City to host annual ‘Salute to Sinatra’

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published December 4, 2015


WARREN — Start spreading the news: The city of Warren will host a “Salute to Sinatra” on Dec. 12.

“The show will start at 8 p.m. It’s at the Warren Community Center,” Warren Parks and Recreation Director Henry Bowman said. “Tickets are only $10 and are still available. It will be a celebration of Frank Sinatra’s 100th year from his birth.”

The tribute will include a performance by Mark Randisi and his quartet. Doors will open at 6 p.m., and tickets are available by calling (586) 268-8400.

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts, a longtime Sinatra aficionado who saw the legendary crooner perform live more than 10 times, has routinely drawn from the “Chairman of the Board’s” music during introductions and remarks at city and political events.

Since Fouts’ election in 2007, those who call City Hall may have even noticed Sinatra’s music while on hold.

The mayor said the annual Sinatra tributes — he’s still eyeing a larger event that could bring in big-name talent on par with Tony Bennett or Paul Anka — are popular with residents drawn to the music and lore of “Old Blue Eyes.”

“Residents come to me all the time and talk about Sinatra,” Fouts said. “They give me old records and memorabilia. I’ve donated some of them to the Historical Commission.”

Fouts said his love of Sinatra began years ago, and he remembers seeing him while sitting on the lawn at Pine Knob, at the Premier Center in Sterling Heights, and at the Fox Theatre in 1988 with former Mayor Ronald Bonkowski and several of his then-colleagues on the Warren City Council.

“It was just a treat the mayor did. He wanted us all to work together,” Fouts recalled.

The mayor said he hopes to attend the “Salute to Sinatra” on Dec. 12, which would have been Sinatra’s 100th birthday, but said it may conflict with his participation in a special on Detroit Public Television.

“He was just a consummate professional. Some people may differ with his personal life, but his professional life was superb,” Fouts said. “He was a great actor as well. He literally got John Kennedy elected president. Music, politics and, of course, the mob. But we, of course, won’t get into that.”

The month of December in the city’s 2015 calendar was dedicated to Frank Sinatra.

The Warren Community Center is located at 5460 Arden Ave.