Sinatra: The Man, the Myth, the Music

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Jerry Gretzinger’s explorations of the Great American Songbook over the past fifteen years led him to appreciate and then celebrate the legacy of The Chairman of the Board, Frank Sinatra. Gretzinger does not imitate Frank. Sinatra created a style and embraced a repertoire that no one else has mastered. In The Man, the Myth, and the Music, the former television news anchor, joined on a few numbers by his talented singer-wife, Erin, paints an intimate musical portrait of a performer who was bigger than life.

Jerry’s first Sinatra show, Mostly Frank, created in the cabaret at Fort Salem Theater, was recorded live at WAMC’s Linda Auditorium in Albany, broadcast regularly even now on the PBS station since its first airing in 2011. He and Erin have perfected their musical material in presentations at Fort Salem Theater, MacHaydn Theatre, Caffè Lena, and Prime at Saratoga National. 

This past winter, the Gretzingers appeared together in local productions of The Music Man and Guys and Dolls. They have performed opposite one another in two Fort Salem musicals, Women in My Life and Frank and Stein, which Jerry co-wrote with their musical director and arranger, Jay Kerr. The lead character in that show, Bobby Stein, is a genetic scientist obsessed with singing Frank Sinatra songs, so much so that he robs Sinatra’s grave and injects himself with the Chairman’s DNA. Frank; and Stein. Laugher and Sinatra songs ensue.

Gretzinger’s easy-going style has developed from work in over two hundred classic musicals and cabarets, from his childhood in Kingston, at the directorial hand of his father, to lead roles in professional and community theater shows throughout the Capital Region. In over two decades reporting the news and as a co-anchor with icons Liz Bishop and Benita Zahn, he developed quick, effective reflexes, ably reacting with ease to breaking news and on-set mishaps.

Jerry currently supplements his musical activities with a full-time day job in communications with a state agency.