Welcome To Our Companion Weblog

This is your source for news, links and notes from our program celebrating the life and career of the Entertainer of the 20th Century.

Friday, June 27, 2008

You've Either Got (Or You Haven't Got) Style

There's a beautiful article that just posted on the Official Sinatra Website about "Sinatra Style" from Steve Pond (of Premiere Magazine).
Sinatra Style did not leave us in May 1998. Sinatra Style is present tense. It is alive. It is available. “Arguably, no man ever lived life more broadly or confidently or stylishly than Frank Sinatra,” wrote Bill Zehme in The Way You Wear Your Hat, the mother lode when it comes to defining Sinatra Style. To do it like Sinatra did it, to even to give it a shot, you need to understand what Sinatra Style is, and what it is not.
Here's the link to the full article.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Episode 99: Rocky Fortune and the Prize Fight Setup

This week on The Frank Truth Sinatra Podcast we have another episode of Frank Sinatra's 1950s radio drama, Rocky Fortune. From December 29th, 1953 it's the Prize Fight Setup.

There are also some emails and a comment from our listener voicemail line.

Click here for the MP3 file, or subscribe for free through iTunes.

Shownotes and Links

Frank Sinatra, Jr. at the Hilton Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City

That Face

Strangers In The Night

The New Patsy's

Jerry's Atlantic City Pics

Steve D'Agostino

This podcast was licensed by BMI and ASCAP. We encourage you to purchase and enjoy legally distributed music. The old time radio episode included is a work in the Public Domian.

The special offers mentioned in the episode are no longer valid.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Rocky Fortune: Sinatra's 1950s Radio Drama

This week on The Frank Truth Sinatra Blog, we're focusing on our old pal Rocco Fortunato.

From October 6th, 1953 through March 30, 1954 Frank Sinatra starred on NBC Radio's Rocky Fortune. Described as a "footloose and fancy-free young gentleman" Rocky moved from one temporary job to the next, and he got into the middle of some dangerous situation or another every week with each new assignment from the Gridley Employment Agency.

So far on The Frank Truth, we've listened to 10 episodes of the program. There are currently 25 in the audio section of the Internet Archive, all of which are in the Public Domain.

It was typical during Radio's Golden Age that programming wasn't placed under copyright. It simply didn't occur to anyone that these shows would be of any value beyond their initial airing. We're lucky indeed that so much of the material from the early days of the medium survived - due, in large part, to the lack of quality high-speed real-time network capacity. Many of the episodic programs were "transcribed" for broadcast. They were recorded and pressed to disc and then shipped out to affiliate stations for playback on their turntables. These transcriptions eventually found their way to collectors. Hence the wonderful treasure trove of old radio programs that still entertain us today.

I thoroughly enjoy listening to Old Blue Eyes' portrayal of Rocky. He somehow makes the character believable. This is no small feat, considering the range of jobs the character performed during the series' run. He is at various times an oyster shucker, a cabbie, a museum tour guide, a chauffeur, a truck driver, a carny, a bodyguard, a babysitter (for a chimpanzee no less), a social director in the Catskills, a process server and bass player in a jazz combo.

In addition to the intrigue and adventure, there's usually a beautiful (and often treacherous) woman around who typically falls for Rocky despite her best efforts.

If you listen to an episode or two, you won't need to be told that Rocky Fortune isn't high art, but it is great entertainment and a chance to examine Frank Sinatra's excellent thespian timing and inflection. Audio drama requires a commitment of attention on behalf of the audience beyond that necessary for other media. Sinatra holds us heedful throughout this series despite the rather pedestrian and sometimes predictable scripts.

It is interesting to compare Sinatra's performances in Rocky Fortune to his persona on To Be Perfectly Frank, the NBC music program which aired around the same time. We'll do just that in the weeks ahead on The Frank Truth Sinatra Podcast.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Tom's Playlist Challenge

Here's a chance to share your favorite Sinatra (and Sinatra-related) playlists.

Tom (our pal in Cincinnati) created a one-CD mix, and challenged me to do the same. I thought it might be fun to post Tom's playlist here on the Blog and encourage other listeners to create and share your own. They can be iMix, MixWit, MuxTape, or simple text lists. Post links or lists in the comments section.

I'm confident that Frank Truth visitors are the most creative of any Sinatra site. Let's prove it!

We'll get started with Tom's list. Think outside the jewel case, and have fun.
  • Come Fly With Me
  • I've Got The World On A String
  • Day By Day
  • The Song Is You
  • At Long Last Love
  • I Thought About You
  • Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart
  • Dancing Cheek To Cheek
  • You Brought A New Kind Of Love To Me
  • Day In, Day Out
  • You Do Something To Me
  • Fly Me To The Moon
  • Almost Like Being In Love
  • I Get A Kick Out Of You
  • Witchcraft
  • Nice 'n' Easy
  • How Little It Matters
  • Night And Day
  • You Make Me Feel So Young
  • Let's Fall In Love
  • I've Heard That Song Before
  • The Tender Trap
  • That Old Black Magic
  • It's Always You
  • Just In Time
  • The Way You Look Tonight
  • I've Got You Under My Skin
  • I'll Be Seeing You

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Guys and Dolls

Last night my wife and I attended a performance of Guys and Dolls at the historic Little Theatre on the Square in Sullivan, Illinois. It was a wonderful evening. I'm always amazed at the quality presented onstage so close to home.

The production starred Doug Wilson (of Trading Spaces fame), Jack Milo, Kate Feerick and LoriAnn Freda (who was the perfect Miss Adelaide). Eddie Schnecker was a standout as Nicely-Nicely Johnson.

The musical's first performance on Broadway was over 5 decades ago.

So why post about it here on a Frank Sinatra Weblog? In case you're unaware, Sinatra created the ultimate portrayal of Nathan Detroit in Samuel Goldwyn's 1955 Movie version. In fact, I first fell in love with the songs from this show after hearing a couple of tunes from Frank and Dino on the Rat Pack Live At The Sands set.

Here are Frank Sinatra as Nathan, Stubby Kaye as Nicely-Nicely and Johnny Silver as Benny Southstreet from the Film.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Cockroach

We're now streaming on Thursday evenings around 8:30 Eastern on The Internet's Talk Superstation. Check out the rest of their lineup!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Episode 98: Sinatra Miniseries

On Episode 98 of The Frank Truth Sinatra Podcast, it's our review of the Sinatra miniseries that was released on DVD in May.

The movie was approved by Frank Sinatra. His daughter Tina was Executive Producer. It won a Golden Globe Award as "Best Made For TV Movie" for 1992.

Click here for the MP3 of the show, or subscribe for free at iTunes.

Shownotes and Links

Amazon Link

IMDB Listing


Video Clip "Goin' Up"

Video Clip "Ava"

PayPal Donations

Cole Porter Post

Previous Episode on Cole Porter

Neil Shurley Story

Song Clips

  • Shine - The Hoboken Four (Old Time Radio Clip)
  • I'll Never Smile Again - Frank Sinatra with The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra (from A Voice In Time)

This podcast is licensed by BMI and ASCAP. We encourage you to purchase and enjoy legally distributed music.

This episode is sponsored in part by eMusic. Get 35 songs for free with our two week trial offer. Click here to learn more.

Here's the Tommy Dorsey page at eMusic.

Here's the Frank Sinatra page.

Here's the Rat Pack page.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Video Episode 5: Sinatra Miniseries Clip - "Goin' Up"

Here's another short teaser from the Warner Home Video DVD release of Sinatra (the miniseries). The next episode of The Frank Truth will include my review. Watch this site for details, or subscribe to the show for free through iTunes and never miss an episode.

Click here to download the MP4 version.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Video Episode 4: Sinatra Miniseries Clip

I'm still working on my review of the Warner Home Video DVD release of Sinatra (the miniseries), and hope to have it out to you this week. In the meantime, here's a short clip from the film.

Click here to download the QuickTime version.

There's still time for you to weigh in. Call our listener comment line at 312-235-2139 or email frankfeedback@gmail.com.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Happy Birthday Nancy!

In addition to her own stunning and influential music career, Nancy Sinatra has been a tireless champion of veterans' causes and remains the primary keeper of her father's legacy. God bless you, Nancy.

Friday, June 06, 2008

I Get A Kick Out Of You

Quite some time ago the question was raised on The Frank Truth as to whether Frank Sinatra and Cole Porter had ever met. Here's some photographic evidence sent in by one of our listeners, Tom. It's a picture from the newly refurbished SINATRA.COM site showing Frank Sinatra in performance and Porter (with Jack Benny and Kim Novak) in the front row.

Although there's no way of telling what happened later, one imagines that the two men must have met and conversed at some point during their long careers.