'Frank Sinatra, 9229 Sunset Blvd.': The Little Black Books of Pop-Culture Icons

By Alison Nastasi

The social lives of legendary celebrities, as told by their datebooks and address records

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The words "little black book" conjure all kinds of salacious ideas about jet-setting playboys and Hollywood madams. The earliest black book may be Harris' List of Covent Garden Ladies—a directory of 18th-century prostitutes working in London, which sold thousands of copies annually. Since then, the little black book has evolved into more of a straightforward address book. Depending on your style, it can be a free-form collage of facts and memories about those you meet, or a rigid, alphabetized list of names and numbers.

I recently spotted Marlon Brando's little black book on Tumblr. Fascinated by the handwriting, worn pages, and contents, I went searching for other black books kept by pop-culture icons. Below, see what fascinating observations, secrets, and contacts were found hiding between the pages.

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This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2013/03/frank-sinatra-9229-sunset-blvd-the-little-black-books-of-pop-culture-icons/273688/