Growing up with Frank Sinatra

The music of Frank Sinatra will always have a special place in my heart.  Growing up, I would spend my summers with my grandparents in Florida.  All of my cousins would come and we would cram into my grandparents’ two bedroom condo.  There were about 12 of us total including the adults but no one cared because we were all together.  Every morning my grandfather would play some music to wake everyone up and almost always it was Frank Sinatra.

Whenever I hear a Sinatra song, it takes me back to these times in Florida but most of all it reminds me of my grandfather.  Sinatra was his favorite singer.  I could have listened to my grandfather talk about Sinatra for hours.  He would tell me a story about a Sinatra song or movie and start randomly singing.  His favorite song was ‘My Way.’  When my grandfather died 8 years ago, I played this song on repeat because it is sad and happy all at the same time.

Frank Sinatra had long career.  From playing with band leaders in the 1930s to his last performance at his 80th birthday celebration in 1995, Sinatra was always in the spotlight.  But this wasn’t always a good thing.  Throughout his career, he often got into fights with journalists, particularly ones who gave his work negative reviews.

Sinatra was also linked to the mafia because his godfather was Mafia boss Willie Moretti, a member of the Genovese crime family.  Moretti allegedly help Sinatra get out of deals with record labels and band leaders.  Because of Sinatra’s connections with members of the mafia, the FBI had thousands of pages on him.

When Sinatra died on May 14 1998, after a heart attack, my grandfather was heart broken.  I was only 6 years old but I remember him visiting my family here in New York and tearing up as he heard of Sinatra’s death.  It was the only time I ever saw my grandfather about to cry.  Frank Sinatra was special to my grandfather and has always been special to me.


-Stephanie Buscetta