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Lady Blue Eyes: My Life with Frank Hardcover – May 31, 2011

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An engrossing biography of Frank Sinatra’s mature years. Check out "Sinatra".

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The widow of Frank Sinatra delivers the goods in this intimate memoir of their years together, filled with parties, recordings, career hurdles, concerts, travels, and triumphs. Barbara Blakeley was "just a farm girl from Missouri," who became a model, a Vegas showgirl, and the wife of Zeppo Marx, and mingled with celebrities in L.A., Vegas, and Palm Springs. At a Sinatra dinner party for the first time, she felt "there was definitely a frisson between us." With her own marriage crumbling, she made plans to meet Sinatra in Monaco: "Was I about to be seduced by one of the world's greatest romantics?" That idyllic summer "turned into night after glorious night of romance in some of the most glamorous venues in Europe." After "five years of flirting and courting," Barbara and Frank Sinatra married in 1976, and it was the longest of his four marriages. They stayed together for 22 years, until his death in 1998. Probing Sinatra's personality, she contrasts his polite manners and loyalty to friends with his feuds and booze-induced rants. Yet in the end, as she sees it, "Frank was, without doubt, the most romantic man I had ever met," and that feeling permeates the pages throughout. (Mar. 1)
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From Booklist

In this detailed autobiography, Frank Sinatra’s widow traces her journey from a hardscrabble, Depression-era childhood to jet-setting wife of one of the most popular and successful entertainers of all time. Thanks to her strong-willed mother, Barbara’s family pulled up stakes in Missouri while she was a teenager and headed to California. Barbara was soon modeling for local department stores and shortly thereafter married aspiring big-band singer Bob Oliver. After the birth of a son, the marriage fell apart; another marriage and a career as a Vegas showgirl followed. Then she took up with the much older and wealthier Zeppo Marx, and Barbara quickly fell into her new glamorous life.She eventually tired of Zeppo and began an affair with her neighbor, Frank Sinatra, hoping he would marry her, which he eventually did. Sinatra spins an interesting tale of a life lived amongst celebrity and provides an insider glimpse into a bygone era. Readers will either enjoy or be annoyed by the incessant name-dropping. --Kathleen Hughes

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Archetype; 1st edition (May 31, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307382338
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307382337
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (261 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #524,405 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

161 of 170 people found the following review helpful By Jane Pensive on June 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
...Barbara's sins. Having read George Jacobs' book about his boss a number of years ago, I hadn't thought about "Old Blue eyes" for a while. I remember that Jacobs was not complimentary about the last Mrs Sinatra. Before I bought this book, I read the reviews in which one mentioned Tina Sinatra's book and it's accusations against Frank's final wife. Of course I had to buy both books to take on vacation with me. I read Barbara's book first to see if I could spot where the accusations in Tina's book would appear. Barbara Sinatra is so transparent that I could spot almost every one of her misdeeds against Frank and his children. This despite the fact that Barbara never mentions Frank's two daughters at all and mentions Frank Jr only a couple of times in passing.

Barbara basically admits each and every allegation Tina makes by addressing them as incidents in which others are the primary movers and shakers, and in which she plays a passive role. For example, Tina states that Barbara tried to get Frank to legally adopt Barbara's 25 year old son in order to make him Frank's legal heir. Barbara claims that it was Sinatra's idea to adopt a 25 year old man because he didn't have a father. Huh? The problem is that Barbara, by her own admission and Tina's account, tried to pull the same scheme on her second husband, Zeppo Marx, who she admits, didn't really like her son, and whose father would not allow such an adoption. Tina explains that the adoption was absolutely going to take place until her mother, Frank's first wife and the mother of his three children, asked him to halt the proceedings as he was making his first family extremely unhappy.
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119 of 129 people found the following review helpful By eagerReader on June 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I am a huge fan of Frank Sinatra. I've read most of the biographies written about him and was eagerly awaiting Barbara Sinatra's book. I was not disappointed. It is definitely a loving portrait, but she does discuss Frank's quick temper and other bad qualities. The book is full of loving anecdotes (love notes, gifts, etc.) and I feel that Barbara loved Frank very deeply. One of my favorite anecdotes is Barbara's mother answering the phone and Frank, thinking it was Barbara, said something romantic and sexy. Barbara's mother immediately swooned and realized that no one could resist his charm.

One thing that may surprise people is that Frank's children are not mentioned. Frank Jr. is mentioned once or twice in passing, but his daughters are not mentioned at all. If anyone has read Tina Sinatra's book, this is understandable. Barbara does cover some of the issues Tina brought up in her book, but doesn't specifically address allegations made by Tina and Nancy Sinatra. (I believe that for the most part, Frank Jr. has stayed out of that particular battle). It is up to the reader to determine what the 'real story' is after reading multiple accounts.

Barbara obviously enjoyed living the high life. On nearly every page, she drops names, but when you are hanging out with Cary Grant and Gregory Peck, wouldn't you? She also is very interested in fashion and documents several memorable outfits over the years and spends some time discussing the many jewels Frank presented to her, including a stunning Cartier necklace. The beginning of the book documents Barbara's life pre-Frank, from living in a small Missouri town to her marriage to Zeppo Marx. It is interesting and she obviously had a remarkable life, but I think she knows what most readers want and that is tales from her life with Frank.
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74 of 81 people found the following review helpful By P from Oregon on June 16, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book, I felt, is a very sanitized and selective account by Mrs. Barbara Sinatra of her life with her husband, Frank. She comes across as a very shallow woman who was lucky enough being in the right place at the right time in Mr. Sinatra's life when he was ready to settle down. I would not recommend this nauseating, name dropping book by Barbara Sinatra, Tina Sinatra's book was more human and loving and gave more insight into the legend, Frank Sinatra. The only pleasure I got from this book was the fast and excellent service by in receiving it.
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Mary C. Miller on November 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you want to waste your money on a book that tells you absolutely nothing new nor of any interest about Frank Sinatra then this is your book. If, however, you want to hear about all the famous people Barbara Sinatra met, only through her association with him, on every single page, or how much influence she had over him, how much he loved her more than anybody else and how fabulous she thinks she is, then go at it. Take special notice that she wants a Rolls Royce for her birthday and a close friend chose a charitable gift for theirs. It told me everything about this weightless human being.

The only thing I can hope is that Frank wasn't as shallow and without substance as this vapid woman is and would have, if he had been younger when he met her, have had his fun and moved on. Ava may have been a lot of self-destructive things, but she at least had a personality unlike no other. Not only that, but it's the last thing on earth that Frank would've wanted - to have anyone be BORED, which I was. What a disappointing book from a disappointing woman. Wasteful, really, when you think of the massive opportunity she had to be interesting. Pearls before swine, I suppose.
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