DEC 12, 1915 - MAY 14, 1998 "THE CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD" (aka: "The Voice" and "Ol Blue Eyes")
_Born December 12, 1915 in Hoboken, New Jersey, Frank Sinatra was one of
the top ten most popular entertainers of the 20th century. His career in all music
and film spanned 50 years, charting his transformation from band singer to dreamy
"bobby sox" crooner to cosmopolitan swinger to icon. His name is woven distinctly beside the other legends of his time, who also started singing with a big band: Perry Como, Doris Day, Bing Crosby.
Sinatra demonstrated a remarkable ability to maintain his appeal and pursue his musical goals despite often countervailing trends and a not too savory public image because of his negative feelings for members of the press. He came to the fore during the swing era of the 1930s and '40s, helped to define the "sing era" of the '40s and '50s, and continued to attract listeners during the rock era that began in the mid-'50s. He scored his first number one hit in 1940 and was still making million-selling recordings in 1994. This popularity was a mark of his success at singing and promoting the American popular song as it was written. He was able to take the work of great theater and pop song composers such as Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Richard Rodgers and reinterpret their songs for later audiences in a way that led to their rediscovery and their permanent enshrinement as classics. On records and in live performances, on film, radio, and television, he consistently sang standards in a way that demonstrated their perennial appeal. He is one of the few 20th Century musical icons who still has contemporary radio stations that daily and consistently play his music, including XM and FM broadcasts such as "Seriously Sinatra" and "Sinatra Swings"!
Frank Sinatra was known as Ol' Blue Eyes to his fans. One of the first entertainment superstars the world has known. Sinatra's songs have a timeless beauty to them. His hit songs include "Strangers in the Night", "The Lady is a Tramp", "New York, New York'' and "Chicago." He was the first ever star to have teenage girl fans scream at him in public. The word bobbysoxer was coined around this time.
Sinatra, the actor, refused to be typecast or slotted into any particular category. He acted in serious movies such as "The Manchurian Candidate", and "From here to eternity" , capers such as "Ocean's Eleven" and outrageous musicals such as "Guys and Dolls" and "Pal Joey". He went on to act in more than fifty films.
Frank is a ten time Grammy award winner, two time Golden Globe winner and Best Supporting Actor Oscar winner for "From Here to Eternity." He also won an honorary Oscar for his work on "The House I Live In" which was a short film advocating racial equality and secularism. Apart from these he also won the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award and Cecil B DeMille Award. National achievements included Kennedy Center Honors Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as the Congressional Gold Medal and Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Another legacy of Frank Sinatra was the legendary "Rat Pack". It comprised his close friends in the entertainment business and included Dean Martin, Joey Bishop, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford, Milton Berle and Tony Curtis. This group was very instrumental in bringing about the success of Las Vegas and the lounge acts for which it is famous.
It will be an understatement to say that Sinatra had a busy love life. At various points in time he was married to Ava Gardner, Mia Farrow and Barbara Marx. When Frank married Mia Farrow, he was thirty years older than her. His lovers included Lauren Bacall, Juliet Prowse and Dorothy Provine. Sinatra was to be married to Bacall but he called it off when he realized that the press had heard of their engagement.
But it was not only milk and honey for Sinatra. His FBI file is in excess of two thousand pages. He was plagued with mob affiliations throughout his entire career. It is rumored that the character of Johnny Fontane in the book "Godfather" was inspired by Sinatra. He lost his gambling license in Nevada after he was seen in the company of mobster, Sam Giancana, who was accused of ordering the killing of more than two hundred people.
Another Sinatra fan was the infamous gangster, Lucky Luciano. Frank Sinatra, Jr was kidnapped in 1963. It was only on the payment of ransom money by his father that he was released. For his part Frank steadfastly denied his alleged mob links throughout his life. Sinatra's children have all done work that keeps their illustrious father's legacy intact. His daughter Nancy Sinatra wrote two books about Frank. His son Frank Sinatra Jr, was the conductor in his father's orchestra. Frank Sinatra's youngest daughter, Christina, produced a mini series on the life of her father.
Though Frank announced his retirement in 1971, there was no way that his fans would let him stop. He appeared in numerous television serials and movies throughout the 1980s'. In 1993 and 1994 he released two albums called Duets I and Duets II, featuring his famous songs, now re-recorded with current best selling artists. These turned out to be his highest ever selling albums. He even went on to the win the Grammy for Duets II.
Frank had over 30 charted single hits as vocalist with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, including such million sellers as: "I'll Never Smile Again", "Dolores", "In The Blue of The Evening", "There Are Such Things", and the prophetic "I'll Be Seeing You", his last recording with the Dorsey Band.
Between 1942 and 1980, he hit the charts with over 163 top single records. His Career Biggies:
"All or Nothing At All" (1943) "Oh! What It Seemed To Be" (1946) "Five Minutes More" (1946) "Mam'selle" (1947) "From Here To Eternity" (1953) "Young at Heart" (1954) "Three Coins in The Fountain" (1954) "Learning The Blues" (1955) "Love And Marriage" (1955) "The Tender Trap" (1955) "Hey! Jealous Lover" (1956) "All The Way" (1957) "Witchcraft" (1958) "Strangers in the Night" (1966) "That's Life" (1966) "Something Stupid" (1967) (with Nancy) "My Way" (1969) (his signature song) "New York, New York" (1980)
Sinatra recorded over 61 studio albums, of which four were #1 million sellers: "The Voice" 1946 "Come Fly With Me" 1958 "Nice 'n Easy" 1960 "Strangers in the Night" 1966
His last two albums (recorded with other artists), DUETS and DUETS II (1990)--both hit the Top Ten!
There is no end to the innumerable music and video collections featuring this great artist; it is like being in a never-ending candy store: you pay your money and take your choice. Check them out on www.amazon.com