Tagged: Musician

Pal Joey: Sinatra’s Silk Loungewear

Frank Sinatra as Joey Evans in Pal Joey (1957)

Frank Sinatra as Joey Evans in Pal Joey (1957)

Vitals

Frank Sinatra as Joey Evans, womanizing nightclub singer

San Francisco, Spring 1957

Film: Pal Joey
Release Date: October 25, 1957
Director: George Sidney
Costume Designer: Jean Louis

Background

The same year that Pal Joey was released, Frank Sinatra released A Swingin’ Affair!, his latest concept album from Capitol Records. The fourth track, “I Guess I’ll Have to Change My Plan”, was written by Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz in 1929, when it was introduced by Clifton Webb in the songwriting duo’s revue The Little Show.

I guess I’ll have to change my plan
I should have realized there’d be another man
Why did I buy those blue pajamas
Before the big affair began

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Pal Joey: Sinatra’s Navy Blazer

Frank Sinatra as Joey Evans in Pal Joey (1957)

Frank Sinatra as Joey Evans in Pal Joey (1957)

Vitals

Frank Sinatra as Joey Evans, womanizing nightclub singer

San Francisco, Spring 1957

Film: Pal Joey
Release Date: October 25, 1957
Director: George Sidney
Costume Designer: Jean Louis

Background

Let’s ease into #SinatraSaturday with a return to Pal Joey, the story of an ambitious nightclub performer played by Ol’ Blue Eyes himself who finds himself in a love triangle with an ingenue chorus girl (Kim Novak) and a wealthy widowed former stripper (Rita Hayworth), all set to more than a dozen classic Rodgers and Hart tunes.

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Ray: Jamie Foxx in a Windowpane Fleck Jacket

Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles in Ray (2004)

Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles in Ray (2004)

Vitals

Jamie Foxx as Ray Charles, groundbreaking R&B musician

Houston, Summer 1953

Film: Ray
Release Date: October 29, 2004
Director: Taylor Hackford
Costume Designer: Sharen Davis

Background

Jamie Foxx became only the second actor in history to receive a Academy Award for Best Actor, BAFTA, Critics’ Choice award, Golden Globe, and Screen Actors Guild award for a single performance when he played Ray Charles. Though it was released five months after the real Ray Charles died of liver disease at age 73, Ray had the blessing of the real Ray Charles who had received – and approved – a braille version of the original shooting script.

Fresh off the success of his first hit for Atlantic Records, the exciting “Mess Around”, we see Ray Charles’ career shooting skyward. He endorses a group called the Cecil Shaw Singers while on-air at a Houston radio station, resulting in a lunch date with the group’s tenor, Della Bea (Kerry Washington), who is amazed that he was able to pick out her voice. Continue reading

Bing’s Navy Blazer in High Society

Bing Crosby as C.K. Dexter Haven in High Society (1956)

Bing Crosby as C.K. Dexter Haven in High Society (1956)

Vitals

Bing Crosby as C.K. Dexter Haven, jazz musician

Newport, Rhode Island, Summer 1956

Film: High Society
Release Date: July 17, 1956
Director: Charles Walters
Costume Designer: Helen Rose

Background

Happy St. Valentine’s Day! This year’s theme for the #WeekOfWeddings seems to be impromptu nuptials that find our cheeky protagonists thrust into taking the vows without a chance to don traditional wedding attire. Today, we’re following a mischievous summer weekend among the socialites of Newport, Rhode Island, in High Society, the musical remake of The Philadelphia Story.

High Society recasts The Philadelphia Story‘s leading gents Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart with the more musically inclined Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, respectively, though it’s interesting to note that Crosby is actually a few months older than Grant, making this surely one of the few times in movie history that a remake actually featured a performer older than his or her predecessor!

Katharine Hepburn’s role was recast with Grace Kelly, establishing High Society as the actress’ final film role before her retirement at the age of 26 upon marriage to Prince Rainier III of Monaco. In the spirit of marriage, Kelly wore her actual Cartier engagement ring from Rainier on screen. Continue reading

White Christmas: Bing’s Powder Blue Jacket

Bing Crosby as Bob Wallace in White Christmas (1954)

Bing Crosby as Bob Wallace in White Christmas (1954)

Vitals

Bing Crosby as Bob Wallace, Broadway crooner, World War II veteran, and “a lonely and miserable man”

Florida, December 1954

Film: White Christmas
Release Date: October 14, 1954
Director: Michael Curtiz
Costume Designer: Edith Head

Background

Happy holidays! This Christmas Eve felt like an appropriate time to focus on White Christmas, the most successful film of 1954 and one of the most beloved holiday classics. Continue reading

Pal Joey: Sinatra’s Gray Dinner Jacket

Frank Sinatra as Joey Evans in Pal Joey (1957)

Frank Sinatra as Joey Evans in Pal Joey (1957)

Vitals

Frank Sinatra as Joey Evans, womanizing nightclub singer

San Francisco, Spring 1957

Film: Pal Joey
Release Date: October 25, 1957
Director: George Sidney
Costume Designer: Jean Louis

Background

Today marks the birth of Frank Sinatra, the Chairman of the Board himself, born on December 12, 1915, in Hoboken. This son of tenement-dwelling Italian immigrants grew to be one of the most influential, best-selling music artists in history.

Sixty years ago, Sinatra was rising as one of the biggest stars in the world when he starred as the titular Pal Joey, a performance that earned him a Golden Globe award. Originally a stage musical starring Gene Kelly as the singing and dancing anti-hero, Pal Joey was reconfigured for the screen with the character more reflective of Sinatra’s own charming yet mischievous “nice guy” persona. Continue reading

Dean Martin Turns 100: Dino’s Iconic Tuxedo

Dean Martin on the set of The Dean Martin Show, circa 1965

Vitals

Dean Martin, smooth and multi-talented entertainer

Burbank, California, 1965 to 1974

Series: The Dean Martin Show
Air Dates: September 16, 1965 – April 5, 1974
Director: Greg Garrison
Tailor: Sy Devore

Background

On June 7, 1917, Dino Paul Crocetti was born in Steubenville, Ohio, to Angela and Gaetano Crocetti, the latter a barber from the Abruzzo region in Italy where much of my own family hails. One hundred years later, the world remembers him as Dean Martin, the charming crooner whose legendary career spanned half a century as a major headliner from nightclubs and casinos to movies and TV shows.

Effortlessly charismatic and unflappable, Dino brought his smooth star power to his popular comedy act with Jerry Lewis and later as a leader of the Rat Pack alongside Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. Continue reading