By Sarah Graves
SPENCER — I am transported back to a gentler time. In my childhood living room filled with blonde wood furniture, I am sitting on a gold davenport, glimpsing the sunburst wall clock and sipping lemonade from a frosted glass while watching my parents lovingly dance to “Come Fly with Me” by Frank Sinatra. My mother quietly giggles as Father whispers sweet nothings in her ear, and I smile, humming along with the music.
Fast forward 50 years. I wait with eager anticipation to be transported once again to a place of conjured memories and forgotten sentiments as The Nelson Riddle Orchestra and singer Bryan Anthony perform tunes by the artists who created the Great American Songbook, celebrating as well the centennial of Sinatra’s birth. This eloquent tribute to a bygone era will take place at the LuCille Tack Center for the Arts on Saturday, Oct. 17, at 7:30 p.m.
Generally considered the “World’s Most Recorded Orchestra,” The Nelson Riddle Band shared studio time with the likes of Sinatra, Dean Martin, Judy Garland, Nat “King” Cole, and Ella Fitzgerald. In 1986 Christopher Riddle took over as conductor of his father’s legendary 17-piece big band orchestra. The charts they play are the originals created by Nelson Riddle, one of the greatest arrangers in the history of American pop music and a winner of three Academy and Grammy Awards.
Seats for The Nelson Riddle Orchestra’s Sinatra Centennial Celebration are reserved, cost $28, and can be purchased online at lucilletackcenter.com with PayPal, by calling the box office at 715-659-4499, or in person at 300 School St. in Spencer. The LuCille Tack Center for the Arts box office is open Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.