In 2015, Richard was thrilled to make his U.S. Sinatra debut with a 3-night series of concerts honouring Frank Sinatra's centennial year, 'A Very Good Year' at the US Grant Hotel, San Diego working alongside some of Frank Sinatra's original musicians in 2015. In December 2016, Richard brought his sell-out Edinburgh Festival show, ‘Sinatra and Me’, to LA’s premier jazz venue, Catalina Jazz Bar on Sunset Boulevard'
“No one should take lightly standing on a stage and trying to BE Frank Sinatra. But Richard Shelton, the man who portrays him, is quite simply phenomenal. He captures the essence of the man perfectly. His voice has exactly the right tone; he has that twinkle in his eye; he has that anger that sometimes flowed out of every Sinatra pore.” Mike Young – BBC, ‘Rat Pack Confidential’ – London.
It was a review which accompanied Shelton’s nomination of ‘BEST ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE in the prestigious British ‘Manchester Evening News Awards’.
As a child, Richard came across a magazine which included a childhood photograph of Frank Sinatra. He was immediately struck by the facial similarities. The same face, same mouth, those same twinkling blue eyes brimming with ambition and curiosity. And so a lifelong relationship began.
It would be 30 years later when as an accomplished actor and jazz singer that Richard would be called on to portray Frank Sinatra in the hard-hitting drama ‘RAT PACK CONFIDENTIAL’. In a no-holes barred story, the lives of Frank, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr. were played out in full view of the public on the London stage.
“Sinatra was marvellously played by Richard Shelton, singing the hits with style with a smile that turns on and off like a lightbulb and an edge of near psychotic violence.” – Charles Spencer, The Daily Telegraph.
“Richard Shelton’s splendidly tough yet laid-back performance as the Pack Leader.” – Benedict Nightingale, The Times.
“Shelton captures perfectly Sinatra’s string pulling menace.” – Michael Billington, The Guardian
Similarities don’t stop there. When Richard put his hands and feet into the impressions of Frank Sinatra’s on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, he discovered they were identical and were even made on Richard’s birthday. They are the same height, share the same passion for swing music and even the same favourite colour – orange.
But Richard is an actor and holds the legend of Sinatra in the highest esteem.
“My job as an actor is to emulate the essence and evoke the spirit of Frank Sinatra. To make people feel that they’ve spent time with him,” says Shelton. “To tell stories through song and move them, persuade them. They should walk away saying “I feel like I’ve just spent an evening with Frank Sinatra.” If they do that, then I have done my job.”
Shelton is preparing to step back into the shiny shoes of Frank Sinatra in ‘SINATRA-THE MAIN EVENT’ touring the UK and London with a view to a future international and U.S. tour.