Nancy Sinatra Interview
Below is part of an interview I did with Nancy Sinatra from Jun. 97 - Sept 97.  
                                                                                
        .............Brian Chearno 
Q Recently it has been reported that you are working with Martin 
Scorsese on a project about your father. Is this going to be a documentary
or a bio-pic?

A  My project with Martin Scorsese is a documentary film for theatres, 
television, video (probably DVD) and CDI and/or CD-rom. It is based on 
my book, Frank 	Sinatra American Legend, but with the title:  Frank 
Sinatra American Baritone. We expect it is a year and a half away.


Q  What do you feel was the greatest period in Frank Sinatra'a career? 	
    (Harry James, Dorsey, Columbia, Capitol ,Reprise)

A  Tough question. Personally speaking, the Columbia years are the most
sentimental for me. My parents were together through most of that time and
we were a happy, (sort of) normal family. The songs represent special times
and feelings I hold very close.
        
Although the Harry James portion of the Columbia recordings was really the
start of Dad's career. All Or Nothing at All wasn't a hit until after Dad 
had left James for Dorsey and changed to RCA, which was Dorsey's label. 
The Dorsey/RCA songs were chosen by Dorsey, not Frank, so though they 
influenced his later choices, Dad really had little to do with the songs, 
except to perform them.
        
When he returned to Columbia, this time with Axel Stordahl, Dad chose the
material and collaborated on the style of arrangements. His tastes began 
to broaden and the scope widened. Now the songs represented his feelings 
more. Reflected his life more clearly.
        
The Capitol years were definitely the most metamorphic. His life changed 
and so did his voice, his clothes, choice of material and arrangements. I 
always think of this period as the butterfly leaving the safety of the 
cocoon and flying for the first time. He was really feeling his oats, 
as they say. The concept album became the perfect vehicle for him - and 
it WAS HIS.  In a sense he owned the idea. My personal choice: In the Wee 
Small Hours. Sad and sweet, but without the wrist-cutting pain of Only the
Lonely. 
   	
A prolific time indeed. I was a teenager and one of my favorite things to
do was go to his record sessions. This was the MOST FUN period.
        
Reprise was his baby. He nurtured it. He fed it the best talent roster he
could muster. The wisdom gained from all the experience is clearly evident
now. He became the elder statesman of American Music, and deservedly so. 
Musically, some of his finest work. My personal favorite: The Concert 
Sinatra. I was fortunate to attend those sessions at The Goldwyn Studios, 
and I tell you, it was 	breathtaking....And no echo chamber!  If your 
question had been about INFLUENCE, I would have to say: Capitol, BUT Your 
question had to do with GREATNESS. So, I believe my answer has to 
be: Reprise


Q  You recorded three songs with your father. Were there any plans for 
future projects?

A  The last song Dad and I worked on was "Nice'n'Easy". It was supposed 
to have been for the second duets album. FS and Phil Ramone were not happy
with Dad's vocal performance, so we did not add my voice to it. There was 
no time to redo before the release date.

Now we are working on the documentary film. I want Frank's voice to be the
only voice. He is helping me chosing the music etc. We never stop! You 
can't keep a good guy down.


Q  In the early eighties you went on tour with your father. How was that 
experience?

A  I traveled with, and opened the shows for Dad for two years - for two 
reasons:

    1)I wanted to afford my children a chance to see what their grandfather
    did as a performer, and thus, get to know their famous relative as a 
    grandpa and not just a voice on a tape or the radio. 

    AJ and Amanda traveled with us when they were not in school. Many of 
    our most memorable times, the ones we still talk about a lot, happened
    during those two years. 

    Some of the fondest memories my kids have of their own father occurred
    on the trips we made together. He died when they were only nine and 
    eleven, so now at twenty-one and twenty-three, their memories of him 
    are dim and few. Caesar's Palace, Resorts International, Harrah's, 
    The Universal Amphitheatre etc. It seems that the buildings, the  
    venues themselves, help to remind them of their daddy.

    2)The second reason I wanted to travel with my dad was to be close to
    him again. Having babies and raising my own family took so much of my 
    time, I didn't have a chance to be with him very often. With all of 
    us traveling together, we were able to accomplish that re-connection.

    So when he suggested I open his shows, I accepted without really 
    thinking things through. I had no arrangements for the band we were 
    going to work with - Woody Herman. My charts were for full orchestras 
    with strings. I hadn't been on stage since I was pregnant with AJ and 
    I hadn't worked on my voice either.

    Use it or lose it applied to the nth degree. 

    Dad and Hugh (my husband) helped me get it together and I did fairly 
    well, but it didn't really matter. Frank's audience doesn't care if a 
    girl singer, a comic or an organ grinder with a monkey opens the show.
    They are there to see HIM.

    It was a wonderful experience and one I will never forget. Espescially
    the birthday parties and apres-show fun. It was a total re-bonding for
    all of us.


Q  Obviously your biggest hit was "Boots". What do you consider your best
work? Why?

A  The records I made for the first five years I was on Reprise were 
"bubble-gum" novelty songs. They were arranged and produced by Tutti 
Camarata, Don Costa and Jimmy Bowen - an amazing collection of names eh?

Some of the songs I did then are still favorites of mine: "In The Wee Small
Hours...", "True Love", "Like I Do". (I even wrote a couple of the bubble 
gum songs) Some of them went as high as #1 on foreign charts.

I was a "star" in Italy, Austrailia, Germany and Japan before the American
stations ever paid attention at all.

After Lee Hazlewood got me my first chart record, "So Long Babe", and
things started to happen here, my choice of material was extremely limited.
It was a weird situation, to say the least. I was on the charts for a few 
years, but I wasn't allowed to grow as an artist. My albums were nicer to 
look at than to listen to.

I am the daughter of the Chairman of the Board and thus, was raised with
concept albums and great music. I was successful with mediocre material
because of a good recording voice that people really liked at that time. 
My desire to record better and different songs was not of interest to 
Reprise Records. You win some - you lose some.

The one hit song that I have tremendous gratitude for is "Boots", because 
it has a life of it's own. It's like being identified with a brand name. 
Boos - Nancy -- Nancy - Boots. They go together.

But as far as LOVING goes, "Friday's Child" and "Love Eyes" are Lee
Hazlewood's shining hours, as is his duet, "Arkansas Coal Suite".

My absolute favorite recordings of mine are, "Nice 'n' Easy", "Old Devil
Moon", "Machine Gun Kelly" (never released), and "Hook and Ladder". I 
also got very lucky when I did the title song for "You Only Live Twice". 
People still love that song today. They cheer when they here the INTRO!

I have been extremely fortunate. My dad always told me, "Stay away from 
what I do and you'll be fine." He was right, of course - even though I 
would have preferred HIS music to mine..........


Q  In the latter years your father had some problems on stage.  What do
you think kept him going night after night?

A  Dad's eyes were bothering him for a long time before he stopped 
personal appearances. His problems came more from this than anything else.
He had a terrible time reading the prompters, made some mistakes and 
people became concerned about his health.

Perhaps he should have stopped sooner, but I know he always felt that the
people needed him. He tried desperately to accomodate them by traveling 
to them. He is fully aware of the joy he brings to his fans and knows they
wish to be in the same room with him, to touch him, have him touch them.

The last 2 shows in the U.S. were in Chicago and St. Louis. I don't know 
what made me go on the trip with him, but I'm so very glad I did. They 
were two of the finest concerts I've ever seen - EVER! It was as though 
he knew he would be going back. He gave them everything he had. I have 
NEVER seen ANYTHING like it.

When he asked my brother to help him, I knew he had done the right thing.
Frankie knew Dad's music better than anyone else and was able to help him 
in a personal way as well.  Frankie enjoyed, as he put it, "giving 
something back" to his father. It was a good 9-year experience for both of
them.

Though the fact Frankie was there with him was a factor (I doubt Dad would
have made it as long without him), the main reason Dad was able to continue
against the odds, at 78 and 79 years old was the people.

It was the people that kept him going.


Q  The success of the "Duets" albums brought Sinatra to a whole new 
audience. While many Sinatraphiles reject many of the chosen duet partners
these artists attracted many non-Sinatra listeners to discover Sinatra the
man and his music.  What do you think of these two albums?

A The Duets albums are interesting and fun, though not my favorites. I'd 
much rather listen to "Wee Small Hours" or the "Concert Album".

But, I do appreciate the notion of pairing Frank with artists that might 
seem off the wall. I love when cultures and generations come together in a
positive way in any field or subject - especially in music.

The power of music continues to amaze me. It really breaks down the 
boundaries and walls.

I'm sorry some people were offended by this concept. I guess they did not 
see the value of the joining of musical forces. It's too bad really.

Another reason I'm so delighted the Duets albums were made is technology. 
My father is the only singer in our history - and will always hold this 
for his own - who has held a megaphone, a microphone and "telephone" to 
record. From the '30s to the '90s he has touched every possible way of 
recording sound and film. The fiber optics of those albums was the icing 
on his techno-cake.

He has done it all.


Q  Recently with your fathers health problems, The tabloids have gone out 
of control with all kinds of crazy stories. Do you have a comment on why 
these tabloids constantly harass your father, yourself and your family?

A  Whoever said, "I may not agree with what you say, but I'll defend to 
the death your right to say it," summed up our family philosophy, i 
suppose.

There are reasons for celebrities to resent the First Amendment sometimes,
but that is a very dangerous attitude. The trick is to overturn the "NY 
Times v Sullivan" precedent. That would be very interesting because that 
is the case that said a public person has no right to privacy.

It is okay for someone as strong and important as Frank, but what about 
the "little guy" whose life can be ruined by the kind of slander my dad 
has withstood virtually all of his life? It is a scary thought, especially
now, with the computer capabilities out there. As our lawyer put it 
recently, and I am paraphrasing: no one is safe anymore. Ronald Reagan 
could end up in Debbie Does Dallas 12!

I think most people are aware of the garbage in the tabloids and don't 
give them a lot of credence. Then again there are those people who believe
the written word, no matter who writes it.

The only thing that saves my sanity is that it passes in a week and ends 
up in the trash - which is where it belongs.

It's too bad the public has this insatiable appetite. No demand - no 
supply. They would just go away.....

The saddest thing is that the horrible stories about Dad's health cause 
people 	who care about him to worry so much. It really upsets them. That 
is one of the reasons we started our web site. I knew that people would 
appreciate being told the truth; that there is finally a place they can 
rely on for accurate information.


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