WHEN SINATRA WAS A RED
March 2, 2016 Leave a comment
Frank Sinatra is remembered as an entertainer who sided with Republican politicians like Nixon and Reagan, hung out with mobsters and swaggered about Las Vegas with his cronies singing, “I did it my way…”
But there was another side to Sinatra, an early radical Frank, ol’ pinko eyes.
At the height of his popularity, in the 1940s, Sinatra was branded a Red, a commo.
He was one of the first major stars of the era to stand shoulder to shoulder with the poor and the oppressed.
While Bing Crosby was crooning to a Republican tune, Sinatra was backing President F. D. Roosevelt’s New Deal of state-funded work schemes and nationalised industries.
Asked by a reporter in 1946 what he considered the biggest problem America faced in its post-war world he replied, “Poverty… Every kid in the world should have his quart of milk a day.”
The great bandleader Duke Ellington remembered Sinatra in the 1940s as being the leader of the campaign against race hatred.
Says Brooklyn-born Grey Lynn muso Hershal Herscher, “My uncle booked Sinatra once for a season. It was in the ’40s. My uncle was in showbiz.
“The night Roosevelt won a fourth-term presidency, my uncle, Sinatra and Orson Welles toured the bars of Manhattan and ended up celebrating at the headquarters of the clothing workers’ union, which shared the same building as the Communist Party.”
All of this, and all Sinatra’s great songs, will be remembered at The Thirsty Dog on Karangahape Rd on Saturday, March 12, 8pm—back by very popular demand after a jam-packed showe last December that celebrated the centenary of Sinatra’s birthday.
Hershal Herscher, Linn Lorkin, Justin Horn, Dave Powell, Stuart Grimshaw and Bryan Harris – Auckland’s Frank Sinatra Big Band — will be playing and singing Sinatra
Hear it all: “You Make Me Feel So Young,” “Strangers In The Night,” “One For My Baby, And One More For The Road” … and the Popular Front, the United Auto Workers’ sit-down strike in Michigan—and even the Westfield Freezing Workers’ stay-in strike in south Auckland!
An evening of swinging music and riveting history.
Thirsty Dog, K Rd, 8pm.