Photography Book Documents Young Sinatra in New York

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Frank Sinatra with the Jan Savitt Orchestra at the Strand Theater in New York, 1945.

(Photo: William “PoPsie” Randolph, from Frank Sinatra—New York, NY 1939–1956)

Michael Randolph, son of legendary photographer William “PoPsie” Randolph (1920–’78), has created a limited-edition hardcover book featuring his father’s rare and intimate shots of Frank Sinatra. The 115-page book, which includes images of Sinatra both onstage and off, is available at Amazon.

Many of the photos in Frank Sinatra—New York, NY 1939–1956 have never been published before. In striking detail, they capture the young singer as he begins his ascendant career in New York, first with the bands of Tommy Dorsey and Harry James and later as a superstar vocalist in his own right.

Born William Sezenias to Greek immigrant parents in Manhattan, “PoPsie” Randolph got his start in the music industry as a roadie for Benny Goodman’s band. On Dec. 30, 1942, a young Randolph was at the Paramount Theatre in Times Square when Sinatra, then 27 years old, opened for Goodman’s orchestra. Randolph’s images are the only known photos of that historic performance.

In a foreword to the book, journalist Barry Singer expounds on the fortuitous ways in which Randolph and Sinatra’s careers often intertwined.

“Randolph loved to follow Frank Sinatra around; from the get-go, Sinatra may have been his favorite camera subject,” he writes. “As a result, PoPsie Randolph was in the right place at the right time—as he would be again and again in a photo-taking career that would ultimately encompass four decades and every important personality, from swing to rock ’n’ roll.

“Looking at his photographs today of young Sinatra, you can see all of the kid’s history in his expression and in his body language; the cocky assurance and the fidgety fella from Hoboken, the innate star and the raw rookie … .”

For more information on Frank Sinatra—New York, NY 1939–1956, visit popsiephotos.com.



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