Thursday, April 30, 2015

100 Years of Frank Sinatra: A Blowup in Houston

According to this short video on the history of Houston's legendary Shamrock Hotel, the grand opening took place on March 17, 1949. 

Nancy Sinatra seems to be working from a slightly different set of notes.
January 28, 1950.  Straight from Evans' funeral, Dad flew to Houston for the grand opening of the luxurious new Shamrock Hotel. [The Texas State Historical Association confirms the 1949 St. Patrick's Day opening.]  Ava Gardner surprised him there. ['Ava' now ranks among the top 10 most popular baby names for girls.]  When they were spotted together in Vincento's Sorrentino restaurant by a pushy photographer, Dad's temper exploded and the scene was reported-in the papers. "The trouble started when the mayor of Houston invited us to dinner at one of the city's best Italian restaurants," Ava recalled. "In the middle of the meal, a photographer from the Houston Post arrived to commemorate the occasion. Frank reacted as if he'd found a live cobra in his salad. No punches were exchanged, only a few angry words, before the owner calmed everybody down. But within 24 hours the news that Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner were honoring the new hotel with their presence made headlines. A press storm of major proportions broke over our heads, dooming forever the 'Just good friends' line we'd been successful with so far."
 The following month, Nancy Barbato Sinatra, whom Frank married in 1939, filed for a legal separation.   Frank was now considered a 'heel' and Ava a homewrecker.

It would take Sinatra a few years to regain his career equilibrium.

In the meantime, happiness continued to reign in the Pacific Northwest.

Shamrock sidebar:   The hotel's owner, Texan oil tycoon Glenn McCarthy, served as the inspiration for Jett Rink in Edna Ferber's best-selling novel Giant (1952).   The hotel was demolished in 1987.

Other Frank Sinatra 100 posts:
"Our Love".  (2/14/2015)
"I'll Never Smile Again".  (2/15/2015)
"Fools Rush In".  (2/16/2015)
"Dolores".  (2/17/2015)
"Oh Look At Me Now".  (2/18/2015)
"This Love of Mine".  (2/20/2015)
"There Are Such Things."  (2/24/2015)
"Night and Day".  (2/26/2015)
"The Night We Called It a Day".  (2/27/2015)
Paramount Theater, December 30, 1942.  (3/2/2015)
Reveille with Beverly.  (3/4/2015)
"You'll Never Know".  (3/7/2015)
Higher and Higher.  (3/8/2015)
"People Will Say We're in Love".  (3/10/2015)
The Shining Future.  (3/17/2015)
"I Couldn't Sleep a Wink Last Night".  (3/19/2015)
Step Lively.  (3/20/2015) .
"Saturday Night (is the Loneliest Night of the Week)".  (3/21/2015)
"You'll Never Walk Alone".  (3/23/2015)
"Oh What It Seemed to Be".  (3/24/2015)
Anchors Aweigh.  (3/26/2015)
"Day by Day".  3/27/2015)
Till the Clouds Roll By.  (3/29/2015)
"Always".  (3/30/2015)
It Happened in Brooklyn.  (3/31/2015)
"I've Got a Crush on You".  (4/3/2015)
"Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas".  (4/5/2015)
"It Only Happens When I Dance With You".  (4/7/2015)
The Miracle of the Bells.  (4/9/2015)
The birth of Tina.  (4/11/2015)
The Kissing Bandit.  (4/16/2015)
"Some Enchanted Evening."  (4/19/2015)
Take Me Out to the Ball Game.  (4/22/2015)
"The Huckle Buck."  (4/24/2015)
On the Town.  (4/28/2015)

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