Frank Sinatra would have been 100 this year if he had lived and to celebrate, New York City, one of his favorite haunts and a launchpad for his career, is celebrating him in style. There are 2 exhibitions already open, ‘Sinatra: An American Icon’ at the New York Public Library until September 4 and ‘The Sinatra Experience’ on at the Morrison Hotel Gallery, SoHo from now until March 26.
While born in Hoboken on the other side of the Hudson river, not NYC, his story was quintessentially a New York one, immigrant parents who worked hard and gave him a good upbringing and then supported him in launching a musical career.
He was wildly talented. He had was a voice of pure honey and a phenomenal musical ability which was the envy of his musical peers, a natural grace of movement that enhanced everything he did on stage and screen and an honest, immediate acting style which earned him high acting honors. He carried around some emotional baggage some of which seems to have derived from his status as a single child so he always wanted lots of people around him. He was subject to mood swings and apart from performing he preferred a quieter life and going to places he was familiar with. His favorite spots in NYC like Jilly’s (now the Russiam Samovar) at 256 W 52nd St. and Patsy’s at 236 W 56th St were comfortable rather than glamorous hangouts, where he was well known and always looked after very well. he wasn’t into celebrity, his own or anyone else’s.
The video, which shows him singing with Sammy Davis Jr, Dean Martin and Johnny Carson illustrates a lot about Frank Sinatra. There’s the beautiful voice and easy movement but his sheer pleasure in entertaining with his friends just hits you. He liked people, he liked entertaining them and he enjoyed deep friendships with people towards whom he was always generous. He always stayed in the Walford Astoria when in NYC, in a suite of his own, and the hotel rewarded him with exceptional privileges, like giving him access to the bar in the ballroom at any time of the day or night. His much commented supposed links with the mafia nd criminals seems to have been more loyalty to old friends than anything else because despite intense FBI surveillance they never caught him out in illegal activity.
If he had lived he would have been 100 in Dec 2015. So his stellar career, his 209 hits on the Billboard charts, his Academy Awards are now being celebrated in a variety of ways. As well as the two exhibitions in NYC already noted, HBO is putting out a biopic on his life and expect to hear lots of Frank Sinatra on the radio and TV. We thank you Frank you gave us a great deal during your lifetime and we thank you.