While 2016 would have marked Frank Sinatra's 100th birthday had he been alive, the singer's place in music history continues to be passed on from generation to generation,
Writer-director-producer-actor Seth McFarlane, who received the Performing Arts Award at the Frank Sinatra Celebrity Invitational Black Tie Gala on Feb. 19, says the "genius" of Frank Sinatra continues to be recognized.
“There isn’t a singer alive who doesn’t owe something to Frank Sinatra, the greatest vocalist in the history of popular song," McFarlane said. "Sinatra’s recordings exist outside of any genre you can describe, they transcend time, and the genius of what separates Sinatra from his contemporaries is his sense of orchestration and his appreciation of the power of orchestration.”
100 Years of Sinatra was this year’s theme for the gala held at the Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, benefiting the Barbara Sinatra Center for Abused Children.
Tom Dreesden returned as emcee, with actor Joe Mantegna as co-host. Mantegna said that standing between Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett 23 years ago was like “being in Italian heaven.”
The Fifth Dimension capped an evening of accolades to the late singer and the superb work accomplished by Barbara Sinatra and the center in saving lives.
Artist Scotty Medlock’s original Sinatra portrait was auctioned off, and framed prints were given to awardees. Doug Welmas, Tribal Chairman of the Cabazon band of Mission Indians, was honored for the tribe’s seven years hosting of the tournament.
Tony Marnell II received the Business Lifetime Achievement Award for design and construction of the world’s most recognizable resort hotel and gaming properties. “I was lucky to be born at a time when people believed you could do great things,” he said.
A Special Business Award went to Chief Executive Officer Peter Bevacqua of the PGA of America. “Frank Sinatra helped me through my life – I listened to him growing up, played his recordings at my wedding, and at all significant events in my life,” he said.
Photography by Sherri Breyer