P.J. Clarke’s Saloon
The legendary New York tavern on Third Avenue was a well-known haunt of Frank Sinatra. It was not unusual to find him there after performing at so many famous locales around New York City. At the time, the owner of P.J. Clarke’s, Danny Lavezzo was a personal friend of the entertainer, who seemed to prefer that his famous clientele not be sought after for autographs; but this would not corral a personality like Sinatra, who was said to give impromptu performances above the sounds of the jukebox.
P.J. Clarkes, 915 Third Avenue, New York, NY, USA +1 212 317 1616
Smack-dab in the center of Times Square, the Paramount was located on Broadway and 43rd Street and was considered one of the biggest and most prestigious big band venues in the country. It featured other iconic acts such as the Pied Piper Quartette, the Stepping Stars of Harlem, and comedian Red Skelton. Already a rising star at the time, this is where Sinatra made his first appearance with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, and his career from that point forward took off like a skyrocket. It is said at least five thousand people showed up to see ‘The Voice That Has Thrilled Millions.’
During the height of World War II, it was not uncommon for celebrities and entertainers to do their due diligence for the war effort. Frank Sinatra was no exception to the vast over-flow of patriotism felt by the nation’s elite personalities. While performing at what was known at the time as a War Bond Rally in Central Park, Frank Sinatra appeared at an event entitled ‘I’m an American Day,’ and brought the wide-eyed onlookers in the park to a standstill with his version of ‘God Bless America.’
Central Park, New York, NY, USA +1 212 310 6600
Waldorf Astoria Hotel
At the time, the Waldorf Astoria Hotel was already revered as the largest and most glamorous hotel in the world. Aside from being considered the very pinnacle of the American dream, the hotel was famous for its very exclusive acts, which were performed in The Wedgwood Room. Among the many performances Sinatra gave at the Waldorf, one of his most iconic was during the 50th anniversary of the hotel’s construction. Normally reserved for New York’s most posh, Sinatra jammed The Wedgwood Room with three hundred of his die-hard fans, for, at the time, the cover charge was a whopping two dollars.
Waldorf Astoria New York, 301 Park Avenue, New York, NY, USA +1 212 355 3000
Frank Sinatra was no stranger to scandal and inquisitive investigation. Carnegie Hall was hosting the World Youth Rally during a time in American history known as the ‘red scare.’ An infamous Marxist publication called ‘The Daily Worker’ had extended an invitation to Frank Sinatra to give a speech there during an event labeled ‘American Youth for a Free World’ in 1945. Though the FBI sent undercover agents to observe the rally, they made no mention about Frank Sinatra being in attendance; however the International Workers Order published a number of pamphlets called ‘Thoughts of an American,’ where excerpts of Sinatra’s speech were printed.
Carnegie Hall, 881 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY, USA +1 212 247 7800
The Copacabana Club
Despite J. Edgar Hoover’s attempts to link Frank Sinatra to the Communist Party, the iconic entertainer was well-known and much-celebrated for his patriotism. The Copacabana originally billed a USO event to be headlined by Phil Silvers and Rags Ragland. Though Rags had died suddenly two weeks prior to the event, Silvers insisted on attending anyway. Being good friends with Silvers, Sinatra did not want his friend to go it alone. He flew from Hollywood to perform at the USO event in honor of U.S. servicemen.
The Copacabana, 268 West 47th Street, New York, NY, USA +1 212 221 2672
The Hampshire House
Long before celebrity scandals were commonplace media fodder, Sinatra lent his own unique persona to the world of gossip. Still located at Central Park South, The Hampshire House was the locale of the illicit launching pad for the affair between Ava Gardner and Frank Sinatra. Sinatra, who at the time was still married to his wife Nancy, saw his marriage on the ropes. Yet, in a scandal worthy of TMZ, Sinatra and Ava allegedly shared a hotel suite one night. Even after Sinatra’s highly publicized divorce to Nancy later on, Ava and Frank continued to keep their love affair under wraps. Eventually they did marry in Germantown, Pennsylvania.
Hampshire House, 150 Central Park South, New York, NY, USA +1 212 333 6000
About midway through Sinatra’s career it was said his velvety-smooth voice was losing its luster. There were even some who claimed he was through. That was before Frank Sinatra launched his famous show ‘Meet Frank Sinatra,’ filmed live at NBC Studios. Not only was Frank Sinatra able to silence his critics and naysayers, his career had what could only be called a profound resurgence, putting him back on top in both the music and movie worlds. Frank Sinatra continued to tour the world for decades to come, and even took a bit of time to perform at the White House during Ronald Reagan’s inauguration.
NBC Studios, 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY, USA +1 212 664 3700