6 things you probably don’t know about Frank Sinatra
There are a lot of facts about Frank Sinatra that are pretty well known, such as the fact that Dec. 12 would have been the New Jersey native's 100th birthday, or that his native city is Hoboken.
But there are more, lesser known facts about 'Ol Blue Eyes that paint a pretty interesting picture of one of the Garden State's most beloved singers. As celebrations are being planned for Saturday at the Hoboken Historical Museum and elsewhere in the city, here's a list of some facts about Frank Sinatra that you might not have known:
1. In later years, Sinatra would sometimes refer to his native city of Hoboken as, "a sewer."
According to Hoboken Historical Museum Director Robert Foster, Sinatra grew up in the 1920s and 30s, and that would include the depression era of the 30s.
"If you were Italian growing up in an urban city like Hoboken, you probably were a recent immigrant or first generation, and you were at the low end of the economic strata," Foster said. "So you were feeling it economically, like everyone else, but even more so."
Foster believes a lot of it had to do with the discrimination he received as an Italian.
"The West side of Hoboken, a lot of it, you know, is below sea level. So when it rains, many times your sewers would back up, the basements would flood. So it wasn't the most pleasant place to live," he said.
2. Frank Sinatra was not supposed to be named, "Frank."
In fact, Sinatra was supposed to be named Martin after his father. However, the priest at his baptism named him Frank because of a mix-up. He was named after Frank Garrick, who was at his baptism as Sinatra's godfather.
3. Sinatra hated his hit song, "My Way."
It was the song Frank Sinatra recorded that became one of his biggest hits, but he disliked it. Sinatra's daughter Tina has said her father disliked the song because he thought it was self-serving and self-indulgent. But a hit is a hit.
4. "Frank Sinatra Drive" in Hoboken was named amidst a great deal of controversy.
According to Hoboken Historical Museum Director Robert Foster, the street with its charming restaurants and sidewalk cafes and a sweeping view of the New York skyline was dedicated in the late 1970s. Foster says a lot of the locals in Hoboken at that time did not think Sinatra deserved it.
5. Sinatra started out as a street performer.
Ol' Blue Eyes, of course was born and raised in Hoboken, where he used to harmonize with other teens. Hoboken Historical Museum Director Robert Foster says, "Frank started on the street corner. Of course, when he is making it big at the Paramount in New York, reporters would ask him that. What is it like singing on the street corner?"
6. Sinatra wore lifts in his shoes.
With a height of 5 feet, 7 inches tall, Sinatra developed a sensitivity about his small stature. So much so that he took to wearing what some of us call, "elevator shoes."
So there you have it. A half-dozen Sinatra trivia facts to add to your knowledge of this famous New Jerseyan. Class dismissed.
Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5.