Frank Sinatra عمومي
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SUDDENLY... exploring the 20th century from a trans, queer & radical Australian perspective through the legacy of Frank Sinatra. Catgirl noir, ring a ding ding, etc. Join us as we deep dive into Sinatra's work and the nuances of history in abstract & creative ways, with episodes structured around Sinatra's albums, songs, films and radio appearances. Hosted by Rabia & Felix in Melbourne, and Henry Giardina in Los Angeles. Check out our website: suddenlypod.gay. Contact: suddenlypod at gmail d ...
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This week, we continue to act as if it were impossible to fail in part four of our exhaustive deep dive into Wake Up and Live. Picking up the story from the end of World War II, we look at the legacy of Dorothea Brande's book and the essentially identical self-help scam that generations of grifters have perpetuated on the world ever since. Wasn't t…
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The history books forgot about the 1944 radio adaptation of Wake Up and Live, a bizarre and disastrous production in which a fascist self-help book adapted into a comedy movie about duelling radio shows is adapted back into a radio show in which several other radio shows exist within the world of this radio show, and characters with real people pla…
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Please note that the accompanying graphic for this episode has not been chosen lightly and is intended in the spirit of historical education, criticism and artistic commentary. In part 2 of our investigation into the saga of Wake Up and Live, we look at the original 1936 self-help book by Dorothea Brande, the toxic ideas that the book perpetuates a…
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This week we begin a three-part investigation into Wake Up and Live. What is it? Good question. It's a 1930s self-help book, a musical in which a real-life journalist/radio host plays himself, and later, a radio drama adapted from the film. All these things interrelate in a way that's confusing to make sense of in 2024. Just beneath the surface of …
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***SPOILERS AHEAD - LISTEN TO EPISODE 47 FIRST*** It is now post time. Selected resources and links mentioned this week: * Follow @covidconsciousqueersnaarm on Instagram * Godmother of Elvis Sightings video essay by Johnny Law & Order * TCBCast After Dark, Rabia's new side project with Justin Gausman, which you can hear by subscribing to the TCBCas…
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What if someone slashed Sinatra's vocal cords at the height of his powers? Would he still be able to cut it in showbiz off his charm alone? Could he get into comedy instead of music? More importantly, what would be left of the man without his act? Of all the fictional characters Sinatra portrayed in his early years of dramatic film roles, "Joe E. L…
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We went on Authorized Novelizations Podcast to talk about Jack Pearl's 1964 novelisation of Sinatra's Robin and the Seven Hoods. This episode was recorded around six months ago and just released by Authorized this week. They've graciously given us permission to repost it on our feed. If you like what we do on SUDDENLY, you'll definitely have a good…
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In Episode 43 ("Love and Marriage"), Rabia and Felix watched the infamous televised 1955 musical version of Thornton Wilder's Our Town, starring Frank Sinatra as the Stage Manager. The songs were so terrible, and the acting so bad, that Wilder personally called the station and ensured that it would never air ever again. Neither Rabia nor Felix had …
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We think of Sinatra as emerging as a serious dramatic actor from the early 1950s onwards, shedding his clean-cut MGM image for the first time when he takes intense roles as mentally disturbed soldiers in From Here to Eternity and Suddenly. But there's a part of the story we've all forgotten. In January 1945, at the height of the bobby-soxer era and…
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In the Wee Small Hours is often considered Sinatra's best work and arguably the first concept album. The "concept" is something along the lines of “I am awake at 3am and I am feeling deeply sad about a lost love.” And that's really it. Just when you think there couldn't possibly be any more songs about the nuances of that kind of misery, there are …
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"Love and Marriage" was one of the worst songs Sinatra ever recorded, and the toxic ideas about marriage that it perpetuated left a negative impact on the world. This week, we look into the song's unlikely origins in a televised musical version of Thornton Wilder's Our Town and its shameful legacy as the theme song for the vile 1980s-90s sitcom Mar…
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The phrase "tender trap" essentially didn't exist before the mid-1950s, entering common usage from the film and song which were both popularised by Frank Sinatra. The image of being lured into your downfall by a thing pretending to be soft speaks to a basic element of what it is to be human, and people all over the world have projected their emotio…
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In a special emergency episode, we examine Frank Sinatra's long history with Israel, Palestine and Zionism. Many don't realise just how connected these topics are. This week, we weave a story all the way from Sinatra personally helping run guns to the Nakba in 1948 and his starring role as a fighter pilot for the IDF in 1966's Cast a Giant Shadow, …
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Who burnt down West Melbourne Stadium in the middle of Sinatra's 1955 Australian tour, and why did this happen? This week, on our final episode of the year, SUDDENLY investigates. And we're joined by David Nichols - Australian history expert, senior lecturer in Urban Planning at the University of Melbourne, and author of Dig: Australian Rock and Po…
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Frank Sinatra's first Australian visit in 1955 followed shortly after the repeal of decades-old laws preventing "coloured" musicians, or any foreign musicians, from performing in the country. The tour was part of the initial run of the now-legendary "Big Shows" put on by mysterious American promoter Lee Gordon, who took advantage of the newly-liber…
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Surprise! We're joined from Los Angeles by the legendary Karina Longworth, renowned film historian, author, critic and host of the iconic podcast You Must Remember This. This week, we're jumping ahead to discuss HIGH SOCIETY (1956). Louis Armstrong definitely deserved better, and we tackle the explicitly racist treatment of his character in the con…
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Because six hours wasn't enough, it's a special, informal bonus episode where Henry and Rabia discuss some leftover elements of our GUYS AND DOLLS series we didn't find time to discuss. Here we finish off the story of Damon Runyon's life and his legacy today, discuss the critical reception of the 1955 film, and spend some time thinking about the un…
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Fall in love with people, not with gamblers. It's all too strange and strong. Sit down, you're rocking the boat. This week, Henry leads us through the third and final part of our epic GUYS AND DOLLS series. We've got a spectacular supercut of Sinatra recordings of "Luck Be a Lady" through the ages, and a climactic 10-minute mashup that brings toget…
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Why can't Nathan Detroit remember the colour of his own tie? In the second part of our GUYS AND DOLLS series, Henry begins taking us through the musical (and the 1955 Sinatra film) proper, beginning with "Fugue for Tinhorns", "Oldest Established" and "I'll Know." We discuss the intertwined relationship between gambling and religion, and finally com…
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Henry Giardina takes the lead as host for the first time as we begin our month-long GUYS AND DOLLS odyssey. In this first installment, the stage is set as we're introduced to the world of legendary short story writer, journalist and master of the "historical present", Damon Runyon. Best known today as the author whose stories inspired the musical G…
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It's 1955 and we're deep into the masculinity crisis. It's an era of lofty 800-page novels adapted into 2-hour-plus movies. We've got navel-gazing middle-aged white men, coming out of a period of deep repression and trauma, wondering who and what they really are. Sinatra is one of their icons, as here is Robert Mitchum. This week’s film could have …
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That's amore. Non paghiamo il fossile. And just like that... Boom, kiss, come on, God bless America. In 1966, a pilot for a potential Three Coins in the Fountain TV series was filmed on location in Rome. It only aired on TV once in August 1970, was not picked up thereafter and has never been made available ever since. Probably very few people have …
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The word "homosexual" was first uttered on American television on the night of October 21st, 1963. The show was Breaking Point, a drama series set in a psychiatric hospital. The episode was a confronting take on sexual harassment and toxic masculinity that directly posed the question to its audience: "What is a man?" Despite network objection, this…
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We found out what happened to Bobby Long. Mostly. And on this episode we're joined by Mark Cantor, America's leading jazz film archivist. Mark is an expert in "Soundies", the early music videos/short films that played on Panoram video jukeboxes in bars, cafes and other public places across America throughout the 1940s. Yes, they had video jukeboxes…
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Millions know the song: "Forget your troubles and just get happy." But where does it come from, and what does it really mean? Why are we getting ready for judgement day, and how did Judy Garland end up associated with something that sounds so gospel? This week, we dive into the long and complicated multicultural (and especially Black) history of "G…
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In 2007, Italian artist Graziano Cecchini poured red dye into the Trevi Fountain to protest the Rome Film Festival. "You wanted just a red carpet", he said. "We want a city entirely in vermilion. We who are vulnerable, old, ill, students, workers, we come with vermilion to colour your grayness." Escapism, tourism, power, vanity, royalty, memory, se…
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For almost the entire back half of the 20th century, Sinatra sang "One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)" over and over again. At every show, he would proudly call himself a "saloon singer" and paint a picture for the audience: a drunk, broken-hearted loser, in a bar at 2:45am, pouring his fool heart out to the unlucky bartender. Sinatra reve…
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The world has lost the legendary Bobby Caldwell. More than just a futuristic and soulful singer/songwriter, he was also the greatest Sinatra interpreter of his era. This week, we pay tribute to his life - from the strange original songs that made him a superstar in Japan during the City Pop era, to his stunning Sinatra-inspired recordings and the l…
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Where does the visual motif of "leaning on a lamp post" come from? Since at least 1840, it was associated with drunkenness, sleaze and criminality. At some point in the mid-20th century, it became a symbol of sophistication, nonchalance and cool. How did this happen? All evidence seems to point to the cover of Frank Sinatra's 1953 album, SONGS FOR …
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To a modern Australian audience, Sinatra's shockingly violent noir film SUDDENLY (1954) now seems like an obvious cautionary tale: Guns are bad for society, they drive you mad with power, and kids should be kept away from them. But 1950s American audiences took home the exact opposite message: that guns keep your home safe, everyone should own them…
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The Mau Mau Rebellion of 1952 saw the Kenyan Land and Freedom Army (KLFA) take up arms against the British Empire's occupation of their land. The struggle for decolonisation was bloody and protracted, with many of the KLFA ending up tortured by British soldiers in cruel labor camps. A film crew from Pathé arrived from London to film staged propagan…
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In 1987, the Scottish band Danny Wilson released their debut album, Meet Danny Wilson. The name came from an old movie that band members Gary and Kit Clark had never actually seen. They knew Frank Sinatra was in it. Their father had seen it once and had complained he’d never been able to find it again. He wasn't alone. MEET DANNY WILSON (1952) bord…
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Howard Hughes named DOUBLE DYNAMITE (1951) after Jane Russell's breasts - and the city of Brisbane was obsessed with them. This week, the lost stories of Fr. Kiley, the Catholic priest who tried to ban a Jane Russell film from the Brisbane suburb of Coorparoo, and Shirley Vercoe, the woman who became known as "Brisbane's Jane Russell." On theme wit…
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During the 2022 Christmas break, we went over to TCBCast and embarked on an epic four-part, six-hour deep-dive into Elvis Presley's CLAMBAKE (1967). Here's a special preview of Part 1. The rest can be heard on the TCBCast feed (episodes 246A-B, 247A-B). This was a really special experience and if you're into our regular episodes, you'll definitely …
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It's our final episode of 2022 and we're joined by Henry Giardina, Los Angeles-based film critic and co-host of Totally Trans Podcast, who discovered our show by chance while fending off an airport anxiety attack. This week the 1940s draw to a close with ON THE TOWN (1949), the most iconic and memorable of the three Gene Kelly/Frank Sinatra musical…
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What happens when a brand mascot transitions? Cracker Jack - one of the original junk foods, and a brand that has been part of American culture since the late 19th century, most famously in the song "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" - became Cracker Jill earlier in 2022. This week we're watching the awkward middle child of the Gene Kelly/Frank Sinatra…
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History forgot to record that Sinatra's first acting role was inherited from a sea lion. Both stage & film versions of HIGHER AND HIGHER (1944) were poorly reviewed as a whole but succeeded anyway on the back of raves about a single performer, who, despite being tacked on to the haphazard plot at the last minute, stole the show with his unique tale…
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This week we're forced to soberly confront our own mortality to the stark strains of a Polish funeral dirge sung in a small-town graveyard. In MIRACLE OF THE BELLS (1948), Sinatra's film career makes a shockingly drastic departure from campy musicals to a dead-serious Catholic melodrama about a man making funeral preparations for a young woman who …
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*WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD FOR EPISODE 15* As a tribute to the spirit of Peeter Pedaja and last week's guest, Tim Batt of The Worst Idea of All Time, I, Rabia, watched THE KISSING BANDIT (1948) a total of 11 times in two weeks and kept an audio diary of the experience - presented here unedited, making up the first hour of this wildly experimental fou…
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This week on SUDDENLY, an unbelievable true story. At age 19, Estonian-Australian immigrant Peeter Pedaja had his life changed by a Frank Sinatra film, THE KISSING BANDIT (1948). You will NEVER guess where this is going. Born in 1931, Pedaja spent his entire Estonian childhood on the run from occupying Germans and Russians, including an exhaustive …
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Following on from Episode 13, we examine the housing crisis that gripped postwar New York City in the 1940s. This pressing social issue was depicted in both Frank Sinatra's IT HAPPENED IN BROOKLYN (1947) and the pro-squatter, anti-landlord classic, IT HAPPENED ON 5TH AVENUE (1947). We learn that New York City in the late 1940s was a formative setti…
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***UPDATE: We figured it out. Mostly. Listen to Episode 30 for more.*** At age 14, prodigious triple-threat Bobby Long made his onscreen debut tapdancing and singing along Frank Sinatra and Jimmy Durante in IT HAPPENED IN BROOKLYN (1947). Then he disappeared from film, from performing and seemingly from all public life. What happened to such a tale…
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In Sydney of 1960, a man sings acappella to workers on a building site. In Sydney of 2020, a woman sings acappella to TV cameras. In Sydney of 2022, a man wheels his kayak through a drain under a highway. This week we're looking at one of the greatest songs of the 20th century, "Ol' Man River", as sung by Frank Sinatra in TILL THE CLOUDS ROLL BY (1…
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The iconic Molly Lambert joins us from Los Angeles, ostensibly to discuss Sinatra's classic MGM musical ANCHORS AWEIGH (1945). In her unique & irrepressible style, Molly leads us on a freewheeling three-hour adventure through her inner universe of celebrity culture, film, music, sex, gender, capitalism and the secret history of the city she loves. …
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On January 19th, 1945, hundreds of Sinatra-haters violently descended on a small group of young fans who had come to see STEP LIVELY (1944) at the Empire Theatre in Sydney, Australia. The angry mob jeered and assaulted members of the Sinatra Club, bitterly deriding them as “swooners." Police broke things up, but the haters stayed to boo throughout …
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Who is Sharkey? We're joined by David Nichols - author, music historian and senior lecturer in Urban Planning at the University of Melbourne - to find out. This week we're discussing HIGHER AND HIGHER (1943), the film which featured Frank Sinatra in his first credited acting role. Along the way we learn about the debutante ball throughout history, …
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We're off this week so instead we're presenting a full episode of the classic 1953 NBC radio drama Rocky Fortune, starring Frank Sinatra as the "footloose, fancy-free and frequently unemployed" titular character. 'The Museum Murder' sees Rocky taking a job as a tour guide at a history museum - only to end up with, as usual, more trouble than he bar…
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In Morocco, a gay man hears the Islamic call to prayer and writes a song for his lover. In China, an American soldier watches the same film five times in one day. On a flight from Suva to Sydney, an Australian journalist works up the courage to approach Frank Sinatra. This week we learn all these stories and more while exploring Cole Porter's class…
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Add up the marginalised voices and they become the mainstream. A 19th century Hawaiian prince writing a song about a couple frolicking in gentle rain, a pioneering Korean actor in Hollywood taking archetypal Japanese villain roles during the war - all this and more, just beneath the surface of SHIP AHOY (1942). Plus, we review Shaggy's new Sinatra …
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The early months of 1941 in Las Vegas were unique in history, a setting that most have forgotten. While still a small town of 8,500 people, this specific period saw the city on the verge of a tinderbox of circumstances - legalised gambling, an army base nearby, sex work, visiting movie stars, permissive divorce laws, organised crime, the end of pro…
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