Watching the tribute to Sinatra on his 100th birthday brought lumps to my throat. I have so many of his albums, worked him many times. Heck, I even bought tickets to see him in Vegas. One of my FAVORITES.
But watching the tribute tonight reminded me of the last time I worked him in person. It was at the Met Arena as a part of the Super Bowl festivities in town. As I did before, I sat in a front chair for his sound check. As he had done before, he walked by and pointed at my hat. “Nice hat,” he said, as he did a time or two before.
I didn’t pay much attention to the fact he was using the teleprompter during the check; but I certainly did during the show, and so did the audience. Songs that he had sung for years were stumping him. He couldn’t remember the lyrics. He had to read darn near every song on the prompter. Sometimes he had to pause. He still had the Sinatra style, the crisp singing of the lyrics; but it was not only his voice that betrayed his age, his memory also.
Everybody there enjoyed his show, after all it was Sinatra; but we all knew it would be only a matter of time our enjoyment would be confined to his albums, his CD’s, or times like tonight watching old TV clips.