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

  • Forbes ranks highest-paid YouTube personalities of 2016

    Entertainment CTV News
    Swedish gamer "PewDiePie" tops Forbes' list of the highest-paid YouTube stars, having raked in an estimated US$15 million for 12 months ending June 2016. With nearly 50 million subscribers, 26-year-old Felix Kjellberg handily tops the list which also includes a rapper, prankster, "nerdy baker" and more gamers. Source
  • Drake, Justin Bieber up for best album Grammy

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- The Grammy Awards are sipping all of Beyonce's lemonade. The pop star is the leader of the 2017 Grammys with nine nominations, including bids for album of the year with "Lemonade," and song and record of the year with "Formation. Source
  • Publication halted for provocative children's books parody

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Publication has been halted for a provocative satire of children's stories, "Bad Little Children's Books," which had been criticized by online commenters for poor taste and reinforcing racial and cultural stereotypes. Released in September by Abrams and written by Arthur C. Source
  • Adele, Beyoncé, Bieber and Drake to vie for Grammy Awards

    Entertainment CBC News
    Singers Adele and Beyoncé, as well as Canadians Justin Bieber and Drake are among the nominees for the 59th annual Grammy Awards. Meghan Trainor, the 2016 best new artist Grammy winner, appeared on CBSThis Morning in New York today to help unveil the nominees in the four general field categories. Source
  • Mel Harris: 'thirtysomething' stars remain 'close' friends

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Almost 30 years since "thirtysomething" went off the air, the now 50-something cast of the drama about a group of American baby boomers remain friends. Mel Harris, who played Hope Steadman on the show, says she and cast mates Ken Olin, Timothy Busfield, Patricia Wettig, Polly Draper, Melanie Mayron and Peter Horton bonded while making the show, which aired on ABC from 1987 through 1991. Source
  • Dunham and Coates, mutual admirers, talk writing and Trump

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- "Girls" creator Lena Dunham and author-essayist Ta-Nehisi Coates, strangers until Monday night, found they had a lot in common. Especially when the subject was the upcoming presidency of Donald Trump. "If what has to happen is that I get metaphorically strung up by my toes because I think we were all born equal and beautiful, then that's just what's going to happen," Dunham said. Source
  • Sarah McLachlan on new Christmas album, her unusual pick for favourite song

    Entertainment CTV News
    No time of year gets Sarah McLachlan's heart pumping with anticipation quite like Christmas. The angelic-voiced pop singer says she's a huge fan of the yuletide season, which is one reason why this year she recorded her second festive album, "Wonderland. Source
  • 'She just soared': Canadian woman models in Victoria's Secret Fashion Show

    Entertainment CTV News
    They're touted as the most beautiful women in the world – and this year, one of them is Canadian. Ottawa-raised model Herieth Paul walked the runway at the 2016 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, as the only Canadian beauty in the much-hyped pop culture event. Source
  • Poland's top court upholds refusal to extradite Polanski

    Entertainment CTV News
    WARSAW, Poland -- Poland's Supreme Court has upheld a refusal to have filmmaker Roman Polanski extradited to the U.S. if he enters Poland. Polanski is wanted in the U.S. in a case involving sex with a minor, which has haunted him for almost 40 years. Source
  • 'The Great Wall' role never intended for Asian actor: Matt Damon

    Entertainment CTV News
    BEIJING - Matt Damon said Tuesday that his role in the new China-Hollywood production "The Great Wall" was always intended to be European, responding to criticism that an Asian actor should have been picked for the part. Source