PERFORMING ARTS

Sinatra and Me: In the Wee Small Hours

Scribner. Jun. 2021. 320p. ISBN 9781982151782. $30. MEMOIR
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In this “I knew him when” memoir, Oppedisano chronicles his relationship with Frank Sinatra. He first met the singer in 1972 at Jilly’s, a popular New York City nightclub and a Sinatra favorite. Oppedisano, then 21, was a fledgling musician, while Sinatra was in the middle of one of his many self-imposed “retirements”; the two of them quickly bonded over their shared Italian heritage. Oppedisano eventually became Sinatra’s road manager and his closest confidant during the last years before Sinatra’s death (he was there when Sinatra uttered his last words). The two would spend hours together, drinking Jack Daniels and sharing stories into the “wee small hours.” Sinatra opened up to Oppedisano about his relationship with his father (“You want a hug? Go to your mother”), his marriages and love affairs, his complicated relationships with his children, and his belief that Marilyn Monroe was murdered. With coauthor Ross (cowriter, You Don’t Know Me: Reflections of My Father, Ray Charles) Oppedisano documents those conversations, which reveal a vulnerable side of Sinatra that until now has remained elusive. Oppedisano even weighs in on Sinatra’s supposed mob ties and lays to rest the rumor that Ronan Farrow is Sinatra’s son.
VERDICT Featuring never-before-heard Sinatra stories and never-before-seen photos, this is for celebrity watchers, Sinatra fans, and anyone who’s dreamed of hanging out with the Rat Pack.
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