Rick - Short Signature

Rick Michel's Blog

It was a match made in Heaven, and it just so happens that the first track on their debut collaboration, Sinatra-Basie: An Historic Musical First, was “Pennies from Heaven.”  That first album together happened in 1962 and their last studio album was in 1964, but these two legends paired up again in 1966 for Frank’s first live album, Sinatra at the Sands, although they would perform together more. Read More

Frank Sinatra was no stranger to the White House, yet his visit there to perform on April 17, 1973 for a State Dinner welcoming Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti appeared to be something really special for the singer.  He did ten songs, a mini-concert arranged to impact everyone lucky enough to be in attendance, and nobody left that historic building disappointed. Read More

You know how you go on Google searching for something, but you end up finding something else? That happened to me while I was looking up last week’s blog post and one video, Sammy singing Mr. Bojangles, reminded me about the relationship between two incredible artists: Sammy Davis, Jr. and Michael Jackson. Read More

Did you know Sammy Davis, Jr. was an accomplished photographer?  These Rat Pack guys were super-talented; I’ve written about Frank’s painting, and while you guys may know that I’m not necessarily the best photographer myself, I can admire those with the execution to deliver shots worth noticing.  Always a visionary, Sammy even took selfies before selfies were a thing.   Read More

When you look at Frank Sinatra’s Emmy bio it says, 0 wins, 3 nominations.  That’s almost unbelievable.  His shows have won Emmys, such as A Man and His Music, but he was never handed the coveted television award himself.  With all the television specials, programs, and appearances, you’d have thought he would have won a few, but I think the reason he didn’t becomes obvious when you look at the times he was nominated, such as in 1974 for his Magnavox Presents Frank Sinatra special, and he was up against Barbra Streisand, John Denver, and the eventual winner, Lily Tomlin.  So, why didn’t he win? Hey, he probably should have, but there was some great competition. Read More

Frank Sinatra did an excellent job hosting the 1963 Academy Awards, including his short speech on “What’s Wrong with Hollywood,” which I wrote about last week, but the biggest story that night became a chapter in one of the most famous Tinsel town feuds of all time and it involved Joan Crawford and Bette Davis. Read More

Frank Sinatra hosted the Academy Awards in 1963, something he seemed very comfortable doing, respectfully honoring all the chosen nominees, cracking a few jokes, and even delivering a short-but-sweet speech on the troubles with Hollywood.  His soliloquy is poignant in that you could probably jump ahead fifty-plus years and it would still be relevant. Read More

During his lifetime Frank Sinatra was rumored to have a way with the ladies, and with hindsight as it is, we now know that rumor was reality.  When he was only 23 he was arrested for seduction, he was married four times and had a long list of lovers, including some extremely prominent names.  Yet, when Frank’s ladies speak about him, it’s generally praise he receives.  Need some examples?  Let’s look at a few! Read More

Saying you’re sorry can sometimes be one of the most difficult things to do, especially if you don’t think you did anything wrong.  That seems to be the basic premise behind the breakup of one of the biggest comedy duos of all time, Martin and Lewis. Apparently, Dean was upset he wasn’t having much control over their act and Jerry wasn’t about to let up on a good thing and the rest, as they say, is history. Read More

Two things related to Frank Sinatra that I’ve written about on a number of occasions include his favorite drink, Jack Daniel’s whiskey, and his efforts to fight for racial equality.  I’ve recently learned how these two seemingly unrelated subjects are somewhat intertwined: the first master distiller for the iconic liquor was Nathan “Nearest” Green, a former slave.   Read More