Franz Douskey on Sinatra and Me: The Very Good Years | Tantorious

Tantorious is a semi-monthly podcast series featuring interviews with well-known authors, hosted by Allan Hoving and presented by Tantor Audio.

Franz Douskey has been published in over 200 publications including The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, and The Nation. His fourth book, West of Midnight, reached number 24 on the Amazon Best-Sellers list in 2011 and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. His new book, Sinatra and Me: The Very Good Years, is based on extensive interviews with Tony Consiglio, who was Frank Sinatra’s friend and confidante for over 60 years. It is available in print, ebook, and audiobook from Tantor Media.

Excerpts from the audio interview:

Q: Sinatra’s nickname for Tony was “the Clam” because he never shared what he knew. How did you get “the Clam” to open up?

A: I was sitting in Sally’s, the Consiglio family’s pizza restaurant in New Haven, and Ruthie Consiglio was on the phone with her uncle Tony. He never talked to writers, but she told him I was OK and he invited me over. He said, There are some stories I’d like to tell, but some I won’t – because when I get to heaven, I don’t want any problems with Frank.

Q: How is this different from other Sinatra biographies?

A: This is the only first-person oral history, with over 40 never-before-seen photos. We talk about the music, the fun, the camaraderie, even some of the harder times. It’s a wonderful, upbeat book that Sinatra fans will love because there are a lot of stories that have never been told — inside stories that are human, kind, but also serious.

Listen to a sample of the Tantor audiobook edition of Sinatra and Me, narrated by Norman Dietz.

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