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Julie’s mom died last year at 87. Julie posted a notice on the Around the World in 80 Days Web site, which provides another clue of her ongoing bond with Frank Sinatra; Julie’s mom appears in the Barbary Coast saloon scene in the 1956 film, alongside Sinatra during his cameo.
Julie Sinatra’s mission now is to develop the music she felt was always inside her and was stifled, and to push for a new view of education, which she feels very strongly based on her experience has to do a better job of nurturing children’s talents rather than suppressing them.
“The only reason my story is important is how it relates to education,” she says. “I’m an extreme example of how not to raise a human being. I survived because I got a connection with nature and horses. We need to shift education to help young people find out who they are. Oppressed people feel fear, which is at the root of hate and greed. Would you be fearful if you were confident in who you were? No! You feel like dad’s song, I’ve Got the World on a String. Creativity is the key to life. Kids need to be taught it’s OK to follow your heart. That’s just what my dad was all about. Don’t let people put limitations on you.”
Julie first found her way to the Sedona area years ago, when friends asked her help in buying an Arizona ranch. When here, she saw areas similar to a dream she’d had, and thought it was a sign she should be here. She ended up managing the property for its owner and lived there for six years. She recently moved to her current home in Cornville. (Julie has one son, Dan, 39, from the first of her four marriages.)
Sedona saw her first formal concert as Julie Sinatra in December at the Sedona Creative Life Center, including a song written for her father, Made Me Strong. She plans to record a CD this spring, followed by a set of “more spiritual/nature songs.” She’s completed a manuscript of her story.
Her hope now that she knows her name is to live up to its responsibilities, but that feels like it’s coming naturally.
“I went through a lot of frustration for a long time,” she says. “How could I, as a musical person, not have been told that Frank Sinatra was my father? But the more I’ve learned about him, the more I’ve learned we had more in common than just music and blue eyes. He had ethics. A commitment to truth – that was very important to him. When I showed those traits, my mother’s family would call it my ‘ivory tower’ and rejected me for it…again protecting her secret.”
Now, she’s embraced that side of her personality wholeheartedly. “I’d want him to be proud of me,” she says. “I’ll always give my best, not slough off, keep the tradition. It’s a challenge. He’s a model of the ethic, and I want to be responsible to that through my music and how I handle myself in the world.”
MORE SEDONA MONTHLY INTERVIEWS: Susan Sarandon, Tony Curtis, Joan Collins, Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez, Lea Thompson, Don Black, Beatrice Welles, Frances Fisher, Gary Sinise, Rita Rudner, Michael Moore, Tim Daly, Maynard James Keenan, Richard Schiff, Connie Stevens, Don Hahn, Ed Harris, Marla Sokoloff, Bill Plympton, Jane Seymour, Robert Osborne, Robert Shields