Linda Nolan on tour­ing with Frank Si­na­tra in 1975

The Daily Telegraph - Telegraph Magazine - - Contents - Linda Nolan’s au­to­bi­og­ra­phy, From My Heart (Sidg­wick & Jack­son, £18.99), is out now

I WAS 15 WHEN this pic­ture was taken, at the be­gin­ning of our ca­reer as The Nolan Sis­ters – we were sup­port­ing Frank Si­na­tra on the Euro­pean leg of his tour. One day, early on in the tour, fol­low­ing our set at the Palais des Con­grès in Paris, we heard his voice as we walked down the cor­ri­dor. We hadn’t ac­tu­ally met him at that point and we froze and whis­pered to each other, ‘This can’t be hap­pen­ing!’ When we went to say hello, he put his arms around us and said, in a re­ally bad Ir­ish ac­cent, ‘Oh, I’ve got me daugh­ters here.’ We were all laugh­ing when the photo was taken, which is why I’m not look­ing at the cam­era.

Our act was 17 min­utes long and Si­na­tra let us use his 60-piece or­ches­tra. The first time we sang a bal­lad (The Os­monds’ ver­sion of I Be­lieve) with the or­ches­tra, our man­age­ment told us to look like we knew what we were do­ing. We’d never worked with an or­ches­tra be­fore and, when the song fin­ished, we all screamed with ex­cite­ment, and you could see our man­age­ment team shrink­ing in their chairs and think­ing, ‘Oh, God.’

We toured all the ma­jor venues with Frank for two weeks, in­clud­ing two shows at the Royal Al­bert Hall. Our Dad, Tommy, had brought us up on his mu­sic, so to be asked to ap­pear with him was a fairy tale. At the Royal Al­bert Hall we watched from the side of the stage while Frank re­hearsed one of his bal­lads, and he came over to us and said, ‘You girls won’t know this one,’ but we knew all the songs and we sang the next cho­rus for him!

Dad was thrilled when he found out we were sup­port­ing Frank. When he and Mum came to the show, we brought them back­stage to meet him.

In Brus­sels we bought a lit­tle doll and asked for it to be given to Frank for his first grand­child. The next time we bumped into him, he was with Elizabeth Tay­lor and all his se­cu­rity team, and he pushed his way through and came over and said, ‘Thank you so much for the doll. I’m go­ing to take it home in my lug­gage and make sure that AJ gets it.’

At one point we saw him with three of his wives to­gether: Mia Far­row, Ava Gard­ner and his wife at the time, Barbara Marx. Plus, Michael Caine was in the au­di­ence. It was just like be­ing in a Hol­ly­wood mu­si­cal, and we still say that was the high­light of our ca­reer.

When the tour ended, Si­na­tra gave us all a gold key ring with a lit­tle medal­lion on it that said ‘Love and Peace – Frank Si­na­tra’, and then we flew home and were back at school on the Mon­day. Our school friends weren’t too fussed that we’d toured with him – at the time they were more im­pressed when we were on Top of the Pops –but their par­ents were.

— In­ter­view by Jes­sica Carpani.

At one point we saw him with three of his wives to­gether: Mia Far­row, Ava Gard­ner and Barbara Marx

From left Linda, Anne, Denise, Mau­reen and Bernie Nolan with Frank Si­na­tra

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