Never yawn in front of a lady. Top your martini with two olives and give one to a friend. Make sure your trousers break just above the shoes.
Like the rock stars who knocked him (temporarily) off the charts, Frank Sinatra didn't just perform his songs, he lived them. Around swinging standards and lonely ballads he arranged both a broad, brash philosophy and an intricate set of codes and rituals."He believed in lecturing to others about how things should be done," said Bill Zehme, author of "The Way You Wear Your Hat," an informal biography that compiles stories about Sinatra and his lifestyle. "He wanted people to live up to his standards of class and elegance."
The Sinatra Style was in the details. Some examples:
- Cock your hat - angles are attitudes.
- Don't put on a brown suit at night - wear dark gray. Better yet, wear black.
- Make friends with the sky.
- If black tie is optional, wear it. Except on Sunday. Never wear a tux on Sunday.
Sinatra believed in God. But death, which he called the Big Casino, left him speechless. For days, Sinatra couldn't talk after the death of his mother, killed when the plane he hired for her crashed into a mountain. On the phone with a dying Sammy Davis Jr., the two old friends simply held onto their receivers, grieving beyond words.