Where’s the music? Brian Donohue probes source of silence at famous ‘Sinatra House’
Anyone who has ever walked the full length of the boardwalk in Point Pleasant Beach may be familiar with one of the most well-known houses at the Jersey Shore: the Sinatra House, a home known for playing the music of Frank Sinatra for all to hear.
The Sinatra House was owned by the late Paul Smith, the former chairman at Sony Music. For 31 years, the home would play Sinatra tunes for 13 hours a day, seven days a week. Smith started the tradition.
Smith died in 2002 and his four kids and their children have kept the music going. But this summer there have been long stretches of silence. News 12 New Jersey’s Brian Donohue went to investigate.
It was there that he found Joe from Howell, who had rented the home next door for a summer vacation.
“All day long people are looking for the music. And most of them are asking me why it’s not on,” Joe says. “And I can’t really answer because I don’t know why it’s not on.”
It turns out that the music’s disappearance is a classic New Jersey tale of family, tradition, real estate and people moving to Florida. One of Smith’s sons, who used the house the most in the summer, has moved away with his family. There is now a family debate among Smith’s four children about whether they will sell the home.
In the meantime, Smith’s grandchildren often come by the house and turn the music on when they are visiting for the weekends. But it has been far less often recently.
Donohue met a man named Corey who claimed to be a friend of Smith’s grandson, Parker. Corey has a key to the home and called Parker to see if he could get the OK to go inside and turn the music on – but was not successful.
Donohue then busted out his own speaker and tried playing some of his own Sinatra music. But he said that it just wasn’t the same.
And then finally when it seemed that all hope was lost, one of Smith’s other grandsons Dane arrived for the weekend and turned the music on before he even unpacked.
Donohue told him that people have been asking to hear the music.
“It makes us happy to hear it, but it makes us just as sad when we can’t do it,” says Dane Smith. “Me personally, I want to keep the house forever. But you know how families get. Sometimes it's tough.”
For at least one more summer weekend at the Sinatra House, Frank Sinatra sang his songs as people strolled the golden sand.