Thursday, August 28, 2014
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Sid Mark for the Liberty Medal?

I get e-mails from time to time, well, about every day, alerting me to something somebody's written that he or she think would  make swell Blinq fodder.  (

Sid Mark for the Liberty Medal?

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I get e-mails from time to time, well, about every day, alerting me to something somebody's written that he or she thinks would  make swell Blinq fodder.  (Exhibit A: "Pat Burrell could totally sleep with your wife right now." I don't think so.)

But this one's fun for the whole family.

Instapunk riffs on why Sid Mark should win this year's Liberty Medal.

He acknowledges that great humans have picked up the award in the past --Kofi Annan, Sandra Day O'Connor, his Bononess. But how about a little hometown applause?

The Punk pulls some skeletons from the closet to make his point:

I'd be willing to bet there are thousands if not millions of people like me, who grew up listening with their parents to "Friday with Frank" and "Sunday with Sinatra," hosted by Sid Mark on WWBD (and now WPHT) in Philadelphia (and syndicated to other stations throughout the country). What did we learn? That there was a special poignancy to the lives of the World War II generation, which garnered Tom Brokaw waves of acclaim when he acknowledged it belatedly, but which we children of that generation learned firsthand by hearing Sid Mark respond week after week to Sinatra classics with an impeccable sense of how every song sounded when it was released and what chord it touched in its audience. The Brokaws somehow seem to forget that the Greatest Generation also came home after the war and rebuilt the world even though they were in all probability suffering from what is today called Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder.

My dad was. He endured nightmares for years. But Friday night was a ritual. We gathered in the den and turned on the FM radio. It was Sid Mark time. The songs Sid played spanned 20 years, from the pre-war Tommy Dorsey era to the beginnings of the Rat Pack and beyond. It was a time machine that helped us youngsters learn what our parents had been through. Both my parents adopted, at one time or another, the pose that Sinatra wasn't even the best Big Band singer, despite all the screaming bobby-soxers. I heard both my parents seriously argue that
Dick Haymes was a better vocalist than Sinatra and that Sinatra's career should have ended after this disastrous recording of Ol' Man River.

But it was Friday night, and Sid was playing the songs, and my sister and I were little and full of questions -- besides being intoxicated by the sound of Sinatra -- and so this family time also became a history lesson. My prejudiced father hauled out his Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Teddy Wilson, and Coleman Hawkins LPs to prove to us that Sid Mark's description of America as one vast Sinatra audience was incorrect. The very first time I fell in love was at the age of six when I heard Ella Fitzgerald sing "The Man I Love," and the very first time I knew there was a racial divide in my country was when my Dad showed me the Ella/Gershwin album cover -- Ella was not white, slim, or gorgeous the way women who can sing like that automatically are to little boys who have beautiful blonde mothers. "Forget the picture," my dad said. "Just listen to the way she sings. That's music. Sinatra is an ugly little guy too. And you like him."

The whole post is riveting. Find it here.

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