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A photographic history of Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack [Updated]

October 25, 2010 | 10:17 am

Ratpackcover Paeans to Frank Sinatra and his coterie of pals known as the Rat Pack are plentiful and remarkably diverse. On the low end of the consumer spectrum, you can spend a few bucks on a Rat Pack T-shirt from your local sidewalk merchants. On the opposite side of the scale, you could shell out $650 for a new photography volume from Reel Art Press dedicated to the legendary Vegas clique.

"The Rat Pack" is a special, limited-edition volume that is positioned as the Rolls-Royce of Sinatra memorabilia. At 448 pages, it's a hefty book filled with photos by Sid Avery, Bob Willoughby and others, and text by Rat Pack aficionado Shawn Levy. Some of the images in the book have remained stored away and undeveloped for decades.

Such a fancy volume doesn't come cheap. The launch price for the master edition is $650, while the deluxe edition is priced at $1,650. If you're looking to spend even more than that -- and who isn't in this economy? -- the heritage edition is definitely for you, with prices upward of $4,000 for the customizable version. The heritage edition is limited to 30 copies and comes with its own rare, vintage photograph.

Only 2,250 copies of "The Rat Pack" in all editions were printed.

A staple of Vegas bars and clubs during the '60s, the Rat Pack was known for its hard-living showbiz lifestyle that often played out in the tabloids. The informal group consisted of Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford.

Here are some images from the volume. ...

  Ratpack1

Sinatra, left, and Dean Martin.

Ratpack2

Sinatra.

Ratpack3

Sinatra, from left, Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and Joey Bishop. [For the record: An earlier version of this caption incorrectly reversed the order of Lawford and Bishop.]

-- David Ng

[Updated photo credits:]

Top photo: 1962 © 1978 Bob Willoughby/mptvimages.com

Middle photo: 1962 © 1978 Ted Allan/mptvimages.com

Bottom photo: 1962 © 1978 Ted Allan/mptvimages.com

 

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