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Entries in Frank Sinatra (3)

Wednesday
Aug032011

New York's 'Second Ave. Sinatra': Ironworker Croons for Crowds

ABC News(NEW YORK CITY) -- Gary Russo can normally be found alongside his fellow ironworkers building a subway station on Manhattan's East Side. But amid all the usual hustle and bustle, the foreman from Iron Workers Local 40 serenades the city.

From Frank Sinatra to Neil Diamond, Russo sings it all, although Frank's baby blues never peered out from under a hard hat.

Every lunch break for the past two weeks, Russo has transformed the edge of the construction site into his own personal stage.

What started as karaoke has turned into a sensation. "Karaoke in the shower and in the car and in front of the mirror making believe I was singing to people," Russo told ABC's Good Morning America. "Then I said, what the heck, I'll do it over here."

But when he first told the guys his plan to croon classics on the corner, they could hardly believe it. "Tough guys are going, 'What? You're going to sing at lunch?' I was like, 'Yeah.'"

And now, crowds gather to enjoy and dance as Russo croons, while his colleagues started coming around.

"No, I'm not a Frank Sinatra fan but since he's been singing, I've been singing myself," co-worker Jeffrey Harper said.

Indeed, the man who's been dubbed the "Second Avenue Sinatra" has become an overnight sensation, thanks to a clip posted on YouTube by David Fischer.

"I was walking by the construction site and I heard this guy singing," Fischer said. "I was going to keep walking but then when I heard this guy singing, I couldn't believe it, how good he was."

Russo, who performed on Good Morning America Wednesday, is drawing fans of all ages to construction site that's become the singer's stage.  "I think it lifts people's spirits," Laurie Mehler said, listening with her son. "Really, it just puts a smile on your face. It's just such a nice, simple thing to do."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Feb132011

Former Broadway Star Betty Garrett Dead at 91

Photo Courtesy - FilmMagic/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) -- Betty Garrett, the former on-stage love interest of Frank Sinatra in two Broadway musicals, died on Saturday at the age of 91.

Her son, Garrett Parks, said she had been in good health in recent weeks and had taught her weekly musical theater class on Wednesday. It appears her death was caused by an aortic aneurysm, an abnormal expansion of the body's major artery. Parks said she began to feel ill on Friday when she checked into the Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

Garrett's career was jump started by appearances in the musicals On The Town and Take Me Out to the Ballgame. In both works, she has a romantic crush on Sinatra. On The Town features Garrett as a female cab driver, who tries to woo the bashful Sinatra.

In the later years of her career, Garrett had roles in the 1970s television shows All in the Family and Laverne & Shirley.

She dabbled in motion pictures, but her career on the silver screen was cut short by a hunt for communists across the country. Her spouse, actor Larry Parks, was forced by Congress to testify about his history with the communist party, which subsequently hurt her film career.

Garrett is survived by Garrett Parks, and one other son, Andrew.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio  ´╗┐

Tuesday
Dec282010

Five-Dollar Yard Sale Tuxedo Shirt Worn By Frank Sinatra to be Auctioned Jan. 1

Photo Courtesy - DonPresleyAuction dot com(ORANGE, Calif.) -- A custom tuxedo shirt made for Frank Sinatra that was purchased at a Newport Beach yard sale last year for $5 will be sold to the highest bidder at a California auction Jan. 1.

The shirt, created by Beverly Hills men's clothier Nat Wise, was purchased by laid-off construction worker Rick Gorski, whose antique-collecting brother determined that the shirt's value would be greatly increased if proven to be authentic.  After substantial research, Gorski discovered archived records through a company owned by Jack Sepetjian (which merged with Nat Wise in 1987) for the Sinatra shirt matching the garment's measurements.

Auctioneer Don Presley said he has "no clue" how much the shirt will sell for.

"Nowadays, when something as intangible as a Marilyn Monroe X-ray can sell for $45,000, it's anybody's guess," Presley said.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio´╗┐







ABC News Radio