The Fascinating Life Behind Sinatra Singing Sinatra
Frank Sinatra Jr. was the son of Frank Sinatra. Sinatra Jr. was born on January 10, 1944 and he began to study music from the age of 5.
At age 19, Sinatra Jr. was kidnapped from his Nevada hotel room until his father paid his kidnappers a ransom of $240,000.00. His kidnappers even attempted to argue a defense that the whole incident was a publicity stunt, orchestrated by Frank Sinatra to promote his son’s music career.
According to the FBI, the clincher in the case against Sinatra Jr.’s kidnappers was a confession letter left in a safety box.
Four decades after the kidnapping, one of Sinatra Jr.’s kidnappers commenced legal action in California to review the “Son of Sam” law that prevented criminals from profiting from their crimes. After serving his sentence for kidnapping, Barry Keenan told the story of the Sinatra Jr. kidnapping to a writer, who then sold the movie rights to Columbia Pictures for a reported $1.5 million. This led Keenan to commence a lawsuit to strike down the “Son of Sam” law in California on the basis that it violated his First Amendment rights. Ultimately, the California Supreme Court agreed because the law inhibited free speech in an overly inclusive manner. Click here for an interesting article on how California and Massachusetts came to strike down their Son of Sam laws in 2002.
Kidnappings and Son of Sam laws aside, Sinatra Jr. was a musician like his father. He even spent the last seven years of his father’s life as Sinatra’s conductor on tour. Despite his lack of success as an original recording artist, Sinatra Jr. was reported by People Magazine to have made peace with his place in musical history. Sinatra Jr. spent the remaining years of his life touring in a band named Sinatra Sings Sinatra with other members of his father’s band.
Sinatra Jr. died on tour this Wednesday, March 16, 2016.
Thanks for reading this week.