

Songs

• "Summer Wind"

• "That's Life"

• "Fly Me to the Moon"

• "New York, New York"

• "I've Got You Under my Skin"

• "The Way You Look Tonight"

• And pretty much everything else he sang.

Tags: frank sinatra , music , random stuff , celebrities

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