Wednesday, August 5, 2009


An actual overheard story.

The Setting:

A table at the iconic Beverly Hills deli Nate ‘N Al’s.

Singer Jerry Vale is sitting at the table accompanied by two men whose primary activity is to keep Jerry Vale feeling good about himself. Also at the table is an invited lunch guest.

“Jerry, tell the ‘Sinatra story’,” encourages one of Vale’s buddies.

Vale begs off. He doesn’t want to tell the story.

His pals insist. Do it for the lunch guest.

“He’ll love it,” his buddy assures Jerry.

“Wait’ll you hear this!” crows the other pal to the intrigued invitee.

After considerable coaxing, Jerry Vale finally relents. He tells the “Sinatra story”.

“Frank Sinatra is performing in Carnegie Hall. He finishes a number. The audience is going wild. Out of the crowd, someone yells out, ‘You’re the greatest!’ And Sinatra, from the stage in Carnegie Hall replies, ‘Well, I’m no Jerry Vale. But I try.”

The story ends with a moment of respectful silence from the table. Then one pal says to the guest, and says, in reverent tones:

“Frank Sinatra said that.”

And the other chimes in,

“In Carnegie Hall!


Willy B. Good said...

Wish I could afford pals like Jerry.

MikeThe Blogger said...

Grizz and DotCom from 30 Rock? I guess they ARE based on reality.

A. Buck Short said...

So help me God, for my first job as a commercial radio dj, I was forced to do a daily hour-long program called…are you ready for this… ”The Wax Museum: Music that has Withstood the Test of Time.” Great way to keep those big bands and crooners from just gathering dust on the shelves. You will note this was a throwback to the days when radio programs actually had names other than the name of the host or dj. We had “Your First Cup of Coffee” in the morning, followed by “Your Second Cup of Coffee,” ”New England Hayride,” etc.

One thing I remember clearly, in reminiscing on the air about performances and performers for whom I was too young to have been anything but marginally familiar, is how, in searching for something to say when introducing a record, others of my ilk so often fell back on the practically de rigueur cliché observation that Frank Sinatra once called Tony Bennett “the world’s greatest singer.” For awhile you would hear this about every third time somebody spun a Tony Bennett platter. I marveled at the promotional genius of all that. Every third time you heard Tony Bennett on the radio, Frank Sinatra would get his name mentioned. Whenever somebody played Sinatra, you never heard anything about Tony Bennett.