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  Newsmakers   New Jersey town marks Sinatra centennial

New Jersey town marks Sinatra centennial

AFP
Published : Dec 14, 2015, 4:32 am IST
Updated : Dec 14, 2015, 4:32 am IST

Frank Sinatra’s hometown on Saturday dedicated a plaque in his honour, capping celebrations of the singing legend’s centennial year despite his ambivalent relationship with Hoboken, New Jersey.

A cake with a picture of Frank Sinatra is served during the “Frank Sinatra’s Centennial Birthday Party”  in Hoboken, New Jersey,
 A cake with a picture of Frank Sinatra is served during the “Frank Sinatra’s Centennial Birthday Party” in Hoboken, New Jersey,

Frank Sinatra’s hometown on Saturday dedicated a plaque in his honour, capping celebrations of the singing legend’s centennial year despite his ambivalent relationship with Hoboken, New Jersey.

A century after “Ol’ Blue Eyes” was born in the working-class town across the Hudson River from New York, several hundred fans turned out to remember him — mostly local residents, but with a smattering of die-hard Sinatra fans from around the world.

Befitting a celebrity who moved to California and rarely looked back at his place of birth, the Hobo-ken Historical Museum on an unusually warm Dece-mber day unveiled a star in the fashion of the Hollywood Walk of Fame on the brick walls of its entrance. The star to mark one of the 20th century’s great entertainer, who died in 1998, read, “Fran-cis Albert Sinatra, ‘The Voice.’ Born in Hoboken.”

Zach Alexander, a poised 20-year-old, serenaded the Hoboken crowd by singing some of Sinatra’s best-loved tunes including My Way, Strangers in the Night, I’ve Got You Under My Skin and — with the Manhattan skyline visible from a distance — Theme from New York, New York. Alexander, who in a nod to Sinatra’s meticulous fashion standards sported a tuxedo with cufflinks, said that he was a fellow Italian American and that his first musical memory was his grandmother playing a vinyl single of Sinatra’s Summ-er Wind. “Ever since then I was hooked,” he said.

Tony Hebden, who said he has listened to Sinatra for 40 years, travelled to Hoboken from Leeds, Eng-land. Hebden came with his wife, Anne, and said that they earlier got married in Hoboken out of love for Sinatra. “This is a bit of a cliche but it was a bit the soundtrack to my life — sad songs, joyous songs, swinging songs,” he said.

The hometown ceremony culminates a busy centennial year that was packed with Sinatra tributes as well as book and recording releases. Among the biggest events was a nationally broadcast concert in Las Vegas — one of Sinatra’s adopted home bases — organised by the Grammy Awards.

Location: United States, New Jersey