Archive for May, 2009

Frank Sinatra’s First Professional Singing Job

Posted in Entertainment with tags on May 27, 2009 by franksinatratribute

Rustic Cabn

Between 1937 and 1939, if you dined at a place called the Rustic Cabin in Englewood Cliffs New Jersey, you might have been entertained by a skinny young singer named Frank Sinatra of Hoboken.  He also emceed the night’s entertainment and even waited on tables.

It was Frank Sinatra’s first professional singing job, and an extra bonus for exposure was being heard on the regular radio broadcast from the Rustic Cabin over WNEW radio in New York.

It was on one of those broadcasts that band leader Harry James heard Frank singing and decided to hire him to sing with the Harry James Orchestra.  It’s not known what Frank was paid at the Rustic Cabin, but it probably wasn’t much.  At least if he was hungry, the  Rustic Cabin’s most popular dessert, a piece of chocolate layer cake, only cost 20 cents.   From a Frank Sinatra Tribute Performer in Los Angeles.

Some info about Frank Sinatra’s Hometown

Posted in Entertainment with tags on May 25, 2009 by franksinatratribute
A marker at the site of Frank Sinatra's birthplace

A marker at the site of Frank Sinatra's birthplace

A lot of people know that Frank Sinatra started out life in Hoboken New Jersey.  But you may not know a lot about the place.  So here’s some info from WordPress and a Frank Sinatra Tribute Show.  Hoboken, a pretty small city of about 40,000 people today, is really like a part of the New York metropolitan area, located right across the Hudson River.  In Sinatra’s time, it was heavily Irish, Italian and German, and it was once known as the city with a bar on every corner.  Although the house where the Sinatras lived is no longer there, a special sidewalk marker, like a Hollywood walk of fame star, is there as a tribute, and serves as a memorial for visitors to view. 

Frank Sinatra may be the town’s most famous citizen, but there have been several other notable Hoboken residents, including baseball’s A-Rod – Alex Rodriguez, actor Joe Pantoliano of  The Sopranos, singer Pia Zadora, Watergate figure G. Gordon Liddy, and the current governor of New Jersey, Jon Corzine.

And Hoboken has some other distinctions.  For one, it is said to be the location of the first game of Baseball.   It’s believed that the first Oreo cookie was sold in Hoboken.  And Hoboken’s Automatic Hook & Eye Co. says this city can also claim the honor of being the site of the invention of the most important part of our clothing – the zipper.

Frank Sinatra and the Major Bowes Amateur Hour

Posted in Entertainment with tags on May 22, 2009 by franksinatratribute

Young FrankYoung Frank Sinatra knew early on that he wanted to sing.  One inspiration in particular was seeing Bing Crosby perform in Jersey City, NJ.  Frank’s first success as a vocalist came on a radio talent competition called The Major Bowes Amateur Hour, hosted by Edward Bowes, who would use a gong to signal it was over for a contestant that didn’t quite make it, paving the way for TV’s Gong Show many years later.

It was on The Major Bowes’ Amateur Hour that a nineteen year old Frank Sinatra scored as part of a group called  The Hoboken Four, although that wasn’t the group’s original name.  It was Major Bowes that gave this name to the group that orginally auditioned as “Frank Sinatra and the Three Flashes”. 

After winning the competition, The Hoboken Four got to tour in one of Major Bowes’ traveling shows.  Soon, Sinatra went off on his own, and started receiving the individual recognition that propelled his career, celebrated by this Frank Sinatra Tribute.

Although Major Bowes died in 1946, The Amateur Hour actually ran for many more years, with another host named Ted Mack, and the show featured many future musical stars like Pat Boone, Robert Merrill, Beverly Sills, Gladys Knight and Ann-Margret among others.

Frank Sinatra At the Beginning

Posted in Entertainment with tags on May 10, 2009 by franksinatratribute

Sinatra as baby

As it’s well known, Frank Sinatra was a pretty skinny guy during his early years and into adulthood, so it might be surprising to know he weighed in at a whopping 13 1/2 pounds at birth.  And a difficult birth it was.  The doctor had trouble removing the baby from his mother, and it’s said he barely showed signs of life at his original debut. 

The use of forceps to assist in the difficult birth left scars on baby Frank’s head near his ear, and may have punctured an eardrum, a condition that later prevented him from military service during World War II. 

A final note:  It’s said that the new baby’s mom and dad were hoping for a girl and had already chosen the name Frances.  A quick change in spelling gave us Francis. . .Francis Albert Sinatra, who would become an international star and the focus of this Frank Sinatra Tribute.