Happy Birthday, Old Blue Eyes!
On this date in 1915, the legendary Frank Sinatra was born in Hoboken, N.J.
And like most iconic figures of the 20th Century like Babe Ruth, Al Capone, John Kennedy, Ty Cobb, Joe Louis and the Beatles just to name a few, Sinatra made an appearance at Comiskey Park.
On Aug. 27, 1960, Frank took a break from his summer of campaigning for Kennedy to headline the second annual Urban League Jazz Festival at Comiskey Park. According to a Chicago Tribune story of the day, proceeds from the event were going to be used to support the league’s efforts to improve race relations.
The show began as a jazz showcase but that changed when Frank’s friend, Sammy Davis Jr., agreed to be on the bill, according to Emilie Raymond’s book, “Stars for Freedom: Hollywood, Black Celebrities, and the Civil Rights Movement.”
The book said jazz acts such as Dizzy Gillespie and the Cannonball Adderley Quintet served as a warm-up act for Frank, Sammy, Peter Lawford and others, who all performed for free.
The event, which drew 15,000, was a huge hit, netting the Urban League $250,000. So successful was the event, Sammy was presented with the Urban League’s Citation of Merit.
While Frank and his pals were swinging on stage at Comiskey, the park’s regular tenants, the White Sox, were swinging their way to victory in Boston.
Sherm Lollar and Roy Sievers homered and Bob Shaw won his 12th as the Sox of white topped the Sox of red 9-6.