On this day in 1915 (99 years ago) on 215 Monroe Street Hoboken, NJ Francis Albert Sinatra was born. Later today at one of Franks favorite restaurant Patsy’s there will be a celebration of Franks life. I have never had the privilege to see Frank in concert and I never met him, but I will be there today listening to people that were blessed to call him Pally tell stories of the greatest entertainer that ever lived.
When I tell people that I am going to Frank Sinatra’s birthday party some people laugh, some don’t believe it is a real thing, and others remind me that he died in 1998. Some of my friends just think it just an excuse to have a party, but what they don’t get is Frank Sinatra is much much more than the greatest entertainer that ever lived.
I am not going to talk about Frank’s career in show business today, there is nothing to say he was the best and nobody will ever come close. I am not going to talk about Frank’s style because we all know he invented style. I am going to talk about the man I admire.
Back in the 30, 40s, and 50s, many artists changed their names, you may or may not know that Dean Martin and Tony Bennett changed their names because there real names were too ethic. Yes Italians were discriminated against. When people told Frank that he needs to change his name because it was too ethnic, he had some choice words for them and they weren’t Happy Birthday.
Well before it was politically correct to be tolerant of other people and religion, Frank was fighting for racial and religious tolerance. In 1945, long before the civil rights movement of the 1960s, Frank starred in “The House I Live In” In the movie Frank Sinatra takes a smoke break during a recording session and sees a large group of boys chasing a Jewish boy and intervenes. His message to them is that all Americans are one and all religions are to be respected equally.
In the 1950s he told the management of the Sands Hotel, that if Sammy doesn’t stay at the Hotel then he won’t and he will perform elsewhere.
Frank wasn’t perfect none of us are, but he lived by his rules and he stuck to those rules even if it wasn’t the popular thing to do. Many times he put his career at risk to stand by a friend or do what he thought was right.
So today when I hear all the stories, I will say to myself Thank God for Frank Sinatra, because the world is a better place because he was born 99 years ago today.
Happy Birthday Frank!