Directing Frank Sinatra Jr. Narrating My Novel

In 2007, I hired Frank Sinatra Jr. to do the narration of my novel McKnight’s Memory into audio-book form. It’s a full cast production with famous actors of the ’60s performing the characters. Mr. Sinatra came in last to do the narration. It was a dream working with him.

I had heard his audio commentary on two of his father’s movies on DVD, “Robin and the Seven Hoods” and “Oceans Eleven”. His voice, articulation, as well as his respect for character actors impressed me, so I asked him to narrate my audio-book.

Also since actor Henry Silva is in both his father’s movie “The Manchurian Candidate” as well as “McKnight’s Memory” it seemed to me to be “cinematically historic” for both Mr. Silva and Frank Sinatra Jr. To be in this audio production together.

Mr. Sinatra requested his recording be done at night, as that is when most singers feel their voice is the best. He gave a concentrated performance, often coming up with changes in the text that were superior to the original.

For example, there is a line that read, “The hit man was dead before his 200 pound body crashed to the floor.” Mr. Sinatra changed it to:”The hit man was dead before his 200 pounds crashed to the floor.”

I loved this subtle, but powerful change. Then Mr. Sinatra said, “Okay fellas, I’ll read it as written so that you’ll have a choice.” But I knew right then which reading I would use. This happened a few other times as well.

I was in awe of Mr. Sinatra’s enunciation and sometimes ending a paragraph in an upward tone, leaving it hanging, as if more will come. I don’t know what that’s called, but it great.

During our breaks, Mr. Sinatra talked about the sets that he visited of some of the now classic movies, such as “Journey to the Center of the Earth” and “Them”.

He also explained why the lounge acts disappeared from Las Vegas casinos. When headliners lost popularity and could no long fill the large show rooms, they were moved to the lounge to entertain gamblers and provide music to the whole casino. But when the entertainers insisted that their act be curtained off from the casino, the owners decided that if the gamblers could not see or hear the acts, then why should they pay to have them in the lounge? Thus the lounge acts disappeared.

The production’s cast includes Robert Culp, Nancy Kwan, David Hedison, Henry Silva, Don Stroud, Barbara Leigh, Alan Young, Edd “Kookie” Byrnes, Gary Lockwood, and others. The production has full sound effects and music, like an “audio-movie”.

The story is a mystery/thriller about a CIA deputy director that get’s amnesia and for some unknown reason is marked for death by both the Mafia and the CIA. The woman he lives with, but can’t remember, goes on the run with him. But can he trust her?

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Comments

Apple dosent fall far from the tree. Cadence just like the old man(Old Blue Eyes) that must have been a treat Paul, I’ll look for McKnights – it looks kill-ah!
Ciao!

Thanks for the comment about my Sinatra Jr audio book Bill.

I appreciate you taking the time.

No final word on the release of McKnight’s Memory, but it will be on amazon at least, when it’s first release and serachable for other places.

Paul Kyriazi

You can now purchase and download ‘McKnight’s Memory’ at lodingo.com This link will take you to the exact page to hear a sample of Sintra Jr, Robert Culp, and Nancy Kwan doing a scene:

http://lodingo.com/_catalog_49120/Ronin_Audio_Book_Downloads

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