Bobby Cole

Frank Sinatra walks into a bar...

Well, Frank called it a “bistro,” and Jilly’s on 52nd Street even had matchbooks that when opened read, “My favorite bistro — Frank Sinatra.” Jilly’s also featured Frank’s “favorite saloon singer,” Bobby Cole, who held court there for many years. His other gigs around New York landed him a recording contract with Columbia, but the 1960 release from the Bobby Cole Trio, while well reviewed, failed to gain traction. It featured no original material from Cole, and was essentially a recorded version of his Jilly’s act — one hard to capture on LP.

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