Tony “The Clam” Consiglio…

…is finally opening up to offer us an inside view Frank Sinatra — Tony’s best friend for more than 60 years.

Beyond being a “never in doubt” loyal compatriot to Frank, Mr. Consiglio apparently earned his nickname by being extremely tight lipped … apparently NEVER parting with any low-down on the private doings of Mr. S and his pack of rats.

At least that’s the story proffered in Franz Douskey’s interesting new book “Sinatra And Me: The Very Good Years” that released this week.

Randall Beach has a great book intro/review piece — Memories of Sinatra captured in best friend’s words — in the New Haven Register this week. Beach hits on the special nature of the Sinatra-Consiglio relationship and the process that Franz Douskey had to work out with Tony C. to get “the clam” to open up.

Tony strongly believed he was going to meet up with Frank in heaven, so even when “the clam” eventually opened up, he reserved the right to cull anything he ultimately decided should not be published … what a great friend.

Mr. Consiglio rejoined his best friend in 2008 with a clean conscience … I figure they’re hitting all the swinging spots with Dean, Sam and the gang.

Beach turns out a nice intro article…

…that sets the table well for what sounds like a great read on Sinatra — the man — and his constellation of friends, wives, lovers, politicos and enemies.

“Sinatra and Me: The Very Good Years” sounds like a super-sized version of the Sinatra we glanced from Gay Talese’s elegantly insightful Esquire magazine article — “Frank Sinatra Has a Cold” (VS review here).

I have “Sinatra and Me” resting comfortably in my kindle for my holiday reading pleasure, right after I finish Randisi’s latest Rat Pack Mystery — “It Was A Very Bad Year” . (BTW the “Sinatra and Me” kindle price is only $6.99 — a huge discount off the $20 paperback price.)

Check out Randall Beach’s New Haven Register piece; if like me you just can’t consume enough Rat Pack lore, hit Amazon and take advantage of their unusually good kindle deal on “Sinatra and Me: The Very Good Years”.