My Daddy Told Me; FRANK SINATRA JR Was Six When His Famous Father Divorced His Mother to Wed Ava Gardner. He Tells PAULA KERR How, after Years Apart, He Became His Dad's Music Manager
Byline: PAULA KERR
The most important thing I learned from my father was that hard work always pays off. The entertainment industry uses people up very quickly.
For someone to last a decade, let alone six of them, as he did, was remarkable, but he started the hard way. At the beginning of his career, he sang in small night clubs for tips or nothing at all, just to get himself known, and he believed I should also make my own way.
I started playing piano aged five and studied music at university, but I learned most of what I know from working with other musicians, rather than from my father. He offered me no introductions to influential friends and I didn't ask for any.
I had to find my own path to earn his respect.
I sound like my father when I sing and the older I get, the more I'm told we look alike, too, though our personalities are very different. I don't crave the spotlight in the way he did.
There are too many sacrifices that go along with it. There is always a price to pay. In 1963, when I was 19, I was kidnapped at gunpoint and my father paid a [pounds sterling]130,000 ransom demand.
After that, there were many who thought the event was a publicity stunt.
Unfortunately, it has thrown doubt on my integrity and will stay with me for the rest of my life.
The thing I admired most about my father was his loyalty.
He had a lot of famous friends. I remember being in my 20s when he took me to the Players Club on Sunset Strip, Los Angeles, to meet Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth. Some of the people he cared about were popular, like Sammy Davis Jr. …