Skip to comments.Sinatra’s Exaggerated Mob Ties, JFK’s Unplanned Campaign Swing Detailed in ‘10 Things’ Rat Pack Ep
Posted on 05/18/2012 12:24:39 PM PDT by nickcarraway
There are likely more than 10 things you dont know about the Rat Pack, but the History Channel has whittled the list to a mere 10-pack and this week aired a special episode of the series 10 Things You Dont Know About centering on the fabled performers who first instilled swagger in Vegas.
Several weeks ago, I was asked to contribute to this project to elaborate on the 10 pieces of triviata unearthed by History Channel producers. David G. Schwartz, director of UNLV's Center for Gaming Research, also was interviewed, and you can catch the full episode on the History Channel website.
The Rat Pack, as defined, is the original quintet of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford. Some of the information is prone to debate, naturally, as history morphs over time. But the information was well vetted, and the show is hosted by historian and author David Eisenbach.
Following is the list of 10 things you never knew about the Rat Pack featured in the episode:
10. The original Rat Pack was not founded by Frank Sinatra, but rather by Humphrey Bogart and his wife, Lauren Bacall, with Bacall observing the crew in the living room of the couples home in L.A. and saying they looked like a bunch of drowned rats. The term quickly evolved to Rat Pack.
9. Members of the Rat Pack never referred to themselves as such. Customarily, they called themselves The Summit, playing off the planned Four Powers Paris Summit in 1960, which was to involve President Dwight Eisenhower, Khrushchev, Macmillan and Charles de Gaulle (which was tabled after the 1960 U2 spy-plane incident, as an American aircraft was shot down in Soviet airspace). Subsequently, Sinatra said his crew was going to host its own conference of cool.
(Excerpt) Read more at lasvegassun.com ...
There are two guys who really just didn’t belong as far as I can figure. Lawford I partially understand as a conduit to the president, but what, really, did Joey Bishop bring to the table?
Frank Sinatra was a Reagan supporter, I might add.
Frank Sinatra was a “4F” “Draft-Dodgin” WEASEL in WW II! Got a “4F” for Punctured Eardrums. Funny my dad had 2 Punctured Eardrums and the Draft Board in Central Iowa had NO problem taking him. I guess it’s WHO ya know!
6. Bishop, often the forgotten member of the Rat Pack, was the brains behind the operation. He wrote most of the stage banter that seemed so effortlessly improvised and was a steady emcee while making it appear as if Sinatra were actually in charge.
BS! Back then Republicans were leading the charge in the Civil Rights movement...Jackie Robinson was a Republican then.
I agree. Liza Mennelli was the one who replaced Martin when Martin dropped out around 1988
William Manchester (Marine veteran of 1st Marine Division) said that Sinatra was the most hated man amongst World
War II troops. He was hated more than Hitler and Tojo. The GI’s could not stand seeing pictures of him surrounded by adoring young girls back home. Sinatra did not make trips to entertain the troops.
Exactly! That's why I found it interesting. Obviously a left wing publication which lacks honesty.
Where’s a Kardashian?
BTW Sinatra was supposedly staunchly anti-communist - I recall him being close to the Reagans in the eighties.
Working at the Palm Springs Airport in the early to mid 60’s I got to see them all.
Yep that’s what I heard as well.
Bishop was interviewed by Brian Williams on MSNBC (when they had viewers) after Sinatra died. Williams implied the Rat Pack was racist and Bishop ripped him a new one. It was worth watching.
And the Mob called for favors from that point on. The studios were also under the thumb of the Mob because of Mob control of labor i.e. electricians, projectionists, etc. There's a lot of history out there for the reading.
The link to the History Channel feature doesn’t work. It takes you to a video about Benjamin Franklin. There’s another link to the Rat Pack feature, but it goes to a “Page not found”.
Prior to Sinatra’s support for Reagan, he and the other members of the Rat Pack supported John Kennedy in his bid for the WH. But there was a falling out and Sinatra later became a Republican.
The rat pack were liberals as was almost everyone in show business at that time. Even Reagan was a liberal Democrat during his acting career. Sinatra and the rat pack greatly helped Sammy Davis Jr.’s career and created opportunities for him.
Politically Sinatra was an opportunist. Peter Lawford was Kennedy's brother-in-law, the rat pack called him Pater brother in Lawford. Sinatra helped procure women for Kennedy(and Giancana), got acting jobs for Peter Lawford, entertained Kennedy and tried very hard to gain Kennedy's favor.
J. Edgar Hoover discovered the relationships between Giancana, Sinatra and Judy Campbell a Kennedy mistress who often visited the White House for sex. Hoover told Bobby Kennedy and Bobby canceled Kennedy's visit to Sinatra's “western White House”.
This caused Sinatra's break with the Kennedy's and ended Peter Lawford’s acting career.
A few years later Sinatra and the other rat pack members became conservative Republicans and supporters of Nixon and Ronald Reagan. Sammy Davis Jr. praised Nixon and hugged in front of photographers.
How about Sammy having to enter the Casino through the back doors ?
or Sinatra's nickname for Sammy was "Charley" ?
The real secret...”it's STILL Frank's World, we just live in it”
As a little kid watching cartoons, I saw Peter Lawford in a low-budget commercial for Brach's chocolates--I think it was near Valentine's Day. I remember my mother gasped to see how far he had fallen.
I was sure Sinatra performed for a mob event in Cuba.
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