Our Monthly 'Birthday' Salute Goes to....

Can you guess who the iconic born-in-December "Mr. X" is?

By: Dec. 06, 2023
Our Monthly 'Birthday' Salute Goes to....
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?   ?    ?   ?   ?   ?  Quite a few music celebrities were born in the month of December. Everybody from Taylor Swift to good old Beethoven.  And then there are theatre composers such as Noel Coward to Adam Guettel...Our Monthly 'Birthday' Salute Goes to....

Our Monthly 'Birthday' Salute Goes to....  

cabaret gentlemen named Steve (Ross and Tyrell); two of The Beach Boys; two of The Monkees; two of The Bee Gees (well, they were twins); John Hammond, John Legend and John Denver.  But there’s one man whose influence and connections to others with December birthdays is on my mind for a deserved salute. Who is it?  Let’s call him Mr. X for now. Well, consider these related hints — trivia, if you will. We can name-drop those with connections to Mr. X who were born on December days between the FIRST day of December (the birthday of Lou Rawls, born 90 years ago, who 20 years ago, released an album in tribute to Mr. X) and the LAST day of December, the birthday shared by composer Jule Styne who wrote some songs (with Sammy Cahn lyrics) that Mr. X introduced in the movies. Here are some others: 

December THIRD is the day Andy Williams was born. His signature song was “Moon River”; Mr. X recorded that, too, on his album of Academy Award-winning songs….. December SIXTH in 1896 was the birthdate of lyricist Ira Gershwin.

Our Monthly 'Birthday' Salute Goes to....

If your memory is foggy, let me remind you that “A Foggy Day (in London Town),” with music by brother George, was recorded by Mr. X on his first album for Capitol Records, again, for his first album with his next label (which he founded), and, in later years, as a duet with a country music star who turned 90 this year ….…..December EIGHTH is the birthday of Sammy Davis, Jr., a pal of Mr. X; they performed together and recorded a fun duet of the old tune “Me and My Shadow”.

Our Monthly 'Birthday' Salute Goes to....

…..December TWELFTH is Mr. X’s birthday! By the way, other singers born that day are Bob Dorough (it’s his centenary this year), Dionne Warwick, and a singer who is Italian, like Mr. X, and whose last name is Mr. X’s official first name.  That would be Connie Francis. ….

Yes, Mr. X is -----------------------------------  Frank Sinatra.  

If you read BroadwayWorld’s write-ups about performances of songs in cabaret shows and recordings, plenty of those were sung over the years by Francis Albert Sinatra. 54 Below regularly presents multi-performer evenings of that material, hosted by Scott Siegel. (The next ones are on Sinatra’s birthdate of December 12 and on January 20.) Our Monthly 'Birthday' Salute Goes to.... Ben Jones, who’s often in those programs, has his own full tribute to Frank which he just did at Birdland. You’ll probably hear a track from one of Sinatra’s three Christmas albums piped into the store you’re shopping at this month. Sinatra The Musical, a biographical theatre piece, is now a reality and there always seem to be tribute shows big and small honoring him alone or as part of the colleagues known as The Rat Pack springing up every spring, summer, fall, and winter. So, a tip of the fedora to Frank Sinatra.     

Our Monthly 'Birthday' Salute Goes to.... PS – That country star who turned 90, as noted above, is Willie Nelson, who also released an album of Sinatra songs, as did the aforementioned Steve Tyrell (and others!).  


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