Memories of Sid Mark, legendary Sinatra radio guy, who passed away at 88
Sid Mark, who was once asked to play an hour of Frank Sinatra and parlayed that request into a show called "The Sounds of Sinatra," which has lasted over 65 years and is heard on close to 100 radio stations, passed away Tuesday at the age of 88.
Mark, a Camden native, developed "Friday with Frank" and "Sunday with Sinatra." Mark not only played Sinatra but became Ol' Blue Eyes' friend in 1966.
Michael Martocci knew both Mark and Sinatra. He tours the country portrayirank, with Sinatra's permission. He had him host Sinatra show packages back when Frank toured.
"Sidney met Sinatra when Sinatra was performing with the Count Basie Band at the Sands. That actual album 'Sinatra at the Sands' with the Count Basie Orchestra, Sidney was at the recording of it and Sinatra promised him that he would give him the album and let him break it on his station in Philadelphia which Sid did and that album went on to become one of the icons in Sinatra's catalog."
What's Martocci's best memory of Sid Mark?
"We did an event with Tony Bennett who was going to perform at Valley Forge and we had Tony come to the hotel where we were having a big event with over 300 people," says Martocci. "He surprised us when Tony pulled up to the event at the Valley Forge hotel, by himself in a car and walked right in and Sidney did one of the most brilliant interviews and he actually got Tony to song acapella which was a real treat but you felt like it was two friends talking."
One of my regular callers is a baker from Ambler named Hugh, before he was calling me he was calling Sid. Back then he was known as "Hugh the baker from Flourtown."
"This is the coolest thing of it all. Our first child was born on a Friday night. December 13 and Friday with Frank was on the air. So I called into Sid Mark's show and he announced it on the radio and we talked about it on the air. Mark said, 'You missed Sinatra's birthday by one day because Sinatra was born on 12/12 our son was born on 12/13.'"
It gets better. As Hugh remembers, "I got so many gifts sent to me. It was incredible. Our son Michael is now 31 years old but when he was born Sid Mark announced his birth."
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise only. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.
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