The Frank Sinatra Conundrum

Diggin' the cool sounds.

ATN San Francisco contributor Larry Smith reports: Frank

Sinatra turns 80 on Tuesday (Dec. 12), and there are decisions to be made. Will

you toast Frank at home with family, or will you paint the town red with

friends? Will you dust off your vinyl copy of In the Wee Small Hours of the

Morning and sleepily listen solo or will you throw Duets II into

your car CD-player and zoom down the highway with your sweetheart? Then there's

the question that has no wrong answer: will it be red or white with dinner?

Face it, the world's got Frank Fever and your options are endless. If

you're under the impression that toasting Sinatra is a passive affair, then

think again friend. Want to go glam? With a will and a way you too can join

Capitol Records in a reception at Park Avenue's Waldorf Astoria in honor of

Frank's birthday and the release of two new albums, Sinatra 80th: Live In

Concert, and Sinatra 80th: All The Best. The party invitation

announces that there will be ample time for a "photo op with Frank Sinatra in

the Empire Room -- help blow out the candles on Ol' Blue Eyes' Birthday Cake!"

Just think of the Christmas card possibilities...

Frank may run with the

stars, but don't let the Waldorf fool ya, the Chairman of the Board has a place

at the table for all. There's no one who can stop the rest of us from tuning in

to A-"Blue Eyes"-C on December 14, for Sinatra: 80 Years My Way, a

two-hour concert from Los Angeles that features Tony Bennett, Bruce

Springsteen, Paul Reiser, Sharon Stone, and (direct from Paris!) the Moulin

Rouge Can Can Dancers. While you're watching, keep an eye out for the Goodyear

Blimp's "Happy Birthday, Frank" greeting which will soar overhead during the


On the birthday proper, buses in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York

will be adorned with "Happy Birthday, Frank" messages as they roar across town;

images of Sinatra will be projected onto the side of buildings in the Big

Apple. The do-gooders among us can make a bid on a Frank Sinatra Holiday Tree

(adorned with Sinatra cassettes and CDs), proceeds to benefit foundations and

medical centers across the land.

What about the kids? What has Frank done

for the next generation of swingin' lovers lately? During this "Frank Sinatra

Birthday Season," college students in major cities will have the chance to win

a gift from Frank himself, including neckties from the "Frank Sinatra Legendary

Neckwear Limited Edition Birthday Collection," and "Frank Sinatra Birthday Gift

Baskets" stuffed with Sinatra's Gourmet Italian Pasta and Sinatra Marinara

Sauce. Now that's Italian.

So much Frank, so little time. It's all a bit

overwhelming, even scary, to think that this is the coda of the kid from

Hoboken. Perhaps that's why on December 12, 1995 I will skip all the hoopla and

toast Francis Albert Sinatra the only way I know how, the way I do about once a

month, birthday or no birthday, come rain or come shine: with the setting sun,

a soulful song, and maybe a cigarette, just for good measure.


Birthday, ol' pal.