excerpt below is a first hand account of events witnessed by Frank Sinatra’s
valet, George Jacobs.
LADY DAY & FRANK SINATRA:
Sinatra didn’t cry for friends Humphrey Bogart or Joe Kennedy but he cried for
visited Holiday on her deathbed in a run down New York facility, ‘Harlem Metropolitan
was dying of cirrhosis and she was dying from heroin. The New York police
had raided her room and found heroin in her pocket.
attitude of the hospital was, ‘how can we cure this patient if she’s still shooting
cops were stationed outside of her hospital door. A beautician was inside
during her hair and nails and she was smoking outside of her oxygen tent and
begging the nurse to get her a beer. She’d say catchy things like “Don’t
trust that bitch. She can take the gold out of your teeth while you’re
spirit was feisty but her body was defeated. Her once plump frame was
wasted away. She was skin and bones. The hard life that made her
music so great and true had literally eaten her alive. All the liquor
had rotted out her insides.
was thrilled to see Frank Sinatra. He told her how much he loved her recent
album “Lady In Satin,” and he tried to get her to talk about future projects.
told her, “I owe you so much for teaching me how to phrase when I was starting
out with Harry James.”
replied, “I may have showed you how to bend a note, Frankie, that’s all.” She
then leaned over and whispered, “Will you cut the shit baby and get me some
Day’ begged Sinatra to get her a fix of heroin. Later that day, Holiday’s
liver failed and she went into a coma and died.
locked himself in his penthouse and wept for two days, playing her songs and
drinking and crying. I had never seen him hurt so much, not even for ex-wife
‘Mr. S: My Life With Frank Sinatra’ By George Jacobs and William Stadiem
Click on the following link to watch a peformance of Billie Holiday singing "Strange Fruit." Billie Holiday Performs!