A Tribute to Old Blue Eyes Frank Sinatra's Music Brought to Life by Barrington Man at Retirement Center

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Byline: Eric Peterson Daily Herald Staff Writer

He'll be seeing you in all his old, familiar places.

Barrington resident Ron Hawking has brought his popular, long- running salute to Frank Sinatra, "His Way - A Tribute to the Man and His Music," to his own hometown for two sold-out shows last night and tonight.

But a life-threatening bout of cancer in the mid-'90s almost kept Hawking from developing the show beyond a rough idea.

The two shows are playing this weekend at the new performing arts center at The Garlands of Barrington retirement community. The show recently enjoyed a four-month stint at Metropolis in Arlington Heights.

Hawking started the show in the summer of '98 after a few years of fighting and recovering from cancer, including months of debilitating chemotherapy treatments.

"I was a shell of my former self," the 49-year-old said.

Before that, Hawking made his living using his vocal talents as a singer and speaker for commercials. Among his hundreds of advertising credits are singing McDonald's jingles and serving as one of the later voices of Charlie the Tuna for Starkist.

Though Hawking is a fan of many different styles of music, he decided on a tribute to Frank Sinatra because such a show would be one best suited to his talents. What people want to see is performers at the top of their game, he said.

And while a show centered on someone like Elton John would feature only the work of one artist, Sinatra built his reputation on the songs of various composers. …