Sinatra's N.J. hometown celebrates singer's 100th birthday

TRENTON, N.J. -- Frank Sinatra was the Chairman of the Board, Ol' Blue Eyes and The Voice. But "Slacksy O'Brien?"

See Full Article

That was an early nickname for Sinatra in the Hoboken neighbourhood in the U.S. state of New Jersey where he grew up because, as a youngster, he wore nice clothes.

Some young-at-heart residents of Hoboken might be raising a glass to the award-winning singer and actor on Saturday on what would have been his 100th birthday.

A look back at a century of Sinatra:

FROM HERE TO ETERNITY

Francis Albert Sinatra was born on Dec. 12, 1915, in the Hudson River waterfront city that was home to German, Irish and Italian immigrants.

His father, Anthony, was a boxer who fought in Irish gyms as "Marty O'Brien" before becoming a firefighter and tavern owner. His mother, known as "Dolly," was connected to the local political machine.

Even though the family initially lived in a cold-water apartment at 415 Monroe St., they eventually had such luxuries as a radio, telephone and car while his mother made sure her son had nice clothes, Hoboken Historical Museum director Robert Foster said.

START SPREADING THE NEWS

The high school dropout delivered the Jersey Observer newspaper and worked at a shipyard.

The car -- and a driver's license in which his name was misspelled SINTRA -- helped gain him a spot in 1935 with the singing group the Hoboken Four. They won first prize on a national radio program for amateur entertainers.

He became a singing waiter at The Rustic Cabin in Englewood Cliffs, where he met songwriter Cole Porter, and forgot the words to Porter's hit, "Night And Day," the 100 Sinatra website said.

Radio led Sinatra to big bands and stardom.

STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT

Sinatra offered his assistance to the FBI in 1950, according to a confidential memorandum obtained in 1998 by The Associated Press. It showed Sinatra felt there was an opportunity to "do some good for his country under the direction of the FBI." He was "willing to do anything even if it affects his livelihood and costs him his job," the memo said. The FBI turned down the offer.

The file also contained Sinatra's mug shot, taken by the Bergen County Sheriff's Office in 1938, after his arrest on a seduction charge that was later dropped.

LUCK BE A LADY

Sinatra's Rat Pack persona is associated with Las Vegas, but he gets credit for filling Atlantic City's casino showrooms with top talent after he appeared in 1979 at the city's first casino, Resorts International.

Following a show at Atlantic City's Golden Nugget in 1983, Sinatra and Dean Martin demanded a blackjack dealer break the rules, costing the casino a $25,000 fine.

A commissioner called Sinatra "an obnoxious bully" with a "bloated ego."

Sinatra scrapped an engagement and his lawyer issued a statement saying, "He will not perform in a state where appointed officials feel the compulsion to use him as a punching bag."

His last engagement in Atlantic City was at the Sands in 1994.

DRINK UP, ALL YOU PEOPLE

People left flowers near the plaque where Sinatra's first home once stood when he died in 1998 at age 82 and the city held a memorial Mass at St. Francis Roman Catholic Church, where Sinatra was baptized. Whatever real or imagined slights felt by some residents were forgotten.

Sinatra was inducted in the first class of New Jersey's Hall of Fame in 2008. A park and the city's main post office bear his name.

The Postal Service in 2008 issued a 42-cent stamp with his image, taking the rare step of holding three ceremonies in Hoboken, New York and Las Vegas.

But for a saloon singer who usually had a drink on stage, Sinatra's ultimate honour came from Jack Daniel's, which introduced Sinatra Select whiskey in 2003.

To honour the 100th anniversary of Sinatra's birth, Jack Daniel's produced 100 barrels of 100-proof Sinatra Century, which retails for $499.99 and includes an unreleased Sinatra recording.



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • After 4,000 episodes, The Jerry Springer show comes to an end

    Entertainment CBC News
    Somehow it doesn't seem right for Jerry Springer to exit quietly. There should be one last thrown chair or a bleep-filled tirade, at the very least. Instead, it was announced with no fanfare this week that he will stop making new episodes of his memorably raucous talk show, and neither Springer nor his bosses will talk about it. Source
  • Nobel laureate Vargas Llosa hospitalized after fall at home

    Entertainment CTV News
    MADRID -- Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa is under observation at a Madrid hospital after sustaining light injuries in a fall at home. The Spanish capital's Hospital Ruber Juan Bravo says it admitted the 82-year-old Peruvian writer early Thursday with a bruised left buttock and a slight head injury. Source
  • Serena Williams: Young boys need domestic abuse education

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Serena Williams says the conversation about stopping domestic abuse shouldn't just centre around women, but men as well. The tennis superstar says education about domestic abuse should start when men are young boys. Source
  • Amber Tamblyn novel flips gender stereotypes as it examines rape culture

    Entertainment CTV News
    TORONTO -- Actress and author Amber Tamblyn started writing "Any Man," her debut novel about a mysterious female rapist who preys on men, three and a half years ago. That was before #MeToo and Time's Up, before she became a prominent advocate for those movements, and before she shared her experience of sexual assault on her Instagram account. Source
  • Suspect arrested in rapper XXXTentacion's shooting death

    Entertainment CTV News
    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- A suspect has been charged in the shooting death of rising rap star XXXTentacion, authorities in Florida said Thursday. Dedrick Devonshay Williams, 22, of Pompano Beach was arrested shortly before 7 p.m. Source
  • Peter Fonda apologizes for 'vulgar' Barron Trump tweet

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Peter Fonda apologized Wednesday for a late-night Twitter rant in which he suggested 12-year-old Barron Trump should be ripped from "his mother's arms and put in a cage with pedophiles." The all-capitals tweet in the wee hours went on to call President Donald Trump an expletive. Source
  • Paul McCartney set to release his 17th solo album

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- Paul McCartney is inviting fans on a musical journey as he prepares to release his 17th solo album. The former Beatle, who turned 76 on Monday, announced on social media on Wednesday that "Egypt Station" will be released on Sept. Source
  • Ariana Grande, Pete Davidson confirm they are engaged

    Entertainment CTV News
    LOS ANGELES -- It's true, Pete Davidson says: He and Ariana Grande are engaged. The "Saturday Night Live" cast member confirmed their rumoured engagement to Jimmy Fallon on NBC's "Tonight Show." Fallon put Davidson on the spot Wednesday, telling him he didn't have to get engaged to the pop star to come on the talk show. Source
  • Kate Spade Foundation announces $1M charity donation ahead of designer's funeral

    Entertainment CBC News
    Kate Spade New York has announced plans to donate $1 million US to support suicide prevention and mental health awareness causes in tribute to the company's late founder. To start, the company said Wednesday the Kate Spade New York Foundation is giving $250,000 (all figures US) to the Crisis Text Line, a free, 24-hour confidential text message service for people in crisis. Source
  • Dig it: Archeologists scour Woodstock '69 concert field

    Entertainment CTV News
    BETHEL, N.Y. -- Archeologists scouring the grassy hillside famously trampled during the 1969 Woodstock music festival carefully sifted through the dirt from a time of peace, love, protest and good vibes. Perhaps they would find an old peace symbol? Or a strand of hippie beads? Or Jimi Hendrix's guitar pick? Source