Driving on the left
I’ve always liked the UK and believe most Americans would… there’s nothing too different about it, aside from driving on the other side of the street! Brits have a magnificent sense of humour and I’ve always enjoyed performing over here. There are hundreds of British people where I live in California who regard themselves as our British Cousins, and we are your American Cousins. It’s what I believe Mr Churchill called ‘The Great Family of Man’.
Fame is intimidating
The media spotlight was certainly never something that I desired. In my younger years I saw the high points and low points generated by such exposure. I’ve always much preferred to be an observer, and I was lucky that the people around me could take me away from it all.
I never planned to be a singer
I was originally a piano player, ever since I was in neat pants, and I wanted more than anything to be a composer for movie soundtracks. That’s what I was studying for in college… then by a strange motion of events everything changed, and I found myself singing. And I felt I was a very poor singer, to begin with! Though after 53 years, I’ve gotten used to it.
Understanding Frank Senior
I finally got close to my father in 1988 when he asked me to conduct his band. By that time he was well into his 70s (as I am now) and wondering how much longer audiences would tolerate him. “I’m a dinosaur,” he used to say. But to see how those crowds adored him, that was my favourite experience of being with Frank. What touched him was that the audience forgave him; they understood that even the great stars age.
Performing my father’s songs
Sinatra Sings Sinatra has been the basis of my performance for many years, but to celebrate Frank Senior’s centenary this year we are going ‘audio-visual’ for the first time. We weave video stills and moving pictures throughout the performance, bringing Frank’s legend to life. We want to show audiences what he was really like. This is a story of him, not me, and so I hope to faithfully reproduce the Sinatra sound and interpretation, as a sort of musical reporter.
I’m a fan of British film
My favourite British movie is a wonderful English mystery picture called Whispering Smith Investigates. Made by Hammer Films in the Fifties, it’s about an American private detective who ends up working on a British murder case while on vacation. Hammer was known for all their great Frankenstein and Dracula pictures, featuring the likes of the late, great Sir Christopher Lee.
- Sinatra Sings Sinatra visits Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow and London from June 27. Call 0844 888 9991 or visit www.ticketline.co.uk
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