Sinatra and Me: The Very Good Years

Tony Consiglio, as told to Franz Douskey. Tantor Media, Inc., $19.95 (303p) ISBN 978-0-9883494-2-1
Consiglio, a friend from Frank Sinatra's New Jersey boyhood, was present during the star's formative years in his career. Before his death in 2008, he shared with Douskey intimate details of Sinatra's rise to fame, during which he accompanied the performer to nightclubs, Las Vegas casinos, and meanderings through the Hollywood scene. Although many of these accounts were previously the subject of rumor rather than verifiable anecdote, from hard times to success and excess, Consiglio reports on the women, the shady characters, and the foibles and generosity for which Sinatra was known. It is believed that in Sinatra's lifetime, "he raised more than a billion dollars for his charity work," while once he performed for free to help out a club owner in hock to the mobster Sam Giancana. Thanks to Sinatra's connections, Consiglio was a regular at the Kennedy White House and schmoozed with film stars like Ava Gardner. But it's not all glamour, as Consiglio reveals the internal struggles of Tommy Dorsey's band and the work Sinatra put in to maintain his voice. This isn't Hemingway, but for Sinatra fans and those who love a dishy story, this is a grand read. b/w photos (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 01/07/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
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