After You’ve Gone

frank jrHello My Fellow Sinatra Fans

It has been many moons since I posted on this blog. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, actually, and feeling rather guilty. This blog was never supposed to be something that I posted in every day, but I certainly have gotten quite bad at having any sort of regularity. That is why I’ve been trying hard to set aside some time to write a really great post.

But let me tell you, I was not prepared for it to be this one.

This last week, we lost a very important member of the Sinatra family.

Frank Sinatra Jr. passed away this week of cardiac arrest while on tour in Florida. I’m certain that the family is heartbroken, and I’ve been thinking about it a lot myself.

To be completely honest, I don’t know much about Frank Jr. I know that he was kidnapped while his father was filming the movie Robin and the Seven Hoods, and I know that it took some time for him to come to terms with the fact that he would always live in his father’s shadow and legacy. I don’t know much more than anybody else, unfortunately.frank and frankie

That is why I’m not going to pretend that I do. But what I am going to say is that it is a very sad day in the world of Sinatra fans everywhere. I can’t help thinking that this is the passing away of something very, very important, even if I’m not quite sure what that means. It also means that one of my biggest life goals, to meet Frank Jr., will never become a reality.

So now I can only send condolences to the family and hope that everything will be alright.

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All Or Nothing At All

Frank SinatraHappy Sinatra Centennial!!!

This is it!! Happy 100th birthday to Francis Albert Sinatra, the man who changed the world and loved life doing it. The man who has taught so many people so much about what it means to live. I couldn’t be happier or more excited, I’m sure. With a post like this, there isn’t really very much that you can say, honestly. It’s too big. There’s so much to say that I find myself unable to say anything. But if there’s one thing I’ll say, it’s that it may be 100 years now, but he’s still as amazing as he ever was. Only Frank could do that. So, take a moment and feel that magnitude. Oh, and:

Happy Birthday, Frank. And thank you for it all.

At Least A Little In Love

smileThis week is it, everyone. The Sinatra Centennial is officially two days away. This is a time that I’ve been waiting for for years.

And as the big day draws nearer, it’s caused me to think a lot. I’ve always thought that this week would be marked by lots of celebration and it would be a big day. I mean, it’s the Sinatra Centennial!! This day is huge in the world of Frank’s fans.

But, interestingly enough, it hasn’t been anything like I thought it would be.

On the way home from work tonight I listened to Frank. It was wonderful! The thing is, I love Frank Sinatra. I’m a huge Frank Sinatra fan and always will be. But I don’t have to have a party all week this week to prove it or to celebrate it.

There have been concerts, album re-releases, new merchandise, and the suit and hat.jpglist goes on and on and on. And it has been amazing! In the Frank Sinatra world, 2015 has been absolutely great. And this Saturday, December 12, 2015, it will be Frank’s 100th birthday.

I guess you could say, that though I may not have been the best deliverer on this blog, that I’ve still been celebrating. And I hope that all of you have to.

I guess you could say that, looking back on this Centennial year, we’re all at least a little in love.

Don’t Change Your Mind About Me

This is it. I’m going to do it. The controversial question that I have heard about a million times was bound to come up on this blog sooner or later. And so in this post I’m going to address it. The question is this: Was Frank Sinatra part of the mafia?

17d0d4a27d4a8a823dc42c67e0810014Believe me, for some reason this is like the underlying thing that everybody on the planet thinks about him. I’ve heard it SO many times, and it’s one of the main reasons that being a Frank fan has it’s interesting moments. So, I’m going to give you the story.

Now, the reason that the question isn’t: was Frank Sinatra involved with the mafia? is because that actually isn’t a question. I’ll just go ahead and say it like it is: Frank Sinatra was involved with the mafia. And so were a lot of other stars. In the day and age when organized crime was such an industry, mafia bosses owned clubs and casinos: places where people like Frank had to go to perform as part of their career.

It’s also true though, that Frank had a fascination with the mafia. He had a sort of complex that way, I guess. He liked to be around them because he found it fascinating and captivating. In the end though, it seems that those people just ended up using him like they used everybody else: making connections here and there in order to make money. Now just for the record, Frank Sinatra was not the type of person who could be used or had, but in the end that’s what it was close to.

I think Frank considered those people friends, and they considered him a means to an end. So, yes, he was involved with them, but was he part of them? Absolutely not. And he spent his life trying to prove that. Frank had the right connections and a little fascination, and there the whole thing was born. He was eventually awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award possible.

And, though a little condensed, that is it. That is the story. Kind of anti-climactic, right?

[They All] Came Running

As Dean Martin started his solo career after his partnership with Jerry Lewis ended, he wanted to be known as a serious actor. Though when we all think of Dean Martin, we usually think of his humor and charm, he wanted to be able to make it in the world of serious acting, not just slapstick comedy.

The beginning of Dean’s comeback was marked by his role in the 1958 film The Young Lions, also starring Marlon Brando and Montgomery Clift. The movie did well and did wonders for the beginning of Dean’s serious acting career.

Frank and Dean in the 1958 film Some Came Running.
Frank and Dean in the 1958 film Some Came Running.

After this film, he starred in his very first film with Frank Sinatra: the acclaimed 1958 drama Some Came Running. The movie also starred Shirley Maclaine, and perhaps even more than being a great movie and very successful, it brought Martin and Sinatra together. They had met before, but this was their first time working together. I’m not sure how historically accurate this is, but in my own opinion, this is the moment that started it all. Frank and Dean became very good friends with each other (and also Shirley Maclaine who became the only female member of the Rat Pack) and everything took off from there.

By the mid 1960’s, Dean was on fire. Making movies and singing, he’d really made a name for himself and he’d done a terrific job. But this is where I bring our section of narrative on Dean a little bit more together with Frank. Some sources say that Frank considered Dean his best friend, and I love that.

Though the Rat Pack was never any sort of official partnership, Frank and Dean (and the others, of course) continued to sing and act together. And boy, did the crowds come running!

frank and deanWhen you hear the names of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, rarely do you ever think of a time other than when the Rat Pack was at it’s peak. They made history with song and movies, but also played much more of an integral role in each other’s lives than I think any of us will ever know.

Aren’t You Glad You’re You?

celebrateIn a recent post I briefly mentioned the things coming on Singing About Sinatra. It is, after all, a very important year in the world of Sinatra fans. With the Sinatra Centennial only five months away, I have known that I wanted to do some great things on this blog to bring in the celebrating. But I just could not think of anything extraordinary to do. Until today!

Yes, it’s true. I’ve figured it out! I’ve thought of an incredible way that we can bring in the Sinatra Centennial together, and I cannot tell you how excited I am. It is to the point where there are butterflies in my stomach and everything.

It occurred to me earlier today that one of the things that made Frank who he was were the people in his life. He once said, “I would like to be remembered as a man who had a wonderful time living life, a man who had good friends, fine family – and I don’t think I could ask for anything more than that, actually.” The people in Frank’s life were crucial to him!

It is for this reason that, in the months leading up to the Sinatra Centennial, I have decided to spend time featuring the different people that Frank loved and admired. His friends and family, the people that he spent his time with. The people that helped make Frank who he was.

Here’s how this is going to work: I’ll introduce our featured individual and spend posts talking about them, their life, and of course, how they were so important in Frank’s life. Aren’t you glad you get to be a part of this?

At this time, I’m very excited to introduce our first featured individual to you this evening. There were many, many people that I could’ve chosen from to be first, and many of them will most definitely appear later. But for innumerable reasons, there was really only one choice when it came down to it. So, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to Singing About Sinatra:

deanDean Martin!

Oh, what can words really say about Dean Martin? I could spend hours and hours telling you how much I love and adore Dean Martin. Let me put it this way: if I wasn’t doing a Frank Sinatra blog, I’d be doing a Dean Martin blog. Dean Martin is absolutely amazing. Like I mentioned, there really are no words.

In the upcoming posts, I will be delighted to share some about Dean’s own life and career. Make sure you stick around for that! I am so excited to get to share the next handful of posts with you discussing the one and only Dean Martin!

Say It

“Whatever else has been said about me personally is unimportant. When I sing, I believe. I’m honest.” It is one of my all time favorite Frank Sinatra quotes. I like it because of what it says about character, confidence, and honesty.

frankAs with any megastar, much of Frank’s life was an open book. You’ll find no shortage of books about him, and opinions of what everybody thinks he was “really” like. Well, as much as I’d like to say otherwise, I didn’t know Frank either. I decided early on that because of that, I would rely on what he said about himself and what those that were closest to him said about him. I think that’s the best way to try and understand it all.

It was when I stumbled upon this quote that my research into Frank really opened up. It makes perfect sense. Frank’s story lies in his music, in his truest way of expressing himself. When he sang, he believed. It was when he was the most honest. Who was Frank Sinatra? Who was the person behind The Voice? To find out, all you have to do is listen.

I’ll Be Home For Christmas

adb0ede4c871c64da01e89dcf2425290Happy, happy December! I hope that each and every one of you have an absolutely amazing Christmas season this year. I wish that I could do a wonderful countdown and everything like we did for Frank Sinatra Day, but it is not meant to be, I suppose. So, that being the case, please don’t forget to celebrate on December 12!

This month is happy 99th birthday to wonderful, amazing, spectacular Frank. I won’t be able to celebrate, so when the 12th roles around, please do so!

Happy Birthday, Frank!!!!!

And Merry Christmas!!!

Get Happy

Frank sitting in his happy chair.
Frank sitting in his happy chair.

Fun fact: Frank’s favorite color was orange. He thought that it was a happy color. For all the show business and night life, Frank was an intensely private person who just wanted to be happy. Kind of like the rest of us. Keep that in mind this November, and don’t forget to be grateful for all of the things that make you happy.