“Frank Sinatra Has a Cold” is widely considered to be one of the greatest celebrity profiles ever written. It was published in the April 1966 issue of Esquire and was written by Gay Talese, a prominent figure in New Journalism.
In this blog post, we will take a closer look at Gay Talese and his seminal profile of Frank Sinatra.
Who is Gay Talese?
Gay Talese was born on February 7, 1932, in Ocean City, New Jersey. He is an American author and journalist who is credited with pioneering the New Journalism movement in the 1960s. He is known for his detailed reporting and immersive writing style, which often involves spending significant amounts of time with his subjects and getting to know them on a personal level.
Talese began his career as a copyboy at The New York Times before moving on to work as a sports reporter for the paper. He later became a feature writer for Esquire, where he wrote some of his most famous pieces, including “Frank Sinatra Has a Cold.”
The Making of “Frank Sinatra Has a Cold”
In 1965, Gay Talese was assigned to write a profile of Frank Sinatra for Esquire. However, when he reached out to Sinatra’s representatives to set up an interview, he was repeatedly rebuffed. Despite his initial setbacks, Talese decided to continue working on the story, hoping to find other ways to get closer to Sinatra.
Talese spent several months observing Sinatra from a distance, attending his concerts and talking to his friends, colleagues, and even his enemies. He noticed that Sinatra had a certain mystique about him and that he was widely admired and feared by many.
Eventually, Talese learned that Sinatra had a cold and was holed up in his Palm Springs home, refusing to see anyone. This presented an opportunity for Talese, who knew that he could use this moment to his advantage. He hopped on a plane to Palm Springs and stationed himself outside Sinatra’s home, watching and waiting for a chance to speak to the singer.
Over the next several days, Talese observed Sinatra from afar, taking notes and talking to anyone he could about the elusive singer. He started to piece together a picture of Sinatra that was different from the confident, charismatic performer that people saw on stage. In private, Sinatra was moody, unpredictable, and deeply insecure.
After several days of waiting, Talese finally got his chance to speak to Sinatra in person. However, the interaction was brief and uneventful. Despite this, Talese was able to craft a profile of Sinatra that was intimate, revealing, and downright captivating.
The Impact of “Frank Sinatra Has a Cold”
“Frank Sinatra Has a Cold” was a groundbreaking work of journalism that helped to redefine the genre of celebrity profiles. Prior to its publication, celebrity profiles were often superficial and glowing, designed to promote the star’s image and keep fans happy. Talese’s profile of Sinatra was different. It revealed a complex, flawed, and deeply human side of the singer that no one had seen before.
The impact of “Frank Sinatra Has a Cold” has been far-reaching. It has inspired countless writers and journalists to eschew traditional methods of reporting and to focus on getting inside the minds and hearts of their subjects. It has also helped to establish Talese as one of the greatest nonfiction writers of our time.
In conclusion, “Frank Sinatra Has a Cold” is a timeless work of journalism that has had a lasting impact on the art of writing. Gay Talese’s profile of Frank Sinatra is a testament to his immense talent, perseverance, and dedication. Even today, nearly 60 years after its publication, “Frank Sinatra Has a Cold” remains a must-read for anyone who is interested in the art of nonfiction writing.
Did Frank Sinatra ever write any of his own songs?
Frank Sinatra was one of the most iconic and successful singers of the 20th century. He recorded thousands of songs throughout his career, making many of them true classics. However, despite being known as a master interpreter of songs, he was not a composer. Sinatra was primarily a performer and his talents as an actor and singer are what made him famous.
While it is true that Sinatra is credited with writing the lyrics for four songs, it is important to note that he did not write any of the music. The first of these songs, “This Love of Mine,” was recorded in 1941, when Sinatra was still a young and relatively unknown singer. The song was actually written by two other musicians, Sol Parker and Henry W. Sanicola, who were friends of Sinatra’s.
The second song that Sinatra is credited with writing the lyrics for is “Mr. Success.” This song was recorded in 1958, and was written by a team of songwriters, including Hank Sanicola (who co-wrote “This Love of Mine” with Sinatra) and Edwin Greines. While Sinatra did contribute some of the lyrics, he was not the primary author of the song.
The third song that Sinatra wrote lyrics for was “Mistletoe and Holly,” which was also recorded in 1958. This song was written by another team of songwriters, including Dok Stanford and Henry W. Sanicola (once again, Sinatra’s friend and collaborator).
Finally, Sinatra is credited with co-writing the lyrics for another song called “Forget Domani,” which was recorded in 1964. This song was written by Norman Newell and Riz Ortolani, with Sinatra contributing some of the lyrics.
While Frank Sinatra is known for his incredible talent as a singer, performer, and entertainer, he did not write many of his own songs. He is only credited with writing lyrics for four songs over the course of his long career, and in each case, he had collaborators or co-writers who played a significant role in the creation of the music. Nevertheless, Sinatra’s contributions to these songs, as well as his many other performances and recordings, cemented his place in the history of popular music.
How much was Frank Sinatra worth when he died?
Frank Sinatra, who is widely considered one of the most legendary and influential entertainers in history, maintained a successful career throughout his life, spanning decades of music, film, and television. With such a lengthy and varied career, it is difficult to pinpoint an exact number for his net worth at the time of his death. However, it is widely estimated that Frank Sinatra was worth approximately $200 million when he passed away on May 14th, 1998, at the age of 82.
Sinatra’s wealth was accumulated not just from his work as a singer and actor but also from his business dealings, which involved various investments such as real estate and stock. He was known for his savvy business sense and shrewd investments, which helped him to build a fortune over time. Moreover, throughout his career, he maintained a highly coveted aura of sophistication, luxury, and elegance that added to his immense popularity and appeal among his devoted fans.
When he died in 1998, it was revealed that Sinatra’s estate included numerous assets, including cash, various valuable items and works of art, and a collection of luxury cars. The majority of his fortune reportedly passed down to his fourth wife, Barbara Marx Sinatra. Sinatra’s three children, Nancy, Frank Jr., and Tina, were also said to receive an estimated $3 million each as part of his estate.
Despite his passing, Frank Sinatra’s legacy continues to live on today. His music and films remain widely popular, and his influence on popular culture and entertainment is undeniable. Indeed, his net worth may have been just a small part of his outsized impact, as his contributions to music and popular culture are priceless.
What was so special about Frank Sinatra’s voice?
Frank Sinatra was a legendary American singer and actor who is widely regarded as one of the greatest vocalists of the 20th century. Sinatra’s voice was unique and possessed a blend of qualities that made him stand out from other singers. One of the most special things about his voice was his technique, which was based on the finest classical vocal principles. This technique allowed him to create a smooth, effortless sound that had a mesmerizing effect on his audiences.
One of the defining features of Sinatra’s voice was his ability to control his breathing. He had excellent breath control, which allowed him to sustain long notes and glide effortlessly between different registers. He also had a distinctive timbre that was rich and resonant, with a slight nasal quality. Unlike many singers who strain to produce high notes, Sinatra’s voice rarely slipped back into his throat. Instead, he allowed the tone to resonate in his nasal cavities, avoiding constriction in his throat and chest. This technique helped him to produce a clear, focused sound that was both powerful and delicate.
Sinatra’s use of phrasing and dynamics was also unique. He had an unparalleled sense of timing, and could shape his phrases in a way that added a sense of drama and emotion to his singing. He was renowned for his ability to convey the meaning and feeling of a song through his interpretation. His use of dynamics was also masterful – he was able to effortlessly move between soft, intimate passages and powerful, belted-out notes, creating a dramatic effect that was captivating to listen to.
Another special quality of Sinatra’s voice was his ability to connect with his audience. Whether in a small club or a large concert hall, he had an uncanny ability to make the listener feel as if he was singing directly to them. This was due in part to his impeccable diction and enunciation, which ensured that every word he sang was clearly understood. But it was also due to his ability to infuse his singing with genuine emotion and feeling, creating a sense of intimacy that made his listeners feel as if they were a part of the performance.
Frank Sinatra’s voice was special for a variety of reasons. His impeccable technique, distinctive timbre, masterful use of phrasing and dynamics, and ability to connect with his audience all contributed to his status as one of the greatest singers of all time. Sinatra’s legacy continues to inspire and influence singers today, and his voice will be remembered as one of the most unique and beloved in the history of popular music.