Sunday 16th September
A final sunday lunch show added due to phenomenal demand! Doors open 12pm, Frank Sinatra Jr due on stage 2pm.
Frank Sinatra, Jr. was born in New Jersey, raised in California and educated in the showrooms of Las Vegas and on bandstands all over the world.
While studying music at the University of Southern California, Frank Jr. originally planned a career as a pianist and conductor. Show promoters, however, had different ideas and he eventually made his professional show business debut as a singer with the Elliot Brothers band, an outfit best known for its take-offs on name bands of the 1940s.
On the evening of September 8, 1963, the Royal Box of Americana Hotel in Manhattan re-opened for the fall season. Other hotels featured such established performers as Sheila and Gordon MacRae (Waldorf), Peter Duschin (St. Regis), and Xavier Cuget and Abbe Lane (Plaza). The Royal Box presented a newcomer: Frank Sinatra, Jr. backed by the Tommy Dorsey Band. At 21, Frank Jr. made his debut into the big time.
Abel Green, editor of “Variety” at the time, heralded Frank Jr.'s debut with a “thumbs-up” verdict: “Frank Jr. clicked, packing his 20-minute stint with commendable professionalism.” He eventually joined the Sam Donahue Orchestra, an experience he described as being one of the most rewarding in his career. “I learned the bulk of what I know about singing with a band from Sam Donahue and the other musicians I met in that band,” Frank Jr. said. “The best way to learn about something is to be around the experts. Pilots hang around with other pilots; mechanics hang around other mechanics. I stayed around musicians. Formal education is important, of course, but you can't learn a profession by just sitting in a classroom. You have to go out there and do it.”
Frank Jr. has performed in major clubs and showrooms throughout the United States, Canada, Japan, Brazil, and England. He has appeared on stage with such showbiz greats as George Burns, Phil Harris, and Flip Wilson as well as guest starring on popular television shows including “Laugh-in” and “The Golddiggers.” A favorite of variety and talk show audiences, Frank Jr. frequently appeared on programs hosted by legends such as Red Skelton, Jack Benny, Jackie Gleason, Dean Martin, Merv Griffin, Mike Douglas, and Johnny Carson. In 1970, he shifted to the big screen acting along side Dale Robertson, Dina Merrill and Toshiro Mifune in “The Walking Major,” a feature move filmed on location in Japan.
In 1971 a record album entitled “Spice” hit the marketplace. It was produced by the late Sonny Burke and featured the writing talents of Frank Jr. on three cuts. Those three songs were “Spice,” “Believe in Me,” and “Black Night,” as well as the additional album cuts, were arranged and conducted by the great Nelson Riddle. “Spice” was followed by two other recording projects: “His Way” and “It's All Right.” In 1983, Frank Jr. teamed with the Pat Longo All-Star Jazz Band to record a tribute to arranger-conductor Billy May, contributing five songs to an album entitled, “Billy May For President.”
Throughout the 1960s and into the mid-1970s, Frank Jr. appeared regularly in Las Vegas, opening for many stars in the main rooms and headlining in his own right in the lounges. For several years a trend prevailed in Las Vegas wherein lounges were being converted into bingo rooms, buffets and sports bars making Frank Jr.'s brand of entertainment seemingly obsolete. However, a major turning point came in 1985 when Frank Jr. opened in the Four Queens Hotel in downtown Las Vegas. Backed by a 17-piece orchestra, he re-introduced the lush big-band sound to lounge patrons sparking renewed interest in live music. Subsequently, his show was booked regularly at the resort during the next eight years.
In 1990, Frank Jr. expanded his band to include twenty musicians. In 1992, he brought his show to the Desert Inn. It was the first time in twenty years that a big band had appeared in a lounge on the famed Las Vegas strip. “When I was a boy, my father would often bring me to Las Vegas. I saw all the stars perform, and late at night, there would always be a name band playing in a lounge,” Frank Jr. recalled. “I remember listening to Harry James, Count Basie and many other famous bands. It was quite an education. I always try to recapture the spirit of those late night sessions in my show.”
In 1988, Frank Jr. joined his father's staff as musical director and concert conductor. He helped to choose the music and rehearsed and conducted the orchestra whenever Ol' Blue Eyes was on stage. Sometimes fate (and smart booking agents) brought Frank Jr. and his father into the same city at the same time. When father and son appeared in the same city, but in separate clubs, loyal Sinatra fans called it an “eclipse.” On the rare occasions both appeared in the same hotel or club in separate shows, the event was dubbed a “total eclipse.” In October 1993, fans flocked to the Desert Inn in Las Vegas where Frank Jr. was singing in the lounge and his father was performing in the showroom. “It was a lot of work conducting for my father and then singing two of my own shows, but I can't remember when I've had so much fun,” Frank Jr. said.
In April 1994, Frank Jr. enjoyed another whirlwind week when he conducted for his father at the famous Radio City Music Hall in New York City, and then moved on to the more intimate tavern on the Green on Central Park to perform his own late night show. Frank Jr.'s big band played to sell-out audiences all week at the landmark restaurant and nightclub, prompting a return engagement planned for the spring of 1995, to be followed by a first-ever date at Atlantic City's Trump Plaza. Not surprisingly, Frank Jr. dazzled the east-coast casino market, sparking future bookings in several other Atlantic City showrooms.
In 1996 “As I Remember It” (Angel Records), a CD recorded as a tribute to his father's talents and the composers and arrangers “who defined the Sinatra legend,” was released. Greeted with enthusiasm by Sinatra purists, “As I Remember It” proceeded to climb the musical charts garnering significant critical acclaim along the way. A promotional tour ensued, in which Frank Jr. treated audiences to stirring renditions of classis such as “Night and Day,” “I've Got the World on a String,” and “Ol'Man River” to name a few. Utilizing a superb 44-piece orchestra and the incomparable arrangements of legends Nelson Riddle, Don Costa and Billy May, Frank Jr. won the hearts and respect of fans and critics alike, irrefutably distinguishing himself as a premiere vocalist and endearing storyteller.
The public's enthusiastic response to “As I Remember It” prompted Frank Jr. to extend the tour well into 1997. In addition, a new project shined on the immediate horizon. In celebration of George and Ira Gershwins' Centennial anniversary, an all-Gershwin program was under development. On July 4, Frank Jr. launched his 10-city Gershwins' America tour from Battery Park located near the Statue of Liberty. Multi-talented, Frank Jr. served as a singer, pianist, and conductor, utilizing a 52-piece symphony to commemorate timeless favorites such as “S' Wonderful,” “I've Got a Crush on You,” and “Fascinating Rhythm.” The whirlwind tour concluded on August 10, 1997 in Los Angeles, California amidst rave reviews. “The talents of the second generation of Sinatras were a given. The Gershwin program went the next step in firmly contributing Frank Jr.'s personal achievement as a gifted musician and star performer,” said John C. Hall, Trustee of The Recording Industries Music Performance Trust Fund.
From the fall of 1997 through the summer of 1998, Frank Jr. and his 20-piece orchestra focused once again on the nostalgic melodies of the big bang era, appearing in notable theaters and showrooms nationwide. His performances at Atlantic City's Claridge Casino Hotel, Harrah's Casino & Hotel and Trump Marina, as well as Laughlin's Harrah's Casino & Hotel met with tremendous success.
Audiences honored Frank and his 36-piece orchestra with numerous standing ovations during all three of his sold-out shows at Sands Hotel Casino in October of '98. In his first Atlantic City appearance since his father's death, Frank delighted the house by commemorating “Ol' Blue Eyes: in a unique setting created by special blue lighting, an ethereal voice-over and the presence of featured guest Bill Miller, Frank Sr.'s pianist for close to fifty years, Thereafter Frank performed several of his father's favorite songs. The stunning magical segment had fans cheering their appreciation and critics commending Franks' imagination and class. Due to the tremendous success of this unforgettable performance, Bill Miller is now a permanent member of Frank Jr.'s orchestra.
1999 started off with a bang as Frank wowed a sold-out audience at Miami Beach's famous Fontainebleau on New Year's Eve. From there he proved that everything old is new again by packing dance floors with swing dancers of all generations at Disney's Atlantic Palace/Boardwalk Club as well as Merv Griffin's Coconut Club in Los Angeles. According to the Los Angeles Times, “…in a gala celebration of the first anniversary of Merv Griffin's Coconut Club, Sinatra Jr. began to make a case for his acceptance as one of the best of the post-Sinatra mainstream vocal stylists.”
Wherever and whenever he performs, Frank Sinatra, Jr. always keeps one thing in mind: “The people come to hear the music, so I always make sure the music is the real star of the show. I want the spotlight to shine on the individual musicians as well as the singer.”