Saturday, March 14, 2009

My Cure for the Common Cold.

hate the common cold
. And I get more than my fair share of them. But at some point, a few days into it (as I am now), I will re-read one of my favorite essays, Frank Sinatra Has a Cold, by Gay Talese. It is probably not read by many under the age of 50, except as a guide for good writing, but for those of us who grew up with parents who considered the Chairman's vocals as the background music of life, it is still a very enjoyable read.

Following is an introduction, and a link to the website of Gay Talese and the essay. The introduction, from Esquire magazine:
In the winter of 1965, writer Gay Talese arrived in Los Angeles with an assignment from Esquire to profile Frank Sinatra. The legendary singer was approaching fifty, under the weather, out of sorts, and unwilling to be interviewed. So Talese remained in L.A., hoping Sinatra might recover and reconsider, and he began talking to many of the people around Sinatra -- his friends, his associates, his family, his countless hangers-on -- and observing the man himself wherever he could. The result, "Frank Sinatra Has a Cold," ran in April 1966 and became one of the most celebrated magazine stories ever published, a pioneering example of what came to be called New Journalism -- a work of rigorously faithful fact enlivened with the kind of vivid storytelling that had previously been reserved for fiction. The piece conjures a deeply rich portrait of one of the era's most guarded figures and tells a larger story about entertainment, celebrity, and America itself . . .
The essay:

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