Title: Sinatra- Behind The Legend
Author: J. Randy Taraborrelli
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Francis Albert Sinatra — a musical genius and the greatest male interpreter of Broadway melodies — is a name that all but a few do not know of. He was America’s greatest vocalist: a consummate artist who redefined the possibilities of popular music, bringing to it an intimacy, an urban swagger and an emotional vulnerability. He sang with uncommon tenderness about loneliness and yearning articulating the heartache and existential solitude of the human condition with more conviction than any singer on the planet.
This legendary singer’s career spanned decades, as he continually explored his gifts and tried to adapt to changing times. The challenges of capturing the magic of his art and the contradictions of his life is a daunting task but in his book, ‘Sinatra: Behind the Legend,’ J. Randy Taraborrelli, the veteran showbiz biographer, has gracefully delivered the challenge. It’s an honest examination of a talented man who lived quite a life.
In 1997, six months before the legendary entertainer’s death at the age of 82, Taraborrelli wrote his first book on Sinatra. Now, with Sinatra’s 100th anniversary looming in December, Taraborrelli has revised his original text and added two decades’ worth of new research and interviews. ‘Sinatra: Behind the Legend,’ is the result of that effort. The readers get the full Sinatra story here, from his romances with Jackie O and Marilyn, all the way to the details of the feud between Sinatra’s fourth and final wife, Barbara, and his daughters from his first marriage, Nancy and Tina.
But some of the details are missing. Why couldn’t Taraborrelli have included more about Sinatra’s music and films? He has portrayed the legend as a womanizer, brawler, and a person with mafia ties, but has provided not much of the essence that made up the man as ‘the voice.’ This has turned out to be the story of Sinatra’s more private life. While I’m not complaining about this exclusion, I really was looking forward to reading about Sinatra’s musical adventures.
Amidst the facts about Sinatra’s four marriages, countless affairs and fist fights, somewhere the man with the glorious voice gets lost. I did miss the singer. That part of his life is more of a ‘peek-a-boo’ variety. Nonetheless, what Taraborrelli offers is funny, warm and sweet and for that I’d recommend the book to all the Sinatra fans out there.
About the Author:
J. Randy Taraborrelli is the bestselling author of Michael Jackson: The Magic and the Madness, Madonna: An Intimate Biography, The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth, Once Upon a Time: The Story of Princess Grace, Prince Rainier and Their Family and Call Her Miss Ross.
* I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
** Picture courtesy: Amazon.in