Frank Sinatra’s 99th Birthday Celebration

Author: Bill Dudley

The way you wear your hat discloses if you are a Sinatra fan.

Thanks to Justin Timberlake, fedora hats are back with the younger generation. I’ve always said Timberlake is the modern day Sinatra, but alas there was only ONE Frank Sinatra, and he is now more popular than ever.

Born 99 years ago on December 12th 1915 in Hoboken, New Jersey, who knew that this birth would both change and dominate all facets of the entertainment industry for the latter half of 20th Century?

Frank and his wife Barbara Sinatra also changed the culture of the once sleepy celebrity hideaway called Palm Springs many years ago. So much so, that many Italian restaurants still boast “Frank ate here”.

This Friday (12/12),the Barbara Sinatra Center is celebrating what would have been the 99th birthday of the 20th Century’s most celebrated voice and consummate entertainer, Frank Sinatra.

Comedian Tom Dreesen toured with Sinatra for 13 years and has lots of stories about those adventures. He shared the folklore with David Letterman recently, when a fan once asked Dreesen for a picture as Frank was entering the stage. Dreesen assumed the fan wanted a picture of Frank, as did Frank. She actually wanted a picture of Tom, so he timidly handed Sinatra the camera. Amazingly Frank made the fan happy, and took actually took the picture of her with Tom, but then ignored Dreesen for the final two weeks of the tour.

Women loved Frank. Men wanted to be Frank. He swooned the ladies for 6 decades,marrying Ava Gardner and  Mia Farrow. Frank ran with Presidents, gangsters, Dean Martin and Marilyn Monroe. He broke the unspoken racial barrier in Las Vegas by refusing to perform at any hotel where his pal Sammy Davis Jr wasn’t welcome to stay.

Did you know the original “Rat Pack” consisted of Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh ? As I said, there was only one Frank Sinatra, and I’m sure the Tom Dreesen show will prove that once again. I wish my mom were still alive to see this show. She loved Frank.

“An Evening of Laughter and Memories of Frank Sinatra” takes place tomorrow night in Rancho Mirage, and is a benefit for the Barbara Sinatra Center (for abused children). For tickets call (760) 340-2336or visit www.barbarasinatrachildrenscenter.org.

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