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“How Do You Keep The Music Playing”

By Mahnuel Muñoz

How Do You Keep The Music Playing” is one of late Sinatra’s most moving recordings. It is a song composed in 1982 by Michel Legrand, Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman for the soundtrack of the film “Best Friends”, starring Burt Reynolds and Goldie Hawn.

The song was played in the film with the voices of James Ingram and Patti Austin and was nominated for the award for best original song at the 55th Academy Awards, but lost the statuette in favor of “Up Where We Belong”, the classic ballad. from “An Officer And A Gentleman” sung by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes.

The single album with “How Do You Keep The Music Playing” managed to climb to fifth place on Billboard magazine’s adult contemporary pop charts.

The original song is a dialogue between two young lovers who wonder how to keep the flame of their love burning as time passes. It became quite popular among vocalists and has seen readings by Celine Dion, Johnny Mathis, Barbra Streisand, Shirley Bassey and Tony Bennett.

But Frank Sinatra was one of the first artists to offer his version, which transforms the nature of the original message. In the voice of a sixty-eight year old man, the hopeful question transforms into a bitter and resigned affirmation of the havoc that time wreaks on human beings and what they love.

In addition to the version known to the general public, included on the LP “L.A. Is My Lady” (1984), there is an approximation recorded a year earlier, with a more intimate arrangement signed by Joe Parnello supporting the contained and deeply moving interpretation of Sinatra, which makes the piece a different song and a unique experience. This recording was released in 2019, closing the compilation “Frank Sinatra Sings Alan & Marilyn Bergman” and I remember the first listen, in my room, with my eyes closed, feeling that Frank was physically present singing just for me. The world, with its omnipresent noise, stopped. And I was very, very happy to be able to feel and enjoy that way. I invite you to do the same and share your sensations. Happy Day.

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