CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 5, 2011 |
One version of the story holds that Joe DiMaggio and Frank Sinatra were having dinner at the Villa Capri restaurant in Hollywood on a November evening in 1954 when they got the tip: A private investigator phoned to say the ballplayer's estranged wife, Marilyn Monroe, was inside a nearby apartment building, possibly with a lover. Without bothering to pay the bill, DiMaggio stormed out of the eatery, followed by Sinatra and various associates, as well as Billy Karen, the restaurant maitre d'. Someone volunteered to pay the bill later, but the maitre d' responded that the bill was no problem, he just wanted "in on this thing," author J. Randy Taraborrelli wrote in "The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe.
April 4, 2011
On April 7, a revival of Cole Porter's classic 1934 musical "Anything Goes" is set to open on Broadway. But if you can't make it to New York, Entertainment One has just released the DVD of the 1954 live-TV production of the musical-comedy. It stars Ethel Merman, who caused a sensation in the original production as nightclub singer Reno Sweeney. Frank Sinatra, fresh from his success in "From Here to Eternity," plays her former agent and lover, and Bert Lahr is Moonface Martin, Public Enemy No. 13. The show has been cut to 53 minutes, and several other Porter songs have been added to the score.
March 23, 2011 |
With three prime-time animated series to his name and a feature film in the works, Seth MacFarlane doesn't seem like someone who has a lot of free time to indulge in personal side projects. But as devoted fans of his Fox comedies know, it takes a lot to keep MacFarlane away from a microphone and a big-band musical number. On Saturday, MacFarlane is set to perform a concert of big-band songs, primarily from the '40s and '50s, at Club Nokia in downtown L.A. The evening will feature 14 numbers, many of them seldom performed, including "It's Anybody's Spring," "Anytime, Anywhere" and "You're the Cream in My Coffee.
January 16, 2011 |
In the public eye, they lived a fantasy that mere mortals could only dream of. But between the ellipses of Rat Pack lore existed a carnival of leisure, stress, politics, starlets, heartache and happiness. For decades, some of the only photographic evidence was stashed in a cardboard box labeled "Do Not Print. " That is, until now. "The Rat Pack," a limited-edition volume by Reel Art Press, is a sprawling compilation of visual footnotes in the everyday world of Frank Sinatra and his band of brothers.
December 5, 2010
It used to be easier to pick out music for your tune-obsessed relatives. There were far fewer releases than there are now, and unless it was a hot album, chances are good that with enough research one could find sounds desired yet unpurchased. No more. With the instant gratification of iTunes, Amazon and miscellaneous pirate portals, a music freak who wants a particular set of tunes probably already has it, and if not, doesn't want it. Still, that leaves a ton of music-centric gift options that aren't run-of-the-mill compact discs.
November 6, 2010 |
The Chairman of the Board was easily bored. Frank Sinatra didn't like to dwell on things. Keeping things moving was his credo. Working in television was anything but quick, so it wasn't a medium he embraced. "I love the fact that he was very impatient," says Bill Zehme, author of 1997's "The Way You Wear Your Hat: Frank Sinatra and the Lost Art of Livin'. " "That was the drawback of him doing TV. Thank God, he was uncomfortable with TV. If he had taken to it like a fish takes to water, it wouldn't have been as literally as special when he did do TV. " In the mid-'60s, Sinatra found a format on television that fit his larger-than-life persona and captured his artistry.
November 3, 2010 |
Some years ago, I shared a barber with the late Mel Tormé. It was a small, low-key shop where the talk was usually sports and the music on the radio was always jazz or vocals from the American Songbook. One morning, Tormé and I found ourselves pausing amid an offhanded conversation as the radio played Frank Sinatra singing Gershwin's "A Foggy Day" ? which figures in a rather important way in James Kaplan's marvelously thoughtful, readable biography, "Frank: The Voice. " As we listened, I recall murmuring something to the effect of, "It's the phrasing, isn't it?"
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 26, 2010 |
George David Weiss, a prolific songwriter who co-wrote "Can't Help Falling in Love," "What a Wonderful World," "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" and many other pop hits, has died. He was 89. Weiss, a former longtime president of the Songwriters Guild of America, died Monday of natural causes at his home in Oldwick, N.J., the Associated Press reported. During his heyday in the 1940s, '50s and '60s, Weiss co-wrote songs that were recorded by singers such as Frank Sinatra ("Oh! What It Seemed to Be")
July 25, 2010 |
Among other things, the new musical "Robin and the 7 Hoods" is a love letter to composer Jimmy Van Heusen. On first glance it might seem an homage to Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack in their heyday, but it's Van Heusen's infectious melodies, found in "Come Fly With Me," "The Tender Trap," "Ain't That a Kick in the Head," "High Hopes" and 15 other tunes, that are the lifeblood of the effort. The show's music supervisor and vocal arranger, John McDaniel, listens to Van Heusen with an admiring ear. "His uptempo songs have a harmonic jazz beat," he said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 17, 2010 |
Jilly Rizzo had spent hours preparing for his 75th birthday party, a soiree the next day that was to include his friend Frank Sinatra and other Rat Pack luminaries. A few minutes after midnight, he got into a white Jaguar and headed for his girlfriend's house. As his car slowly crossed Gerald Ford Drive, Rizzo probably didn't see the Mercedes blazing down the rain-slick street. The driver was Jeffrey Perrotte, a 28-year-old alcoholic, a local man with a rap sheet of DUIs who had the papers for court-ordered alcohol rehabilitation sitting in the glove box of his car. The Mercedes struck the right side of Rizzo's car, which burst into flames.