Matt Weinstock, April 29, 1960
Sinatra Admirer Undaunted by Threats
For many years as a disc jockey and program director Frank Evans has played the records of Frank Sinatra. He knows and admires him.
Several weeks ago he was playing them, no more and no less than usual, on his programs on station KRHM-FM but suddenly things were different.
He was assailed by a deluge of vicious phone calls and mail. What did he mean, playing Sinatra's records? Didn't he know about Sinatra? Some attacked Evans personally. Others threatened picketing and boycott. As always, the threateners were anonymous. The usual identification was "A Loyal American" or "Commie Hater" or "A Patriot," as if those who refused to accept their weird irrelevance were not.
The reason, of course, was that Sinatra had hired Albert Maltz to write the screenplay of "The Execution of Private Slovik." Maltz was convicted of contempt of Congress 10 years ago and served a year in jail for refusing to tell a committee if he were a Communist.
SINATRA SUBSEQUENTLY dismissed Maltz from the writing job and the picture is shelved momentarily. But the uproar, incited by a rabble-rousing editorial in another paper, has continued.
Evans has gone on playing Sinatra records, explaining to his audience that he sees no reason to bow to a hysterical, anonymous lunatic fringe. Other stations, receiving similar attacks, have backed off. You don't hear Sinatra as much as you used to.
Anyway, to show his disdain for those persons who are fast with the epithet and slow with the facts, Evans has scheduled a two-and-a-half hour "Salute to Sinatra" tomorrow on his 1 to 5 p.m. show. With or without heckling, Frankie happens to be just about the best popular singer there is.
AN ANCIENT jalopy, the prized possession of Gordon Griffiths, principal of North Junior High School in Downey, is a familiar sight around town. About two weeks ago, to his dismay, someone stole it from his garage. Despite what seemed an intense search, it was not found.
A few days ago Griffiths was at a regular meeting of the Downey Lions Club and the emcee announced he'd go ahead with the scheduled raffle. A number was drawn and, to Griffith's surprise, he was named the winner of a car. To his further amazement, his jalopy, newly painted in his school's colors, blue and white, was wheeled in and presented to him. Yep, rigged.
WHO OWNS WHAT?
"My house is my castle," said jolly George Crupp,
But Big Redevelopment ate the house up.
"My house is my castle," cried braggart Bill Bole,
But then a Grand Freeway swallowed it whole.
--J.R. MC CARTHY
DURING THE tense proxy fight yesterday for control of the Los Angeles Turf Club, before the showdown vote, chairman Leigh M. Battson was handed an urgent telephone message. He looked at it and asked if Mr. Blank were in the audience. A man got up. Possibly the message was a revised instruction on how to vote. "Will you kindly call PRoxy 0-0100?" Battson fluffed, then said quickly, "I mean SYcamore." Brought down the house.
IF YOU WANT to know where we are in outer space, the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers convention here next week will include a speech on "A Video-Tape Recorder for Use in a Satellite."
By the way, at last year's meeting Bill Weaver heard a man in the back row say of a speaker, "What's he talking about? I can't make out a word he's saying." His companion said, "I can't either." It's no place for laymen.
AROUND TOWN -- People in bars are making bets again on whether Chessman will get the gas . . . The rain the other day brought out the biggest crop of snails in west L.A. history, I know . . . Diehard old Angel fans are switching their allegiance to Detroit, where their idol, Steve Bilko, brushed off by the Dodgers, is hitting homers again.