BetteBack 1974: Bette Midler And Ahmet Ertegun Attend Frank Sinatra’s Comeback Concert

Apr. 22, 1974

It was an oldsters’ Woodstock. Some 2,800 mostly middle-aged fans roared and stamped as a stouter, hoarser Frank Sinatra, 58, opened his eight-city “comeback” tour with a concert at Manhattan’s Carnegie Hall.

The audience, which included Ginger Rogers, Cristina Ford, Freddie Brisson and Bette Midler, paid up to $150 a ticket. Several women screamed “You’re still gorgeous!” as the Voice swung into standards from his pre-Mia Farrow period like Here’s That Rainy Day and I Get a Kick Out of You.

If Frankie no longer sings with the glandular whine that made him the nation’s No. 1 crooner for almost three decades, he still has his ineffable timing and cheek.

Sipping red wine and slipping in a commercial for the brand, Frankie teased New York’s minuscule mayor Abe Beame (5 ft. 2 in.), whom he spotted in the audience. Cracked Frank: “The mayor is not in black tie tonight. Tatum O’Neal got the tuxedo first.” Then he toasted the city where his career began in 1943: “I’ve had some of my best fights here.”

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