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Sinatra saluted by "Strangers in the Night"

Author: Brian W. Fairbanks ( from United States
18 April 1999

The title, "Sinatra: 80 Years My Way," does not seem appropriate for this special since I can't believe the Chairman of the Board had any input when it came time to select the performers. I suspect that Sinatra looked upon Hootie and the Blowfish and the other "contemporary" performers present to salute him, and said to himself, "Who the hell are these people? Where's Steve and Edie?" Except for the bit about Steve and Edie (they were on the bill), I asked myself the same question. Except for the film clips, a fairly amusing monologue from Norm Crosby, and occasional tributes from the likes of Gregory Peck, the only thing memorable about this ratings driven enterprise was the appearance of Bob Dylan, who sang a coherent (for him) and rather moving version of his own "Restless Farewell," a song that may not have been written about Sinatra but, with its reference to "gossip" and "rumor," seemed to be a summation of Mr. Frank's (as Dylan addressed him) frequently controversial public life.

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