Now here's how you celebrate 'The Voice' (the original one)
James M. Berklan
There's a reason you go back to your favorite restaurant, television show or shoe store. They're good, and you can count on them being good. That's how I feel about the public relations folks at Erickson Living Communities. They “get” it, and their newest project is a perfect example.
Yesterday I caught wind of a birthday party they're planning, but this one's not for a resident, or a worker. It's for Sinatra. No first name needed.
Francis Albert Sinatra would have turned 100 on Dec. 12 this year had he survived. Erickson communities around the country are going to make it seem like he did.
And what a grand idea it is, because when one thinks of the singer — or perhaps American performer of any type — who is universally recognized across geographic and age boundaries, there is none bigger than Frank Sinatra.
So here's the deal. This wonderfully produced YouTube clip introduces the birthday bash plans, as outlined by dancing, singing, music-playing Erickson residents and workers. It's definitely worth a look — you get everything from intergenerational dancing to mock studio interviews to true big band jamming and singing to a chorus line of dancers revving up for Sinatramania.
As strains of the Chairman of the Board croon, “You make me feel so young, you make me feel there are songs to be sung … ” information rolls in from various Erickson locations.
Scrolling text tells it best: “Few people know more about Sinatra's life and music than many of his loyal fans who attended his performances and are now living at Erickson Living communities. To them, he was simply the voice heard, loved and appreciated.”
That says it in a nutshell. You can already see it in the faces of the seniors speaking and taking part in the video. This is THEIR guy, and they can get behind him. “The best is yet to come” seems etched into each of them.
While I've admired other creative music efforts put forth by various senior living providers in the past, this seems to have hit the mark the best. Showing Grandmas and Grandpas mockingly lip synching in costume as modern-day rappers may be good for a grin, but it doesn't get the sincere, heartfelt embrace that Ol' Blue Eyes does from participants.
The fact that Erickson's brainstormers have jumped on an idea and started to run with it so far ahead of the actual date — and well ahead of others — earns a tip of the fedora, for sure. Truth be told, I'm not the biggest Sinatra fan in the world. He's no Willie Nelson, that's for sure. But he is one of a kind, and ripe to be celebrated by young and old alike.
So I get it. And it's nice to see residents around the country are already getting into it and having fun too.
Isn't that the whole point of what we should be doing anyway?
James M. Berklan is McKnight's Editor. Follow him @JimBerklan.