Tag Archives: Tony Rome

Of Old Boxers and Old Movies

12 Dec

My friends and I have some weird text conversations. We talk about all sorts of things, but we mostly try to stump each other on trivia. We consider ourselves experts in all knowledge that will only lead to fortune on a game show. The other night we had one such conversation. Hopefully, you can tell that the conversations can go in any direction.

It went, with slight edits, as follows. to help guide you through this high level conversation, my friend’s comments are in bold.

85 years ago the old Southern Conference became the SEC. There were 13 original members. Did you know Sewanee was one of them?

I knew that.

So was Tulane.

Georgia Tech also. I believe they dropped out in 64… when did Sewanee get out?

1940

John Lennon was killed 37 years ago today.

That was yesterday.

Although, Archie Moore died on this day in 1998.

Correct. My bad. The Ole Mongoose was cornerman for Foreman when Ali stopped him in Zaire. Moore’s last fight was against a young Cassius Clay in 62.

He also played Jedediah in The Carpetbaggers, one of the all time great movies.

Yes, and was in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Sugar Ray Robinson was in a couple of Sinatra movies. Archie Moore also worked with James “Quick” Tillis, a Tulsa heavyweight who was a great boxer but not much heart. Tillis played in The Color Purple with Oprah. I flew in 81 to Chicago on a junket to see Tillis fight Mike “Hercules” Weaver for the WBA title. Tillis was named Sprint Tillis after the fight. He ran all night long. I saw better fights in the halls of high school.

Which boxer was in the Tony Rome movies?

Tillis’ daughter was an outstanding basketball player at Duke. Iciss Tillis.

I remember her.

Cassius Clay in 62 was in Requiem for a Heavyweight with Jackie Gleason and Anthony Quinn.

I didn’t know that.

Rocky Graziano was in Tony Rome.

I thought somebody else was in those movies.

Sugar Ray Robinson was in The Detective with Sinatra. LaMotta had a bit part in Graziano’s bio played by Paul Newman…

Sinatra got Joe Louis a job as a greeter at Caesar’s Palace.

Max Schmeling paid for his funeral.

 

 

 

An Ode to Frank Sinatra

12 Dec

The other night, I watched a television special honoring the 100th birthday of Frank Sinatra. It had several people who should never sing a Sinatra song doing exactly what they should never do. There were also some people who did the music justice.

Anyway, the show made me think about Frank Sinatra and how I wished I had seen him in concert. My parents saw him perform in Las Vegas. They have not attended many concerts, but they saw Sinatra and Elvis Presley. When you have seen two of the biggest stars of all time, I guess there is no point is seeing anyone else.Frank Sinatra

Despite not seeing Frank Sinatra in person, he is one of my favorite performers. However, I like some of his stuff better than others.

“It Was a Very Good Year” is my favorite Sinatra song. For as long as I remember, the lyrics have struck me on a deep level.

When I was seventeen, it was a very good year
It was a very good year for small town girls
And soft summer nights
We’d hide from the lights
On the village green
When I was seventeen

When I was twenty-one, it was a very good year
It was a very good year for city girls
Who lived up the stairs
With all that perfumed hair
That came undone
When I was twenty-one

When I was thirty-five, it was a very good year
It was a very good year for blue-blooded girls
Of independent means
We’d ride in limousines
Their chauffeurs would drive
When I was thirty-five

But now the days are short, I’m in the autumn of my years
And I think of my life as vintage wine
From fine old kegs
From the brim to the dregs
It poured sweet and clear
It was a very good year

Tony Rome is my favorite Frank Sinatra movie. It is even included in my Sinatra version of Movie Wisdom. He plays a Miami private detective who lives on a boat and has issues with gambling. Basically, it is Sinatra having a good time. Nancy Sinatra sings the theme song, and Rocky Graziano makes a cameo appearance.

Dean Martin is my favorite Frank Sinatra pal.Dean Martin

As a famed member of the Rat Pack, he was, in my opinion, one of the few performers who could go toe-to-toe with Sinatra. He was a singer and an actor. He could handle Westerns, Drama and Comedy.

Ava Gardner is my favorite Frank Sinatra wife.Ava

I mean, how can you not like Ava Gardner? She was one of the great Hollywood starlets. I just never could figure out why she married Mickey Rooney.

Anyway, that is my ode to the Chairman of the Board Frank Sinatra. Otherwise known as Ol’ Blue Eyes.

Movie Wisdom – Frank Sinatra Edition

5 Jun

The other day, I watched a documentary about Frank Sinatra that included a lot of information that I did not already know. Obviously, Sinatra was one of our great entertainment icons, but it was interesting to get a more intimate look at his life.

The documentary led me to this post and a look into the wisdom that can be found in some of his movies.

Remember the rules. I must have seen the movie, and the quote can come from any character in that movie.

Now, let see what can be found in the dialogue of the Chairman of the Board.Sinatra

From From Here to Eternity

Nobody ever lies about being lonely.

Maybe back in the days of the pioneers a man could go his own way, but today you got to play ball.

A man should be what he can do.

A man loves a thing that don’t mean it’s gotta love him back.

From Ocean’s 11

Fifty percent of something is better than one hundred percent of nothin’.

From The Manchurian Candidate

It’s a terrible thing to hate your mother.

Have you ever noticed that the human race is divided into two distinct and irreconcilable groups: those that walk into rooms and automatically turn television sets on, and those that walk into rooms and automatically turn them off?

From Tony Rome

People change. They don’t always turn out the way you expect.

 

November 25, 1968

25 Nov

That is the day I was born at Baptist Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee. Through the years, I have jokingly said that they should have closed the place down. After my birth, they couldn’t have done any better. That was 45 years and many birthdays ago. Some of the birthdays have been memorable and some have not, but this one is completely different. I have never had a birthday while being married. Tonight, my wife, stepdaughter and everyone else sang “Happy Birthday” to me. I can’t remember the last time that happened.

I can say that this has been the happiest birthday of them all.

For a blogging commemoration, I have decided to research events that took place on November 25, 1968. Now, let us see what I find.

Upton Sinclair passed away. He wrote The Jungle, one of the most influential books in American history.Upton Sinclair

Jill Hennessy was born. She is an actress, but I have never seen her in anything.

Paul Siple passed away. He was an explorer who took six trips to Antarctica.

The Beatles had Billboard’s top song, “Hey Jude.”

Lady in Cement topped the box office. It starred Frank Sinatra as Tony Rome, a private detective in Miami.Lady in Cement

That night’s television schedule was interesting. ABC aired The Avengers, The Outcasts and The Big Valley. Over on NBC, they were showing Gunsmoke, The Lucy Show and The Carol Burnett Show. Meanwhile, CBS had Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In. Sock it to me, baby!

Those were the primetime shows. Throughout the day, people could watch The Dating Game, Jeopardy, The Match Game and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.

And that’s the way it was. November 25, 1968.