Wylan Ernst contributed to this report.
HOBOKEN, N.J. — Vocalist, performer, and quite possibly the biggest Frank Sinatra enthusiast — meet Jerry Pearce. The New Jersey native and Stop & Shop bakery manager is famously known for his uncanny ability to cover the iconic Frank Sinatra.
Pearce is so skilled at mirroring the artist’s musical stylings, in fact, that he was even crowned the winner of the 2017 Hoboken Sinatra Idol. The annual event, held on the Hoboken riverfront, brought 15 singers together to perform the famous tunes of Hoboken’s greatest voice.
Sinatra himself grew up in Hoboken, and developed a passion for music at a young age. Frankie’s voice would often be heard in local Hoboken clubs like The Cat’s Meow and The Comedy Club; he even sang for free on radio stations such as W.A.A.T. in Jersey City.
But for Jerry Pearce, the admiration for Ol’ Blue Eyes started early.
It was long car rides with his grandfather that caused him to develop a love for the singer; his grandfather would play the same Sinatra CD on repeat whenever driving. He was just 10 years old at the time, but his love for Sinatra’s music never disappeared.
Sinatra wasn’t just known for his singing though: From the mid 1940s, he successfully began acting in major motion pictures. He starred in classics like the original ‘Ocean’s 11’, ‘Guys and Dolls’, ‘High Society’, and was even offered the role of John McClane in ‘Die Hard’, but, due to his age at the time, declined the part. Sinatra’s notorious and prolific career has garnered him Academy Awards, Grammys, Golden Globes, and even the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1985. He died 20 years ago, but to this day, is known as one of the greatest performers of the century.
And that’s exactly why Pearce is dedicated to honoring Sinatra by singing his music.
Today, he’s even part of a Facebook fan page “Frank Sinatra: You Will Be My Music.” Dedicated to The Voice himself, the group’s nearly 5,000 members commemorate the talented artist and his past, present, and future for music.
“If I can do my small part in keeping his legacy alive, I feel very fulfilled,” Pearce said.
Video produced by Michael Lee and Elle Spektor