Walter Winchell, a wildly popular and influential 20th century newspaper and radio gossip commentator, once wrote: “The closest person to Frank Sinatra is Tony Consiglio.” Tony’s full account of his relationship with the iconic crooner has never been revealed – until now.
The publishing of Sinatra and Me: The Very Good Years (Tantor Media, November 13, 2012, trade paperback, $19.95, ISBN: 9780988349421), is based on dozens of hours of interviews over the span of eight years (concluding with Tony’s death in 2008) with Pulitzer Prize-nominated author Franz Douskey. This oral history captures an era that has fascinated generations of fans.
Sinatra and Me, which features dozens of never-before-published photos of Sinatra, Consiglio, and many bold-faced names, details a period of time that spans from the 1930’s into the 1970’s. It is an inside account of the prime years of one of America’s greatest icons. The legendary entertainer is best known for a six-decade career in music, film, television and radio. This book takes an up-close and personal look into the exciting world of a man who was adored by the American public but who fiercely valued privacy.
Though Ol’ Blue Eyes died 14 years ago (he would have been 97 this December 12), his influence on American culture resonates today. Many stories have been written over the years about alleged mob ties and philandering, but this book offers for the first time an account from someone so close to him during more than three decades.
Readers will learn:
· What was myth and what was true about the man who has sold over 150 million albums and won 11 Grammy Awards.
· What type of person Sinatra was behind closed doors.
· How Sinatra launched his career after getting kicked out of high school – and the real story of how he broke away from the Tommy Dorsey band to go solo.
· Of Sinatra’s relationships with Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr. Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio, John F. Kennedy, Ava Gardner, Lou Gehrig, Grace Kelly, Jerry Lewis, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and dozens of leading singers, actors, athletes and politicians.
· Why Sinatra feared being alone, yet shunned the public’s spotlight.
· How Sinatra handled life on the road, including when his popularity dropped and career stalled.
· What went on in the Kennedy White House.
· Why Tony thought mafia boss Sam Giancana helped elect JFK, that Sam was hired by the CIA to kill Fidel Castro, and that Sam wanted to get rid of Bobby Kennedy.
· Tony sets the record straight about rumors Sinatra scored cocaine for JFK or that he didn’t have his uncle put a gun to Tommy Dorsey’s head, and that Sinatra really loved Mia Farrow but she wouldn’t give up her career for him.
· How Consiglio went from being a bat boy for the New York Giants to be Sinatra’s closest ally.
Consiglio was nicknamed “The Clam” by Sinatra because Consiglio never spoke to reporters about the famous singer. Consiglio was one of Sinatra’s closest friends for decades. Consiglio knew Sinatra when Sinatra was a struggling singer in New Jersey in the 1930’s, through his “Bobby-Soxer” mega-star days of the 1940’s, during the lean years when “The Voice” was struggling with a crumbling singing and acting career in the early 1950’s. Consiglio was there when Sinatra’s star rose again, first winning an Academy Award for his role in From Here to Eternity in 1953 and recording several classic albums that returned Sinatra to the top of the charts in the late 1950’s.
Consiglio was also there during the Kennedy years, when Sinatra was a close friend of JFK. Consiglio rubbed elbows with Washington and Hollywood elite at the Kennedy inauguration in 1961 and at the JFK funeral in November 1963. Through it all, he never spoke about what he saw and what he knew. Now, for the first time in print, an intimate look at Frank Sinatra, from a man who knew him better than anyone.
Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. Tantor, the publisher of Sinatra and Me, is a client of my employer, Media Connect. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.