Sunday, February 1, 2015

Two Sinatra stories


How to get hold of Frank! 

     I was a jock at WIRL Peoria back in 1958 when Frank Sinatra released his “Only The Lonely” album (a true masterpiece of music).
     I had heard Frank liked to hang out at the Villa Capri in L.A. so I sent
him a telegram”  
    “Frank...Call me for an interview and I’ll play ALL of Only the Lonely on the air."
     The next morning when I came in the receptionist had this weird look on her face as she handed me the message.
     It read simply “Frank Sinatra called’s his private number in his trailer at Paramount.”
     I had a tape running as I dialed the call and sure enough...Frank answered the phone. 
     We did about 20 minutes and it was great.  He even put composer Sammy Cahn on the phone for a couple of minutes.  One thing I asked him about was the novel From Here To Eternity by James Jones...if he had to read the book before shooting the film in which he won an Oscar.
He said "yep...boy that was a long book!"
     Frank loved DJ’s...I’m sure there were others who got this treatment.

Sinatra, again.

I found out the agency who handled Frank Sinatra’s financial dealings and made a cold call.  I was passed on to one of the execs there when I mentioned that Frank had called me to do an interview so they didn’t just dump me off the phone.  I got the guys name, title and address and said I’d write him about a deal I was thinking about.
I wrote the letter...outlining my idea of Frank buying a radio station in Las Vegas which would be THE Vegas outlet for the stars appearing there...and recommending we put the station in the Sands (Frank was a partner there) to showcase it.
So that they would know this was a serious recommendation I mentioned my management positions at stations in Peoria, Washington DC and Chicago.
About a week later my phone rang and the guy said they got my letter and it was interesting but not for Frank but “one of the other guys”.  and added,  "he’s got a tax holding problem.” He said he’d would be in touch.
Ok  one of the other guys would mean:
Dean Martin
Sammy Davis, Jr.
Peter Lawford
Joey Bishop
Take your choice.  
I guessed Martin...who had his own tv show and probably the first dollar he ever made!  Sammy or Joey would be possible also...they were both doing well.

Well...we’ll never know who had a “tax holding” problem.  And I never ascertained just what that means.  Probably has something to do with a tax writeoff which could be a Vegas radio station.
    Mac Richmond called me from Boston.  He needed help I left things hanging in L.A. an d went to WMEX .
   Got there just in before the JFK assassination.

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