Book Review: Sinatra and Me

Tony Consignlio, nicknamed “The Clam” because he kept mum about all that he saw, recounts the many years he spent traveling in Sinatra’s shadow starting from when they cut high school to hang out in the Paramount Theater. The recollections do not run chronologically but flow in a logical order as the eighty-year-old Consignlio remembered past events. Consignlio tells of Sinatra’s struggles to build a career, of nasty contract disputes, a parade of gorgeous women and laundry list of rubbing elbows with the rich, famous and infamous of the day. While Sinatra became a legendary figure in the entertainment world, Consignlio worked quietly behind the scenes in a variety of capacities from personal confidant to valet, bodyguard to walking bank vault, especially a vault as he habitually carried thousands of dollars for Sinatra’s use.  

Through the more then thirty years of their close partnership, he kept Sinatra’s secrets and while he provided an entertaining backroom view of the “Voice”, Consignlio continued to maintain his silence about the more dubious, likely illegal activities Sinatra engaged in. Even the many photographs included here all portrait everyone as smiling and happy, nothing remotely controversial or even tipsy. The ongoing laundry list of instantly recognizable names begins to grow tiresome after a while as it feels like name-dropping for the sake of it. Still, this is an engaging, enjoyable, if sanitized “tattler” for anyone interested in learning more about Sinatra’s generous nature and larger then life persona, just don’t expect any big secrets.




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