Have you washed your hands?
Now sit down and read this…
In April 1966, writer Gay Talese published a groundbreaking article in Esquire titled “Frank Sinatra Has A Cold.” Bold and unwavering, it’s become known as one of the greatest celebrity profiles ever written.
It wasn’t exactly an interview—since Sinatra wasn’t on board with the article. Talese instead spent a number of months tailing Sinatra and compiling his own observations with bits of input from Frank’s inner circle and entourage.
The article begins just before Sinatra’s 50th birthday, describing a man who is not only facing an existential midlife crisis, but also the complexities of a common cold. When you sing for a living, a cold has quite an impact.
Talese’s piece heralded a movement of “New Journalism,” where the just-the-facts narrative was playfully supplanted by the observations of the reporter. Some might argue that “Frank Sinatra Has A Cold” was the point where news and opinion became seamlessly blurred in their presentation. That presents a significant problem with contemporary journalism, but certainly an unintended consequence.
The adept storytelling and observational mastery of Talese’s “Frank Sinatra Has A Cold” have made the piece a timeless stylistic paradigm. He took a novel approach to the assignment, and in covering the artist he himself produced a work of art.
If you’re in bed right now, hiding from the perils of the outside world, take the time to enjoy this phenomenal work…
“Frank Sinatra Has A Cold” – Esquire, April 1966