Monday, February 28, 2011


Excerpt From the Book:
"Turn Your Radio On"
by Lee Alan

I Saw Frank Sinatra in person 7 times. Each time with more anticipation the last. Each time with more appreciation than before.

No need to explain here how his performances affected me. The world’s best popular music. Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Gershwin, scores of others. All played by the best musicians on the planet, led by the likes of Nelson Riddle, Billy May, Axel Stordahl Count Basie, and others with Sinatra center stage and the audience in his hand. His way always. And always in his total control.

People have asked me so many times:
“When you were on the air why did you always call him Mister Sinatra? Ha!

Well, the first time I met Frank Sinatra in person was at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas. No, I didn’t go back stage or meet him in a casino. Nothing like that. Never could have done it. No one ever got back stage to see him. Not unless you were an insider. And I wasn't.

It was in the men’s room! That's where I saw him. That's where I met him. In the Sands Casino men’s room!

These four guys walk in and one of them takes his place at the urinal next to me. Now let's be clear about this and understand that in the men’s room, guys never look at the guy next to them. Never. I don’t know why, but this time I did.
Uh not down.. up. Looked right at the face of the guy.

And there next to me was Frank Sinatra going to the bathroom, proving that he was human! He was performing at the Sands with Count Basie, Nuff said?

I was a young smart guy in those days with no fear so when I looked over I said:
“Hello Frank.”

Without even looking at me he said quietly:
“The name is MR. Sinatra.”
I didn’t say anything.

Couple minutes later I was next to him again. This time washing hands. Two guys handed him towels. The other one gave him lotion for his face.
After his remark at the urinal I kept looking away. At least not looking directly at him.

It was then I felt a tap on my shoulder. When I turned around it was him with a face-breaking smile. And yes the eyes were totally the bluest.

I said something cleaver like:
“Nice to meet you Mr. Sinatra.”
He laughed, gave me five and said:

“Kid, to you the name’s FRANK.”

With that he and his entourage turned and left. When he got to the door he turned, looked at me and winked! You've seen that wink. Yes? There's never been another wink like it.

And so from that time forward when I closed thousands of radio shows with
"I Can;t Get Started With you" and more recently when I produced The Frank Sinatra Story in Las Vegas for radio syndication he has always been . . .MISTER Sinatra.
Regards, Lee Alan