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

  • Drake cancels concert after bad sushi

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    A bad case of food poisoning reportedly sent Drake to the hospital on Monday after having to cancel his concert in the Netherlands at late notice. The Jumpman hitmaker had been due to perform for fans in Amsterdam on Monday night, but the show, which had already been rescheduled twice, was abruptly called off moments before he was set to hit the stage. Source
  • Thieves steal $150K worth of antique jewelry from Emmy Rossum [Video]

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Actress Emmy Rossum has become the latest celebrity burglary victim after thieves ransacked her Los Angeles home while she was working in New York. The Mystic River star’s housekeeper discovered the break-in and two empty safes when she turned up to clean the property in West Los Angeles on Friday. Source
  • Bill Cosby's lawyers ask to exclude testimony on other women, pills

    Entertainment CBC News
    Bill Cosby's lawyers don't want jurors at his suburban Philadelphia sexual-assault trial to hear he gave women quaaludes, money or educational funds. The defense says in court papers filed Tuesday that Cosby's deposition testimony about those topics would prejudice the jury. Source
  • Rihanna's Marion Crane finally has her shower scene on 'Bates Motel'

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Rihanna stunned U.S. fans of TV drama Bates Motel on Monday night by serving up a classic twist on the Psycho story. In Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 adaptation of Robert Bloch’s thriller, twisted Norman Bates kills the object of his affection, Marion Crane, in the most famous movie shower scene. Source
  • Ken Burns making documentary film on Muhammad Ali

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK -- The late Muhammad Ali is getting the Ken Burns treatment. The PBS documentarian announced Tuesday that he and two partners will make a two-part, four-hour film about the former heavyweight champ, who died last June. Source
  • Reality TV show 'Eden' leaves contestants in the wilderness for a year -- but no one was watching

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    A reality show no one’s watching? That’s called real life. And for the contestants of Eden – a reality show that aired, albeit briefly, on the U.K.’s Channel 4 – that’s exactly what happened. A year ago, producers dropped 23 strangers into a remote area of Scotland to build a self-sufficient community away from technology. Source
  • Rob Stewart's family files lawsuit after filmmaker’s dive death

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    MIAMI — The family of a Canadian filmmaker and conservationist who died during a shark filming excursion in the Florida Keys has filed a wrongful death lawsuit. The lawsuit filed Tuesday in the death of 37-year-old Rob Stewart blames negligence on the companies and individuals who organized the January dive. Source
  • Spider-Man’s Venom spinoff to be rated R

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Back in the Andrew Garfield Spider-Man days – remember those? – Sony had plans for villain spinoffs focusing on the Sinister Six and Venom. Now that the web crawler is back within Marvel’s Cinematic Universe (Spider-Man: Homecoming is due out this summer), we thought those dreams were scrapped. Source
  • Drake enrages Dutch fans by cancelling concert for third time

    Entertainment CTV News
    Dutch fans of Drake shouted obscenities and exhibited crude gestures aimed at the hip hop star after he cancelled a concert in Amsterdam for the third time in three months. Numerous videos uploaded to social media on Thursday evening show the large crowd inside the Zippo Dome react in anger in the moments after a woman came on stage to share the bad news. Source
  • Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin on 'Grace and Frankie,' aging, female sexuality and taboos

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin have had decades to study for their roles as confidantes on Netlix's "Grace and Frankie." They've been friends since the late 1970s, and they collaborated on 1980's "9 to 5" with Dolly Parton. Source