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Frank Sinatra required his crew to wear tuxedos for every live performance — but the issue was not vanity.
In a previous interview, comedian Tom Dreesen, who toured with Sinatra, said one evening he asked Ol’ Blue Eyes (born Dec. 12, 1915) why they had to wear tuxedos for every performance. The response from Sinatra floored him.
“He said, ‘Tommy, if we worked for the king and the queen, royalty, we would wear a tuxedo, wouldn’t we? That guy who works in the factory all year long, trying to get enough money to get one ticket to come and see our show; the woman who is a waitress, his wife trying to make ends meet, they save enough to come and see our show — they are as much royalty as the king and the queen. And that’s why we have to wear tuxedos.’ I thought, ‘Wow.’ That was another lesson I learned.”
And it was not just a matter of the tuxedos, Dreesen said, noting that Sinatra demanded his people give 100 percent during every show. There could never be a so-so night.
“Frank Sinatra had no middle,” Dreesen explained. “If he worked, he worked harder than anyone I know. You better know the show because he knew it and the show was important. Fool around if you want, but showtime, it is a command performance.”
The legendary singer and Oscar-winning actor died May 14, 1998, at the age of 82.
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