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Crooner Fan Sites
By Frank Dellario

This edition of Cyber*Kool originally was featured in the Fall 2000 issue of ATOMIC Magazine.

If there's one thing a retro junkie like me wishes for, it's to be able to take a trip back in time to see any of the original crooners in concert in their heyday. But alas, we haven't mastered the art of time travel yet. So instead, I have to garner from my dad, uncles and their friends what it must have been like to see Old blue Eyes at Roseland for 36 cents or watch the Rat Pack's shenanigans at the Sands. Fortunately, I can also check out some really cool crooner Web sites and disappear into another era...

Frank Sinatra
If you love Frankie (as if anyone didn't), you'll want to spend some time on this site. Rick Apt trades in Sinatra collectibles, which means his site's not full of the same old stuff. You'll find tons (and I mean tons) of pictures of Frank from personal archives, like his wardrobe tests as Billy Bigelow for Rodgers & Hammerstein's Carousel (he never did the picture), plus numerous essays about the man (including the chance he took singing the pro-segregation lyrics of "The House I Live In" years prior to integrated bands being allowed to play on stage). My only gripe is that the horizontal frames top and bottom mean you can't view those great images without scrolling. But on thing you'll know for sure after surfing this site: It's Frank's world, we just live in it.

Dean Martin
You know the man, you know his songs, so what in a Dean Martin Web site would make you happy? Archives. An this one's got it. Check out the filmography with links to each film's page on the Internet Movie Database (www.IMDB.com), a complete discography, album covers, Dean in Hirschfield cartoons, book covers, documents (including copies from his FBI files), lyrics, liner notes, and every kind of Deano memorabilia you can think of (including a pic of the bar stool he used on stage). This site's a must-see. (And while you're surfing, check out www.deanmartin.org, the Dean Martin Fan Center, which I also recommend.)

Tony Bennett
the only site I found dedicated to Tony Bennett was a Sony Music site, accessible via two URLs (www.tony-bennett.com & www.tonybennett.net). At first glance, it looks quite slick, with a groovy Flash intro, a list of news items and upcoming appearances, and a lengthy biography (cleverly disguised as a plug for Bennett Sings Ellington/Hot and Cool). But the discography only lists CD re-release dates, which makes me wonder how compete it is. (Have all of his records been re-released on CD?) There are also no archives of photos and memorabilia, but the message board was hopping.

Sammy Davis, Jr.
the man truly rocked, and so does this site! Yeah, baby. Put up by the Sammy Davis, Jr. Association UK, Sammy's Net presence includes lengthy TV and filmography's with descriptions of the part he played or which skit he was in. (Gotta see the Beverly Hillbillies episode, "Manhattan Hillbillies" from 1969, where Davis played Sergeant Patrick Muldoon, and his episode of Wild, Wild West). You'll find CD and album artwork too (some really trippy covers man), an extensive discography, numerous articles, as wall as his FBI files. (It seems Hoover had a bug about the fact that our man Sammy was not only involved in the civil rights movement but had an interracial marriage to hot Swede actress May Britt.) There are photos and artwork galore, including an Austrian comic strip (translated) called "Frankieboy," in which Sinatra's apartment is adorned by the Rat Pack as furniture (Sammy's a mod TV set, Dean is a cactus). This only downside? No captions with any of the images. I would love to know who some of those cats were that Sammy was hangin' with in all those photographs.

Bobby Darin
This is an extensive fan site. The filmography is brimming full of into, and Darin lovers will groove on the discography, magazine articles, and even some of his personal recipes. Granted, it's not the best-looking site in the world and really tough to navigate (that Java index frame is irritating), but eventually you'll find something you'll want to know and then some. Lots of links to other Darin sites as well.


 


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