Frank Sinatra would have turned 100 on Dec. 12 of this year, but even if you played three of his recordings every day from now till then, you wouldn’t come close to exhausting his songbook: The best estimates suggest the Chairman of the Board recorded about 1,000 different songs in the studio.
Literary critics never had much love for Rod McKuen, who passed away on Jan. 30 at age 81 in Beverly Hills. Not that it mattered to his legions of fans.
Eydie Gormé was the sort of entertainer that you could imagine a young Don Draper taking his first wife Betty to see in some swank late- 1950s nightclub - or better yet, curling up with her on the couch to watch on the Philco TV as Gormé appeared with husband-to-be Steve Lawrence on The Tonight Show, where the musical couple were regulars during the Steve Allen era.
We knew him as the sadistic noncom who beat Frank Sinatra to death in From Here to Eternity; as the shy, lonely butcher who finds love in Marty; as the nautical version of Sgt. Bilko in the TV sitcom McHale's Navy; as the police detective trapped on an upturned ocean liner in The Poseidon Adventure; and as the deranged cabbie who dodges bullets as he plies the streets of a dystopian city-turned-prison in Escape from New York.
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