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.