Wednesday Open Thread | Frank Sinatra Week

Good Morning.

We continue with Frank Sinatra.

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1940–50: Sinatramania and decline of career

In May 1941, Sinatra was at the top of the male singer polls in the Billboard and Down Beat magazines.[8]:94 His appeal to bobby soxers, as teenage girls of that time were called, revealed a whole new audience for popular music, which had been recorded mainly for adults up to that time.[21]

On December 30, 1942, Sinatra made a “legendary opening” at the Paramount Theater in New York. Jack Benny later said, “I thought the goddamned building was going to cave in. I never heard such a commotion… All this for a fellow I never heard of.” When Sinatra returned to the Paramount in October 1944, 35,000 fans caused a near riot outside the venue because they were not allowed in.[13]
Sinatra in 1947, at the Liederkrantz Hall in New York

During the musicians’ strike of 1942–44, Columbia re-released Harry James and Sinatra’s version of “All or Nothing at All” (music by Arthur Altman and lyrics by Jack Lawrence), recorded in August 1939 and released before Sinatra had made a name for himself. The original release did not even mention the vocalist’s name. When the recording was re–released in 1943 with Sinatra’s name prominently displayed, the record was on the best–selling list for 18 weeks and reached number 2 on June 2, 1943.[22]

Sinatra signed with Columbia on June 1, 1943, as a solo artist, and he initially had great success, particularly during the 1942–44 musicians’ strike. Although no new records had been issued during the strike, he had been performing on the radio (on Your Hit Parade), and on stage. Columbia wanted to get new recordings of their growing star as fast as possible, so Sinatra convinced them to hire Alec Wilder as arranger and conductor for several sessions with a vocal group called the Bobby Tucker Singers. These first sessions were on June 7, June 22, August 5, and November 10, 1943. Of the nine songs recorded during these sessions, seven charted on the best–selling list.[23]

Sinatra did not serve in the military during World War II. On December 11, 1943, he was classified 4-F (“Registrant not acceptable for military service”) for a perforated eardrum by his draft board. Additionally, an FBI report on Sinatra, released in 1998, showed that the doctors had also written that he was a “neurotic” and “not acceptable material from a psychiatric standpoint.” This was omitted from his record to avoid “undue unpleasantness for both the selectee and the induction service.”[24][25] Active-duty servicemen, like journalist William Manchester, said of Sinatra, “I think Frank Sinatra was the most hated man of World War II, much more than Hitler”, because Sinatra was back home making all of that money and being shown in photographs surrounded by beautiful women.[11]:91[26] His exemption would resurface throughout his life and cause him grief when he had to defend himself.[24][27] There were accusations, including some from noted columnist Walter Winchell,[28] that Sinatra paid $40,000 to avoid the service – but the FBI found no evidence of this.[25][29]

In her book “Over Here, Over There” with Bill Gilbert, Maxene Andrews recalled when Sinatra entertained the troops during an overseas USO tour with comedian Phil Silvers during the war, observing, “I guess they just had a wing-ding, whatever it was. Sinatra demanded his own plane. But Bing [Crosby] said, ‘Don’t demand anything. Just go over there and sing your hearts out.’ So, we did.”[30] Sinatra worked frequently with the very popular Andrews Sisters, both on radio in the 1940s, appearing as guests on each other’s shows, as well as on many shows broadcast to troops via the Armed Forces Radio Service (AFRS). He appeared as special guest on a rare pilot episode of the sisters’ ABC Eight-to-the-Bar Ranch series at the end of 1944, and returned for another much funnier guest stint a few months later, while the trio in turn guested on his Songs by Sinatra series on CBS, to the delight of an audience filled with screaming bobby-soxers. Patty, Maxene, and LaVerne also teamed with Frankie when they appeared three times as guests on Sinatra’s CBS television show in the early-1950s. Maxene once told Joe Franklin during a 1979 WWOR-AM Radio interview that Sinatra was “a peculiar man,” with the ability to act indifferent towards her at times.[31]

In 1945, Sinatra co-starred with Gene Kelly in Anchors Aweigh. That same year, he was loaned out to RKO to star in a short film titled The House I Live In. Directed by Mervyn LeRoy, this film on tolerance and racial equality earned a special Academy Award shared among Sinatra and those who brought the film to the screen, along with a special Golden Globe for “Promoting Good Will”. 1946 saw the release of his first album, The Voice of Frank Sinatra, and the debut of his own weekly radio show. By the end of 1948, Sinatra felt that his career was stalling, something that was confirmed when he slipped to No. 4 on Down Beat’s annual poll of most popular singers (behind Billy Eckstine, Frankie Laine, and Bing Crosby).[8]:149

The year 1949 saw an upswing, as Frank co-starred with Gene Kelly in Take Me Out to the Ball Game. It was well received critically and became a major commercial success. That same year, Sinatra teamed up with Kelly for a third time in On the Town.

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21 Responses to Wednesday Open Thread | Frank Sinatra Week

  1. rikyrah says:

    and MSNBC wonders why their ratings are in the toilet?


    Jeff Gauvin


    Glenn Greenwald, Sirota, Tavis Smiley,
    Pareena, West, Hamsher, Walsh….who’s missing from tonight’s Emoprog
    Chris Hayes bash Obama show?

  2. rikyrah says:

    State Rep. Doug Cox: The GOP and abortion legislation

    BY STATE REP. DOUG COX | Published: May 29, 2013

    All of the new Oklahoma laws aimed at limiting abortion and contraception are great for the Republican family that lives in a gingerbread house with a two-car garage, two planned kids and a dog. In the real world, they are less than perfect.

    As a practicing physician (who never has or will perform an abortion), I deal with the real world. In the real world, 15- and 16-year-olds get pregnant (sadly, 12-, 13- and 14-year-olds do also). In the real world, 62 percent of women ages 20 to 24 who give birth are unmarried. And in the world I work and live in, an unplanned pregnancy can throw up a real roadblock on a woman’s path to escaping the shackles of poverty.

    Yet I cannot convince my Republican colleagues that one of the best ways to eliminate abortions is to ensure access to contraception. A recent attempt by my fellow lawmakers to prevent Medicaid dollars from covering the “morning after” pill is a case in point. Denying access to this important contraceptive is a sure way to increase legal and back-alley abortions. Moreover, such a law would discriminate against low-income women who depend on Medicaid for their health care.

    But wait, some lawmakers want to go even further and limit everyone’s access to birth control by allowing pharmacists to refuse to fill prescriptions for contraception.

  3. Ametia says:

    Obama plans to nominate Comey as next FBI director

    President Obama plans to nominate James B. Comey, a former senior Justice Department official in the George W. Bush administration, to replace Robert S. Mueller III as FBI director, according to two people with knowledge of the selection process.

    Comey, 52, who since leaving government has served as general counsel at Lockheed Martin and worked as an executive at a hedge fund, currently teaches at Columbia Law School.

    Read more at:

  4. rikyrah says:

    More from the story that should be from THE ONION, but isn’t.


    The al-Qaida terrorist who was told he must do better

    Mokhtar Belmokhtar didn’t take phone calls, he never filed expenses, he missed meetings – no wonder his bosses tried to rein him in. It’s just that he worked for a terror organisation

    After 15 years as one of al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb’s top commanders, it became clear that the Algerian terrorist Mokhtar Belmokhtar was simply not a team player. In a long letter just discovered by the Associated Press in Mali, but dated 3 October last year, AQIM’s leadership make clear how exasperated they had become by Belmokhtar’s constant insubordination. And when he floated the idea of becoming his own boss, they had had enough.

    “We refrained from wading into this battle in the past out of a hope that the crooked could be straightened,” the council said, “… until your last letter arrived, ending any hope of stanching the wound and healing it.” In 30 bullet points, they castigate their man for a succession of failures. He dodged meetings, they say; he did not file expenses; he was never available for phone calls; he shared internal matters publicly on jihadist forums; one group of reinforcements spent three years wandering the desert trying to find him. Worse still, he had not pulled off one “spectacular operation” against “the crusader alliance”. That last point aside, he was, in short, being rebuked for failings readily found in any office.

  5. Ametia says:

    Preliminary tests indicate ricin was found in letters sent to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, New York Deputy Police Commissioner Paul Browne said.

  6. Rikyrah & Ametia

    Please check your email.

  7. Ametia says:

    I watched Tyler Pery’s The Have and the Have Nots last night. I.DIDN’T LIKE.IT. for a host of reasons; but mainly because of the same boring, tired-ass STEREOTYPES.

  8. rikyrah says:

    Joy Reid ‏@TheReidReport9m
    @TheRevAl is taking names, today! Clinton-Obama double standard is the topic of debate!

  9. rikyrah says:

    As budget cuts hit S.C., a congressman is surprised at constituents’ reactions

    By Greg Jaffe,

    SUMTER, S.C. — Rep. Mick Mulvaneydoesn’t want his name on any buildings.

    Now three years later, he was coming home just as the budget cuts he has so passionately advocated were starting to bite, particularly in the area around Shaw, where more than 1,000 civilian workers face furloughs and lucrative construction jobs are drying up.

    He had done what he promised to do, but with his constituents starting to feel real losses, he couldn’t help but worry whether their anger would focus on him.

    The congressman came to a stop in front of the 9th Air Force headquarters building, where a two-star general, clad in a green camouflage uniform, was waiting to greet him. To save money, the general had shut down the base movie theater, closed swimming pools and halted all repairs to the post’s buildings, including one that was recently smashed by a falling tree and is now fenced off and uninhabitable.

    When that wasn’t enough, the Air Force ordered him to cut flight hours for Shaw’s F-16 fighter jets. One of the base’s squadrons has been grounded and the other, which is flying reduced hours, will need a month of full-time training before it is combat-ready.

    “Are you comfortable with that time frame?” Mulvaney asked the general.

    “No, I am not,” he replied. “Kim Jong Un is not going to give me 30 days to get ready.”

    They were meeting in the general’s office, where the walls are covered with pictures of the planes that he has flown over the course of a 35-year Air Force career. The general said he had never seen his Air Force less ready for combat.

    Against the force of the general’s voice, Mulvaney held steady. “If the cuts force us to look for better ways of saving money in the future, they will be a success,” he said. “We can’t go backwards.”


    But, every once in a while, a personal anecdote punctures his certainty. Earlier this month, a friend and former campaign volunteer stood up at one of the town hall meetings to tell Mulvaney that the defense cuts had cost him his job of five years with a large defense contractor. “I just want you to know that these cuts are real and they hurt me,” said Jeffrey Betsch, a single father of three daughters, who was on the verge of being evicted from his home.

    After the Rotary Club speech, Mulvaney was thinking about his friend as he drove down a narrow two-lane ribbon of worn blacktop, past strawberry farms and pine forests. He felt terrible, he said, but he also believed that the country faced problems that were bigger than the struggles of a single constituent.

    “I don’t see how you wipe out 40 cents of spending on every dollar and not have someone get hurt,” Mulvaney said.

  10. rikyrah says:

    The Morning Plum: Who do the austerians in Congress speak for, anyway?

    By Greg Sargent, Published: May 29, 2013 at 9:11 amE-mail the writer

    submit to reddit

    When a tornado pulverized an Oklahoma City suburb last week, it renewed a debate in Congress over whether federal aid for disaster relief must be offset by spending cuts elsewhere. In the case of the Oklahoma tornado, conservative senators such as Tom Coburn and Jim Inhofe immediately declared the need for offsets. Previously, large swaths of Republicans in the House voted against federal aid to victims of Hurricane Sandy, demanding it be offset by cuts elsewhere, which ultimately required that it pass the House mostly with Democratic votes.

    But a new Washington Post/Pew Research poll makes you wonder who these austerity-obsessed GOP lawmakers are speaking for: It finds that even a majority of Republicans say federal disaster aid does not need to be offset with cuts to other areas of government.

    First, the toplines. The poll finds that 59 percent of Americans say “federal spending in response to natural disasters is emergency aid that does not need to be offset by cuts to other government programs.” Only 29 percent say such spending must be offset by cuts elsewhere.

    The partisan breakdown of these numbers is striking. Republicans say disaster spending does not need to be offset by 52-36. Even Republicans who agree with the Tea Party say the same thing by 49-42.

    This mirrors another recent Post poll, which found that a majority of Republicans, 54 percent, disapprove of the spending cuts being imposed by sequestration, while only 39 percent of them approve.

    Look, the story here is the same as always: Americans regularly tell pollsters that they favor federal spending cuts and oppose government spending in the abstract. But when the talk turns to specifics, they suddenly take a more balanced view, one that quickly jettisons the notion of austerity for its own sake. This is often true even of Republicans.

    Yet GOP officials remain in thrall to the Paul Ryan fiscal blueprint, which purports to balance the budget in 10 years with no new revenues — something that would wipe out large swaths of the federal government. Republican Congressional officials continue to claim the sequester cuts as a victory. And many of them are ideologically opposed to federal aid for disaster relief unless it is balanced by equivalent cuts elsewhere. It all reveals the degree to which the GOP is hostage to a vision — one dedicated to shrinking government for its own sake — that is far outside the mainstream. Including, at times, even among Republican voters.

  11. rikyrah says:

    Senate GOP seeks strict limits on recess appointments

    Wed May 29, 2013 9:30 AM EDT.

    The Constitution extends some fairly specific powers to the nation’s president, including the ability to make recess appointments. In practice, however, using this power is rather tricky.

    In the last Congress, President Obama nominated some qualified officials to serve on the National Labor Relations Board, only to have Senate Republicans block their confirmation votes. When lawmakers left town, the White House said the Congress was in recess, and gave the officials temporary recess appointments. Republicans balked — they weren’t really in recess, they said; they only looked like they were in recess.

    A lawsuit ensued and in January, the D.C. Circuit appeals court ruled against the White House. The case has been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and yesterday, literally every Senate Republican urged the high court to hear the case and rule against the president’s tactic.

    The Senate GOP conference has asked the Supreme Court to invalidate President Obama’s January 2012 recess appointments as an unconstitutional abuse of power.

    All 45 Republican senators on Tuesday signed on to a brief arguing that Obama overstepped his authority in naming members to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) while the Senate was technically still in session.

    “The president’s decision to circumvent the American people by installing his appointees at a powerful federal agency while the Senate was continuing to hold sessions, and without obtaining the advice and consent of the Senate, is an unprecedented power grab,” Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) said in a statement.

    On the surface, Senate Republicans raise a perfectly credible argument. I may not agree with them on the politics, but when it comes to the relevant procedures, it’s really not up to the executive branch to decide when the legislative branch is legitimately in session and when it’s not. If Congress says, “Technically, we’re in session,” there’s no reason to think a president has the authority to respond, “I’ve decided you’re not.”

    But in this case, there’s a catch.


    This gets a little wonky, but I think it’s important so let’s dig in and recap what we discussed in February.

    The way the federal confirmation process is supposed to work is simple: when there are judicial and/or administrative vacancies, the president nominates officials to fill those vacancies. The Senate is responsible for scrutinizing the nominees and either approving or rejecting them.

    The executive, in theory, has a workaround called recess appointments. In fact, Article II, Sec. 2, of the Constitution says, “The President shall have power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.” Note that it says, “the recess,” not “a recess.”

    Why does the distinction matter? In the early days of the country, framers saw recesses that could last months and wanted presidents to be able to fill key positions temporarily in emergency situations without the Senate’s consent. There’s generally a lengthy break following the final adjournment for the legislative session, and this is generally considered “the recess.” The provision was not about giving presidents the authority to circumvent Congress when the White House felt like it.

  12. rikyrah says:

    Inhofe loath to ‘pull a Chris Christie’
    By Steve Benen
    Wed May 29, 2013 8:45 AM EDT

    Over Memorial Day weekend, the weekly addresses from President Obama and congressional Republicans were deliberately apolitical, with the president giving thanks to fallen U.S. troops and their families, and Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) speaking from his home state on last week’s deadly tornado.

    And when I watched the Republican clip over the weekend, it seemed pretty straightforward. Inhofe talked about the various agencies at the federal, state, and local level tending to the needs of affected communities. “Oklahoma has been hit hard, but we’re not knocked out,” the senator said, adding, “I can speak for all Oklahoma today when I thank you for your continued thoughts, your prayers, your support as we begin the recovery process. Oklahoma is grieving and in pain, but the devastation such as this tends to bring us closer together as a country.”

    I didn’t notice the omission of the president from Inhofe’s remarks, but apparently that was a deliberate decision.

    Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) said on Monday that he didn’t mention President Barack Obama’s name in his rebuttal to Obama’s weekly presidential address about the Oklahoma tornadoes so that the White House couldn’t “pull a Chris Christie” on him.

    “I was not going to let the White House pull a Chris Christie on me,” Inhofe told Newsmax.

    As it happens, if Inhofe hadn’t addressed this at all, no one would have given this another thought. It’s not as if omission from his YouTube video was noticeable and there was chatter about the senator leaving the president out. No one cared.

    But Inhofe felt compelled to tell a right-wing website what he was thinking — while the senator was talking about a tragedy bring Americans “closer together as a country,” he also ensured that his comments excluded President Obama so no one could characterize the response to the disaster as bipartisan.

    Even by 2013 standards, this is unusually petty and small.

  13. rikyrah says:

    There’s sometimes when you read something you read until the end for the tag line:


    That didn’t happen.

    I’ll repeat it again:

    Sometimes TRUTH is stranger than fiction.


    The Associated Press ‏@AP35m
    Al-Qaida rips into prima donna terrorist for not filing expense reports, ignoring calls, failing on big ops:


    Abu Abbas didn’t participate in stepping up to buy weapons,” the letter says. “So whose performance deserves to be called poor in this case, I wonder?”

    The list of slights is long: He would not take their phone calls. He refused to send administrative and financial reports. He ignored a meeting in Timbuktu, calling it “useless.

  14. Ametia says:

    Waiting for Maureen Dowd to pen her love letter of ENVY to POTUS in…

  15. Ametia says:

    Rep. Michele Bachmann will not seek reelection in 2014

    Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann says she will not run for a 2014 term in the U.S. House.

    The tea party favorite, who ran for the Republican presidential nomination last year, announced her decision on her Web site
    Read more at:

  16. Ametia says:

    Happy HUMP day, Everyone!

    Ah yes; Ole Blue Eyes’ Lady is a Tramp It’s one of my favorites. Loving Mr. Sinatra this week, Rikyrah.

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