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September 22, 2017

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Getting a kick out of Junior


Frank Sinatra Jr. didn’t have to become a singer, but he loved the music too much not to.

From “Frank Sinatra Jr. Is Worth Six Buddy Grecos,” by Tom Junod, GQ, January 1994:


Frank Sinatra Jr.
Sept. 5, 8 p.m., $29.95
Suncoast Hotel and Casino

Why did he do it? Why did Junior decide to—dare to—become, of all things, a singer? Had he become a doctor or a lawyer, his name would have been a garland, a laurel, instead of a source of comparison and rebuke. He didn’t have to sing. He didn’t burn for it, didn’t sing as an avowal of self, didn’t hear within himself a song he couldn’t contain. He just loved the music, that’s all. All his life, he wanted to be part of the sound that surrounded his father, and his voice—this flawed gift, this tinkling echo—had been his way in … He opened in New York City in September 1963, in the big room of the Americana Hotel, and ... Junior made the cover of Life and packed the house. Jackie Gleason, Toots Shor, Joe E. Lewis—they all wept when Junior sang his father’s hits, wept out of nostalgia and wept at the turning of time, wept at listening to a kid who, on that night and every night for the next dozen years, couldn’t stand the sound of his own voice. [Reprinted with the author’s permission.]

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