My Kind of Town

My Kind of Town

This is my kind of town, Chicago is
My kind of town, Chicago is
My kind of people, too
People who smile at you

When Frank Sinatra first sang this now famous song in 1964 the only building standing in this image was Chicago Tribune which was built in 1925. The Equitable Building on the right was built in 1965. The John Hancock Tower was completed in 1969.

This view looked very different back in the 1960s. Besides the Chicago Tribune building, Frank Sinatra might have seen just some construction cranes in this place. But still this song pops into my head every time I see the horns of the John Hancock Tower.

Frank Sinatra sang the song. But there are another two men who were actually responsible for the birth of this song: Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen.

Sammy Cahn was a songwriter and his name should be etched into your brain: his most enduring creation “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” is going in the endless loop in every department store at Christmas time.

Sammy Cahn was a man who didn’t just do what he loved, he loved what he did: he wrote songs. 4 Academy Awards and 31 nominations is the proof that he was very, very good at that.

Jimmy Van Heusen as a composer was not far behind. “Call Me Irresponsible”, “Love and Marriage”, “Come Fly with Me” and many other melodies made a whole career for Frank Sinatra. And Michael Buble.

Jimmy was in the business not just for the money. He once confessed: “I took song writing seriously when I discovered girls.” Although he wasn’t a handsome man, Van Heusen was known to be quite a ladies’ man. It was said about him: “He played piano beautifully, he had a fat wallet, he flew his own plane, he never went home alone.”

What’s the moral of this story? It’s simple: success comes to you when Don Corleone calls you a friend.