Sinatra tribute marks 10 years since his death
Financial adviser Guy Steele
knows a bit more than most people about legendary singer and actor Frank Sinatra
(he wrote a time line of Sinatra's life that amounts to more than 1,000 pages), and he shares his vast knowledge with Hawaii Public Radio listeners Sundays at 5 p.m. on 89.3 KIPO.
This month marks the 10th anniversary of Sinatra's death, and Steele will honor the occasion with an overview of Sinatra's music and movies -- featuring plenty of Sinatra's most popular hits -- on his May 18 show.
Steele began "Sinatra: The Music and the Man" in 1998, just after Sinatra died. "I wanted to produce the ultimate Sinatra documentary," said Steele, whose interviews with musicians and arrangers such as Billy May provide behind-the-scenes anecdotes that supplement the music he selects for the entertaining hour. But Steele's approach is unusual in that every show over the past 10 years (except for a few repeats) reflects Sinatra's life and career in chronological order. The early 1998 shows brought listeners back to 1939. Now, in 2008, Steele has reached 1963. He covers "the good and the bad" from a tiny recording studio in his home.
The passion for Sinatra's work began when Steele attended college in Oregon in the 1970s. In search of a single song, he bought a Sinatra double album for a whopping $7.95. After he returned to his dorm room, he half-listened to it and put it away. Feeling guilty that he'd spent so much money without making an effort to enjoy his purchase, he forced himself to stop and appreciate every word, every note. "By the time it was done, I thought it was the greatest thing I'd ever heard in my life," he said. "I was totally enthralled. He sings to you. He communicates the meaning of the songs the way the writers intended." With the fire ignited, Steele began reading, writing and collecting everything Sinatra.
By the 1990s the documentary idea was a 20-year-old dream for Steele. Sinatra's death produced a seemingly endless stream of tributes, but Steele realized that nobody appeared to do anything of depth on the radio. So he created a show and pitched it to Hawaii Public Radio.
So what happens when Steele reaches the end of Sinatra's life on his chronological journey? "I want to go back and do it again," he said. And why not? Details of Sinatra's life that Steele never knew about continue to emerge. "The stuff that Sinatra has is almost limitless."
Actors hoping to learn from mainland professionals have yet another opportunity next week: MGM Studios Head Casting Director Paul Weber will offer training to improve cold reading skills from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Monday at the Kathy Muller Talent Agency at 619 Kapahulu Ave. Each participant will receive scripted scenes, along with direction and guidance in how to prepare. In addition, the seminar will cover audition techniques and advice, and Los Angeles industry recommendations. Time for questions and answers also will be included.
Walk-ins are not welcome, so be sure to reserve your spot with an e-mail to Joji Yoshida at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cost for the four-hour class is $100.