Rockford Il Sinatra Dempsey Hovland and Tommy Dorsey

by Erin Hovland-Moffitt on Friday, February 11, 2011 at 7:22pm
My father took me to the movie theatre to see the Godfather. He was all hyped up about the movie. He was a movie buff often going by himself. He was in a zone nobody should disturb his movie experience.  If he missed anything he would stay  watch it  from beginning to end again.
I was amiss to grasp why he leaned toward me talking so much during the movie. In the seventies.there was no u-tube no leaks-no bootleg movies, this was his first time viewing the movie and seeing the content.

'That is Frank Sinatra, that is Tommy Dorsey that is this,  this is what really happened , pay attention to this". This is this this is this.
He  supported himself as a runaway at fifteen running numbers and collecting bet money for the mob in Lincoln Park Chicago. We had occasional sunglassed fedored guests at our house. My dad had parking privaleges to park any where in Chicago a golden pass from Mayor Daley Sr , Nick Torzeski ( Jimmy Hoffas right hand teamster  man) was sent to watch over my dad's businesses and sticking his paws in my dad's lucrative gate money . And there was that body Torzeski put on a train.
Tommy Dorsey gave my dad the bands touring limo when I was in grade school , He owed my dad money for booking engagements, he had been booking him since he was a teenager. 

On March 18, 1939, Sinatra made a demo recording of a song called "Our Love", with the Frank Mane band. The record has "Frank Sinatra" signed on the front. The bandleader kept the original record in a safe for nearly 60 years. In June, Harry James hired Sinatra on a one year contract of $75 a week.It was with the James band that Sinatra released his first commercial record "From the Bottom of My Heart" in July, 1939 - US Brunswick  and UK Columbia 
Fewer than 8,000 copies of "From the Bottom of My Heart" (Brunswick #8443) were sold, making the record a very rare find that is sought after by record collectors worldwide. Sinatra released ten commercial tracks with James through 1939, including "All or Nothing At All" which had weak sales on its initial release but then sold millions of copies when re-released by Columbia at the height of Sinatra's popularity a few years later.
In November 1939, in a meeting at the Palmer House in Chicago, Sinatra was asked by bandleader Tommy Dorsey to join his band as a replacement for Jack Leonard, who had recently left to launch a solo career. This meeting was a turning point in Sinatra's career, since by signing with Dorsey's band, one of the hottest bands at the time, he got greatly increased visibility with the American public. Though Sinatra was still under contract with James, James recognized the opportunity Dorsey offered and graciously released Sinatra from his contract. Sinatra recognized his debt to James throughout his life and upon hearing of James' death in 1983, stated: "he [James] is the one that made it all possible."
On January 26, 1940, (booked by my dad ) Sinatra made his first public appearance with the Dorsey band at the Coronado Theater in Rockford, IL. In his first year with Dorsey, Sinatra released more than forty songs, with "I'll Never Smile Again" topping the charts for twelve weeks beginning in mid-July.
Sinatra's relationship with Tommy Dorsey was troubled, due to their contract, which awarded Dorsey ⅓ of Sinatra's lifetime earnings in the entertainment industry. In January 1942, Sinatra recorded his first solo sessions without the Dorsey band (but with Dorsey's arranger Axel Stordahl and with Dorsey's approval). These sessions were released commercially on the Bluebird label. Sinatra left the Dorsey band late in 1942 in an incident that started rumors of Sinatra's involvement with the Mafia. A story appeared in the Hearst newspapers that mobster Sam Giancana coerced Dorsey to let Sinatra out of his contract for a few thousand dollars. This story was famously fictionalized in the movie The Godfather. According to Nancy Sinatra's biography, the Hearst rumors were started because of Frank's Democratic politics. In fact, the contract was bought out by MCA founder Jules Stein for $75,000.

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