Of Frank Sinatra and Justin Timberlake

Justin TimberlakeAnything with multigenerational in the title catches my eye, and the hook of “The Enduring, Multigenerational Appeal of Justin Timberlake,” by Michael Hirshorn,  in the New York Times, on line, September 12, 2013, was no exception.  Mr. Hirshorn compares Justin Timberlake to Frank Sinatra:

He sings, he dances, he acts, and he’s not afraid to get silly in self-mocking comedy shorts. Drawing a line from Frank Sinatra to Jay Z, Justin Timberlake has become this generation’s master of ceremonies.

Like Frank Sinatra,

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE IS PLAYING the long game. He’s the Kasparov of showbiz. He has survived far longer than most artists, tracing an arc from pop-culture absurd – first appearing on the Mickey Mouse Club at age 11 – to pop-culture sublime, a solo career that has triumphed at a time when entertainment, and celebrity, have become more disposable than ever.

 Talking about his tour with Jay Z, Mr. Hirshorn says:

Timberlake took from the crowd-pleasing Sinatra, bringing back the idea of the “performer”: the all-singing, all-dancing entertainer, whose craft didn’t interfere with showing the fans a good time. Along the way, thanks in part to the growing amount of time spent collaborating with Jay Z, he has modeled a new kind of postracial, postmacho white male.

What occurred to this Boomer grandma is that neither Frank Sinatra nor Justin Timberlake are of my generation.  My mother-in-law remembers fondly going to Frank Sinatra concerts and how everyone swooned.  I love Frank Sinatra and love to listen to his CDs we both have in our cars.

I know I listen to him less than she does.  My children and grandchildren listen to Justin Timberlake more than I do.  I do not have a Justin Timberlake CD in my car, but I like his music, when it happens to be on the radio.

I do think Frank Sinatra and Justin Timberlake are similar in that they are outstanding multifaceted performers, but neither, in my opinion, really represents who I feel I am.  My mother-in-law had Frank Sinatra’s fabulous “Young at Heart,” watch and listen at Youtube.   This generation has Justin Timberlake’s fabulous “Suit and Tie.”  Watch and listen at  Youtube.They are both dressed to the nines.

So who does represent us in this Grandma’s opinion?  Why, Rod Steward, of course.  We Boomers will be “Forever Young.”  I could listen to that song over and over again and do. I have to admit of the three video links to youtube, “Forever Young,” is the only one I watched to the end.  I have many of his CDs in my car and know exactly how to get to and repeat “Forever Young.”

Even the “Forever Young” song video spans the generations.  Rod Stewart is holding and singing to his child.  Both are in jeans, a white t-shirt and black jacket.  No tie. He epitomizes being forever young.  We may very well be holding our grandchild and singing to him or her.

Of course, the lyrics are poignant to us Boomer grandmas:

May the good lord be with you

Down every road you roam

And may sunshine and happiness

Surround you when you’re far from home

And may you grow to be proud

Dignified and true

And do unto others

As you’d have done to you

Be courageous and be brave

And in my heart you’ll always stay

Forever young, forever young

Forever young, forever young


May good fortune be with you

May your guiding light be strong

Build a stairway to heaven

With a prince or a vagabond


And may you never love in vain

And in my heart you’ll always remain

Forever young, forever young

Forever young, forever young

Forever young

Forever young

And when you finally fly away

I’ll be hoping that I served you well

For all the wisdom of a lifetime

No one can ever tell

But whatever road you choose

I’m right behind you, win or lose

Forever young, forever young

Forever young, forever young

Forever young, forever young

For, forever young, forever young

Watch and listen, and, when you can, watch Rod Stewart’s “Forever Young” with you singing to a precious grandchild in your arms.









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