A Tribute to Frank Sinatra, my favorite vocal artist.

"Let's start the action!" -- Frank Sinatra
From The Way You Wear Your Hat,
Frank Sinatra and the Lost Art of Livin by Bill Zehme.

This quote pretty much sums up Sinatra's attitude to life.

The Sinatra style: It was all in the details
Carreer Highlights
International Sinatra Society
Sinatra Family Website

The Sinatra style: It was all in the details

NEW YORK (AP) -- Never yawn in front of a lady. Top your martini with two olives and give one to a friend. Make sure your trousers break just above the shoes.

Like the rock stars who knocked him (temporarily) off the charts, Frank Sinatra didn't just perform his songs, he lived them. Around swinging standards and lonely ballads he arranged both a broad, brash philosophy and an intricate set of codes and rituals.

``He believed in lecturing to others about how things should be done,'' said Bill Zehme, author of ``The Way You Wear Your Hat,'' an informal biography that compiles stories about Sinatra and his lifestyle. ``He wanted people to live up to his standards of class and elegance.''

The Sinatra Style was in the details. Some examples: Cock your hat -- angles are attitudes. Don't put on a brown suit at night -- wear dark gray. Better yet, wear black. Make friends with the sky. If black tie is optional, wear it. Except on Sunday. Never wear a tux on Sunday.

``I am,'' Sinatra once said, ``a thing of beauty.'' He owned more than a hundred suits and didn't want anyone ruining them, like the old man who grabbed his arm at the 1956 Democratic National Convention.

``Take your hand off the suit, creep!'' the singer reportedly snapped, not realizing (or caring) he was talking to Sam Rayburn, the Speaker of the House.

Sinatra had it all thought out: Tip big and tip quietly -- fold the bills three times into small squares and pass them in a handshake; let the ice sink in your glass so the flavors will blend; never drink a drink immediately after it's poured; better a carton of milk than a serving of warm vodka.

Women. When Sinatra dies, Dean Martin once joked, they're going to leave his zipper with the Smithsonian Institution. The Chairman liked sex, but he also cared about style. No miniskirts. Forget about topless. He admired poise, restraint, class. He hated chain smokers and too much perfume. He couldn't stand being nagged.

``Fun with everything'' was one of his mottoes, like in 1955 when he and his pals -- Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, Judy Garland and David Niven - spent four days in Las Vegas where they did just about everything but sleep. On Day 5, with all but Sinatra feeling like they had fallen out of an airplane, Bacall checked out the survivors and a gang was born: ``You look like a ... rat pack!''

The Rat Pack was Bogart's, but when he died Frank took over. Frank brought in Dean, Joey, Sammy and whoever else might drop by the steam room at the Sands Hotel. They wore monogrammed robes -- FAS (Sinatra), DAG (Martin), SON OF A GUN (Bishop) -- and spoke their own language. Endsville. Scramsville. A ``bunter'' was a drag. A ``gasser'' wasn't. Don't even ask what it meant to lose your ``bird.''

Of all the Rat Pack stories the best ones usually involved Martin, the laid-back ``Abruzzese'' Sinatra always wanted to be, the guy who could tell Frank where to go and live to tell about it.

There was the night in the mid-1960s when the Martins had everyone over for their anniversary. They had an orchestra and white-coated bartenders. By 11 o'clock, however, DAG was missing and the cops had arrived, saying there had been a complaint about the noise. Sinatra couldn't figure it out. All the neighbors were at the party. Who could have done it?

The call, he was told, came from inside the house.

Sinatra headed straight for the master bedroom.

``Did you call the cops on your own party?'' he said to Martin, whom he found lying in bed, holding a golf club, watching television.

Martin: ``Hey, they ate, they drank. Let them go home. I gotta get up in the morning.''

``You,'' answered Sinatra, paying the ultimate compliment, ``are one crazy bastard.''

Sinatra believed in God. But death, which he called the Big Casino, left him speechless. For days, Sinatra couldn't talk after the death of his mother, killed when the plane he hired for her crashed into a mountain. On the phone with a dying Sammy Davis Jr., the two old friends simply held onto their receivers, grieving beyond words.

He thought you should live every moment as it if were your last, that too much thinking wasn't good for a man. He fought, really fought, for his privacy, but he hated being alone. Anything but boredom, especially after hours.

``You only live once,'' he liked to say, ``and the way I live once is enough.''

Career highlights of Frank Sinatra
Records (singles):
All or Nothing At All, 1939
I'll Never Smile Again, 1940
Imagination, 1940
Trade Winds, 1940
Our Love Affair, 1940
We Three, 1940
Stardust, 1940
Oh, Look At Me Now, 1941
Do I Worry?, 1941
Dolores, 1941
Everything Happens to Me, 1941
Let's Get Away from it All, 1941
This Love of Mine, 1941
Two in Love, 1941
Just as Though You Were Here, 1942
Daybreak, 1942
There Are Such Things, 1942
It Started All Over Again, 1943
In the Blue of Evening, 1943
It's Always You, 1943
You'll Never Know, 1943
Close to You, 1943
Sunday, Monday or Always, 1943
People Will Say We're in Love, 1943
I Couldn't Sleep a Wink Last Night, 1944
White Christmas, 1944
I Dream of You, 1945
Saturday Night, 1945
Dream, 1945
Nancy, 1945
Oh! What It Seemed to Be, 1946
Day by Day, 1946
They Say It's Wonderful, 1946
Five Minutes More, 1946
The Coffee Song, 1946
Mam'selle, 1947
The Huckle Buck, 1949
Young at Heart, 1954
Three Coins in the Fountain, 1954
Learnin' the Blues, 1955
Love and Marriage, 1955
Hey, Jealous Lover, 1956
Strangers in the Night, 1966
That's Life, 1966
Somethin' Stupid, 1967 (with daughter Nancy)

Records (albums):
Songs for Young Lovers, 1954
Swing Easy, 1954
In the Wee Small Hours, 1955
Songs for Swingin' Lovers, 1956
Close to You, 1957
A Swingin' Affair, 1957
Where Are You?, 1957
A Jolly Christmas, 1957
Come Fly with Me, 1958
Only the Lonely, 1958
Come Dance with Me, 959
Look to Your Heart, 1959
No One Cares, 1959
Nice 'n' Easy, 1960
Sinatra's Swingin' Session, 1961
All the Way, 1961
Ring-a-Ding-Ding, 1961
Come Swing with Me, 1961
Sinatra Swings, 1961
I Remember Tommy, 1961
Sinatra and Strings, 1962
Point of No Return, 1962
Sinatra Sings of Love and Things, 1962
Sinatra and Swingin' Brass, 1962
All Alone, 1962
Sinatra-Basie, 1963
The Concert Sinatra, 1963
Sinatra's Sinatra, 1963
Days of Wine and Roses, 1964
Sinatra-Basie: It Might as Well Be Swing, 1964
Softly, As I Leave You, 1964
Sinatra '65, 1965
September of My Years, 1965
A Man and His Music, 1965
My Kind of Broadway, 1965
Moonlight Sinatra, 1966
Strangers in the Night, 1966
Sinatra-Basie: Sinatra at the Sands, 1966
That's Life, 1966
Frances Albert Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim, 1967
Frank & Nancy, 1967
Francis A. and Edward K., 1968
Cycles, 1968
My Way, 1969
A Man Alone, 1969
Watertown, 1970
Sinatra & Company, 1971
Ol' Blue Eyes is Back, 1973
Some Nice Things I've Missed, 1974
The Main Event-Live from Madison Square Garden, 1974
Trilogy, 1980
She Shot Me Down, 1981
L.A. Is My Lady, 1984
Duets, 1993
Duets II, 1994

Films:
Las Vegas Nights, 1941
Ship Ahoy, 1942
Reveille with Beverly, 1943
Higher and Higher, 1943
Step Lively, 1944
Anchors Aweigh, 1945
The House I Live In, 1945
Till the Clouds Roll By, 1946
It Happened in Brooklyn, 1947
The Miracle of the Bells, 1948
The Kissing Bandit, 1948
Take Me out to the Ball Game, 1949
On the Town, 1949
Double Dynamite, 1951
Meet Danny Wilson, 1951
From Here to Eternity, 1953
Suddenly, 1954
Young at Heart, 1955
Not as a Stranger, 1955
The Tender Trap, 1955
Guys and Dolls, 1955
The Man With the Golden Arm, 1955
Johnny Concho, 1956
High Society, 1956
The Pride and the Passion, 1957
The Joker is Wild, 1957
Pal Joey, 1957
Kings Go Forth, 1958
Some Came Running, 1958
A Hole in the Head, 1959
Never So Few, 1959
Can-Can, 1960
Ocean's Eleven, 1960
The Devil at Four O'Clock, 1961
Sergeants Three, 1962
The Manchurian Candidate, 1962
Come Blow Your Horn, 1963
Four for Texas, 1964
Robin and the Seven Hoods, 1964
None But the Brave, 1965
Von Ryan's Express, 1965
Marriage on the Rocks, 1965
Assault on a Queen, 1966
The Naked Runner, 1967
Tony Rome, 1967
The Detective, 1968
Lady in Cement, 1968
Dirty Dingus Magee, 1970
The First Deadly Sin, 1980
Cannonball Run II, 1984
Who Framed Roger Rabbit, 1988 (voice only)
Entertaining the Troops, 1989 (documentary)
Listen Up: The Lives of Quincy Jones, 1990 (documentary)

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Joseph W. Pitt.
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