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Rick Kriseman’s Frank Sinatra covers serves as Happy Birthday to The Voice

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Saturday is Frank Sinatra’s 100th birthday. It may have been a few days early, but in honor of Ol’ Blue Eyes, St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman posted a special kind of happy birthday on his political Facebook page.

Last November, at the 10th anniversary celebration of the Studio @620 at the coliseum, Kriseman sang his own rendition of one of Sinatra’s hits – “My Kind of Town.”

In Sinatra’s original, the town, of course, is Chicago. But in Kriseman’s version it’s St. Pete. And he throws in some special places including the Coliseum and Studio @620.

Now, those who follow along with St. Pete politics and any who are otherwise in St. Pete’s socialite class, probably know our Mayor has got some pipes, but a lot of people don’t.

“Who knew? Great music talent, Rick,” wrote Judi LaRue.

In a recent performance for Studio @620, Kriseman prerecorded several lines in a radio theater skit. The script called for Kriseman to sing a Fleetwood Mac ditty. He wouldn’t do it.

But this post is a reminder that not only can Kriseman sing, he can sing well, and he’s not afraid to put some pizazz into it. At one point in the year-old performance, someone places a very Sinatra-esque hat atop the Mayor’s head and he doesn’t take it off.

“OK, we win. Best. Mayor. Ever,” wrote Sean Nordquist.

The sentiment was followed up by several others including Bonnie Agan who wrote Kriseman was “first class all the way.”

So, what’s the point? As the year winds down Kriseman has a lot to look back on and worry about. There are failed Rays deals, shaky curbside recycling rollout, controversial Pier proposals and raw sewage dumps. But Kriseman’s little Sinatra ditty is a reminder that Mayors are people too and sometimes they’re pretty neat.

Kudos, Kriseman. When shall we expect your next performance?

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email

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