Silver-haired singer Jack Jones has recorded a new 13-track CD honoring the upcoming 100th birthday of Frank Sinatra. Jack flew to Las Vegas to debut “Seriously Frank” with its 22-piece orchestra at Bootlegger Bistro.
Singer Pia Zadora, 93-year-old comedian Marty Allen, Sinatra impressionist and Palazzo headliner Bob Anderson and Frank’s musical conductor Vincent Falcone attended the luncheon hosted by Bootlegger owners Dennis Bono and Lorraine Hunt Bono.
Jack told us that he would have gone into TV production if he’d not become a singer: “Nancy Sinatra was a grade behind me at school, and one day her dad came to school to surprise her and the students with some songs.
“That was the very moment when I heard his voice that I made my mind up to become a singer. My dad Allan had wanted me to follow in his footsteps, but it took Frank to make up my mind. I deeply admired him, and we developed a close, long-lasting friendship.”
Frank once said of Jack: “One of the major singers of our time.” Bob recalled that he’d felt intimidated by Jack whenever he stopped by his shows after performing in “Guys and Dolls” at Desert Inn. Jack, a two-time Grammy winner and five-time nominee, sang the “Love Boat” theme.
He said that he’ll be on next month’s 50th celebration cruise to Mexico. “Originally when I heard, it I almost turned it down thinking nobody would ever watch the program,” he said. “Now I’ll perform it again 50 years later.”
Then he surprised the luncheon guests, especially me, playing a duet I’d recorded with him more than 30 years ago in Kapp Records offices in Manhattan. Titled “The Robin Leach Blues,” it has Jack singing against my lyric, “I’m subtle as a truck and just as shy. I’m Robin Leach, and I don’t know why.”
Jack, who discovered it hidden in a box of old recordings recently, says he’s going to finish it and put it on his upcoming duets album. My Las Vegas Sun colleague Editor at Large John Katsilometes heard it and emailed me: “I busted up. No question, this is going to be a radio hit.” We’ll see if the royalty checks roll in!