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Sinatra, Frank

Frank Sinatra

Singer

For the Record

Career Blossomed with Dorsey

Ava Gardner a Major Influence

Selected discography

Sources

Legendary singer Frank (Francis Albert) Sinatra was arguably one of the greatestand most acclaimed vocalists in this century; he made 1,414 studio recordings and had at least one song on the music charts every year between 1945 and 1995. He was as much noted for his passionate approach to life as for his music, and his ironclad self-confidence combined with classic good looks, pitched him into the realm of celebrity early in his career. He married high-profile actresses and starred in films himself, and his glamorous lifestyle eventually epitomized the Hollywood of the 1950s and 1960s. Frank Sinatra became an icon due to his romantic ballads, smooth, heartfelt vocal style, timeless material, and abundance of style. His singles My Way and New York, New York were so popular they transcended music to become a part of a larger, cultural bond, Time magazines Jay Cocks wrote, Not only does his music define the time and temper of the American decades in which it was made, but his singing moves those songs out of time into something indistinct, everlasting. In Sinatras music, there is no past tense. You could say he was the greatest, and thats right. But theres nothing you can call him that doesnt in some way sell him short. Except Sinatra.

Legendary jazz vocalist Cassandra Wilson told Time magazines Christopher John Farley in 1998, I wish Frank Sinatra influenced more singers today. He comes from a time when it about the phrasing of a piece, the emotional content of a piece. He descended from Billie Holiday and singers who placed more emphasis on the lyrical content of the song. Bono, lead singer for Irelands rock group U2, told Farley, Rock-n-roll people love Frank Sinatra because Frank Sinatra has got what we wantswagger and attitude.

Frank Sinatra was born in Hoboken, NJ, on December 12, 1915 to Anthony Martin (Marty) a boxer, boiler and fireman and Natalie Della (Dolly) Garaventi Sinatra a midwife and saloon owner. His mother allegedly oversaw an illegal abortion service. Dolly Sinatra was a powerful figure in the local community, and her temperament was closely matched to that of her sons: both were fiery, determined, and strong-willed, traits that would describe Frank Sinatra throughout his long life and career. Sinatra was a lackluster student in school, and he decided while in his teens that he wanted to be a singer. A friend of Sinatras named Maria Brush Schrieber told Kitty Kelley author of His Way: The Unauthorized Biography of Frank Sinatra, He loved hanging around musicians, so I suggested he get an orchestra together for our Wednesday night school dances. Hed just started singing (publicly) a little bit (at about age seventeen), and in exchange for hiring the musicians hed get to sing a few numbers with the band.

For the Record

Born Francis Albert Sinatra, December 12, 1915 in Hoboken, NJ; died May 17, 1998; father named Anthony Martin (a boxer, boilermaker, and fireman); mother named Natalie Della Garaventi (a midwife and bar owner); married Nancy Barbato on February 4, 1939 (divorced 1951); married actress Ava Gardner on November 7, 1951 (divorced 1957); married actress Mia Farrow on July 19, 1966 (divorced 1968); married dancer Barbara Jane Blakeley Marx on July 11, 1976; children (first marriage) Nancy Sandra and Franklin Wayne.

Worked as a copy boy and reporter covering college sports for the Jersey Observer during the early 1930s; professional singer 1936-1998; sang with the Hoboken Four in 1937; featured singer with Harry James Music Makers from 1939-1940, with the Tommy Dors-ey Orchestra 1940-42, and with Benny Goodmans band in 1942; began solo career in 1942; star of Lucky Strike Hit Parade radio program from 1943-1945; actor in more than 60 films, including From Here To Eternity, 1953; The Man With The Golden Arm, 1955; and The Detective, 1968; producer of and actor in the film The First Deadly Sin, 1980.

Awards: Billboard magazines Top Band Vocalist, 1941; Down Beat magazines Top Band Vocalist, 1943; recipient of Special Academy Award, 1945; Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for From Here To Eternity, 1953; Down Beat magazines Most Popular Male Vocalist and Top Pop Records Personality, 1954; Grammy Award for Best Album, 1959, 1965, and 1966, for Best Male Vocalist, 1959, 1965, and 1966, and for Record of the Year, 1966; Emmy Award, 1965; George Foster Peabody Award, 1965; Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award from Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1971; Screen Actors Guild Award, 1972; Presidential Medal of Freedom, 1985; Kennedy Center Honor, 1986; Lifetime Achievement Award from National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), 1987.

Sinatras first real group was called The Three Flashes, a singing and dancing trio which, due to the addition of another Flash, later became The Hoboken Four. Sinatra is quoted in His Way as saying, I always liked to sing and I liked to be around bands and to have a part of the band glamour. I couldnt play an instrument and I didnt care about learning to play one. While I wasnt the best singer in the world, they werent the best bands in the country, either. After taking voice lessons, Sinatras mother used her influence with the musicians union to get him a job singing at the Rustic Cabin for $15 a week, and his performances were broadcast over the radio. Trumpeter Harry James, after recently leaving the Benny Goodman band, was searching for a singer for his new band in June of 1939 when he first heard Sinatra over the radio. He was so taken with Sinatras voice that he went to the Rustic Cabin and hired Sinatra to sing with his MusicMakers for $75 per month. One of the early Sinatra-James hits was portentously titled, All or Nothing at All. Unfortunately, reviews of the young Sinatras singing were not favorable, and the band was even thrown out of the club, Victor Hugos, after one particularly underwhelming session. After just seven months of his two-year contract, Sinatra quit the MusicMakers to join Tommy Dorseys orchestra.

Career Blossomed with Dorsey

Sinatra came into his own while working with Dorsey. He learned about phrasing, dynamics, and style from the way Dorsey played his horn, and he enjoyed his work because Dorsey felt a singer should always be given a perfect setting. Sinatra worked diligently at developing his own style, and often slurred the vocals just enough to drive the young girls in the audience wild. One tale has it that Sinatras agent, George Evans, planted screaming teenage girls in the front rows at Sinatras shows as a ploy to create a sensation. If thats the case, the ploy worked. The Dorsey-Sinatra single, Til Never Smile Again, went to number one on the charts, and by 1941 Sinatra had dethroned Bing Crosby in the Downbeat magazine poll for Top Band Vocalist. In January of 1942, Sinatra recorded four solo songs and was on the verge of leaving Dorseys band. The two had grown very close and Dorsey was even godfather to Sinatras daughter, so when Sinatra left the band in September of 1942, it marked the end of their friendship.

In December of 1942 Sinatra sang with Benny Goodmans band, widely considered the most popular band at the time, at New York Citys Paramount, earning $1,250 a week. He also appeared in the movie Higher and Higher. He was criticized for not serving in the armed forces during World War II at time when patriotism was running high. In His Way, he is quoted as saying, Ive planned my career. From the first minute I walked on stage I determined to get exactly where I am. In 1946 he signed a five-year contract with MGM for $260,000 annually to make movies at a time when he was at the top of the music polls and had sold more than ten million records. By 1949, Sinatra had dropped to number 49 in the top 50 in record sales, due to his emphasis on a movie career at the expense of his music career. At this juncture in his career, his films didnt take off as planned and his marriage to first wife Nancy Barbato was shaky.

Ava Gardner a Major Influence

In 1951 he divorced Nancy and married high-profile actress Ava Gardner. Their stormy marriage lasted for only five years, but Gardner was instrumental in securing his role in the film From Here To Eternity. Sinatra had desperately yearned for the role, and when he landed it he was overjoyed. He garnered an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor, and went on to appear in The Man With The Golden Arm, Pal Joey, Some Came Running, A Hole in the Head, The Joker is Wild, The Manchurian Candidate, and more than 52 other movies. Gardner also had a profound effect on his singing. Veteran music arranger Nelson Riddle told Kelley, It was Ava who did that, who taught him how to sing a torch song. Thats how he learned. She was the greatest love of his life and he lost her.

Sinatras collaboration with Riddle began when he left the Columbia label in 1952 and signed with Capitol. He was teamed with Riddle and the two collaborated on such hits as My One and Only Love, A Foggy Day, My Funny Valentine, and 1954s Billboard top single, the million-disc seller, Young At Heart. After a ten-year hiatus, Sinatra had returned to the top of the charts. His string of million-sellers continued with Love and Marriage, Learnin the Blues, The Tender Trap, All The Way, Witchcraft, and Hey, Jealous Lover. In 1956 he divorced Ava Gardner, and dated a succession of entertainment figures such as Liz Taylor, Lauren Bacali, Judy Garland, and Juliet Prowse. His personal life sometimes overshadowed his public persona: affiliations with reputed mobsters like Sam Giancana caused him much grief and truncated his invitations to president J.F. Kennedys white house parties. Cocks wrote, There was an Italian street-kid swagger that made such good cover for his black-and-blue soulfulness.that attitude was a dodge protecting his private preserve of deepest feeling and experience, saving it for where it was needed most: the songs.

Sinatras 1965 album, September of My Years, won a Grammy Award, and in 1971 he announced his retirement at a farewell show at L.A.s Music Center. His retirement was short-lived and he returned with a television special and a new album, Ol Blue Eyes is Back, in 1973. Sinatra was regarded in the music world as the consummate professional. Quincy Jones produced Sinatras 1984 release, L.A. Is My Lady, and described his experience with Sinatra for Downbeat: He came in at 2 p.m., and in less than two hours we had rehearsed, had keys and routinesn on ten songs. Frank is one take, thats it. If the bands not in shape, he leaves them behind he came in at 7[:00], and at 8:20, baby, we went home. None of that three month stuff. Sinatra was criticized for performing in Sun City, South Africa, in the early 1980s, yet he devoted a lot of energy to fighting racism and performing community services. He received numerous awards along these lines, including the Philadelphia Freedom Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. When Sinatra released Duets in 1993, which featured some of the brightest stars in music singing with him, he further underscored the fact that his appeal and his music are universal.

Cocks wrote, The proud champion of classic American pop fought a pitched battle against the engulfing tide of rock in the 60s. Became musics elder statesman in the 70s. Then the resurgent master of the 80s. Andat last, at the end of his daysthe icon who could be forgiven anything for a song. He died of a heart attack on May 14, 1998 in Los Angeles, California. He is survived by his wife and three children.

Selected discography

Albums; released by Capitol

Song For Young Lovers, 1954

Swing Easy, 1954.

In The Wee Small Hours, 1955.

Songs For Swingin Lovers, 1956.

Close To You, 1957.

A SwinginAffair, 1957.

Where Are You, 1957.

A Jolly Christmas From Frank Sinatra, 1957.

Come Fly With Me, 1958.

Only the Lonely, 1958.

Come Dance With Me, 1959.

Look To Your Heart, 1959.

No One Cares, 1959.

Nice n Easy, 1960.

Sinatras Swingin Session, 1961.

All The Way, 1961.

Come Swing With Me, 1961.

Point of No Return, 1962.

Sinatra Sings of Love and Things, 1962.

Point of No Return, 1962.

Frank Sinatra Sings Rodgers and Hart, 1963.

Tell Her You Love Her, 1963.

The Selected Johnny Mercer, 1963.

The Great Hits of Frank Sinatra, 1964.

The Selected Cole Porter, 1965.

Forever Frank, 1966.

The Movie Songs, 1967.

Duets, 1993.

Released by Reprise

Ring A Ding-Ding, 1961.

Sinatra Swings, 1961.

I Remember Tommy, 1961.

Sinatra and Strings, 1962.

Sinatra and Swingin Brass, 1962.

All Alone, 1962.

Sinatra-Basie, 1963.

The Concert Sinatra, 1963.

Sinatras Sinatra, 1963.

Frank Sinatra Sings Days of Wine and Roses, Moon River and Other Academy Award Winners, 1964.

Sinatra-Basie: It Might As Well Be Swing, 1964.

Softly, As I Leave You, 1964.

Sinatra 65, 1965.

September of My Years, 1965.

A Man and His Music, 1965.

My Kind of Broadway, 1965.

Moonlight Sinatra, 1966.

Strangers in the Night, 1966.

Sinatra-Basie: Sinatra at the Sands, 1966.

Thats Life, 1966.

Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim, 1967.

Francis Sinatra and Frank & Nancy, 1967.

Francis A. & Edward K., 1968.

Cycles, 1968.

My way, 1969.

A Man Alone, 1969.

Watertown, 1970.

Sinatra & Company, 1971.

Ol Blue Eyes Is Back, 1973.

Some Nice Things Ive Missed, 1974.

The Main Event/Live From Madison Square Garden, 1974.

Trilogy (three record Ip), 1980.

She Shot Me Down, 1981.

The Reprise Collection (4 CD set), 1992.

Sinatra and Sextet: Live in Paris (1962 recording), 1994.

Everything Happens to Me, 1996.

On Qwest:

L.A. Is My Lady (arranged by Quincy Jones), 1984.

On Columbia:

Frank SinatraThe voice: The Columbia Years, 1943-1952, 1986.

Swing and Dance with Frank Sinatra, 1996.

Sources

Books

Ewen, David, All the Years of American Popular Music, Prentice-Hall, 1977.

Kelley, Kitty, His Way: The Unauthorized Biography of Frank Sinatra, Bantam, 1986.

Marsh, Dave and John Swenson, eds., The Rolling Stone Record Guide, Random House/Rolling Stone Press, 1979.

Simon, George T., The Big Bands, Schirmer Books, 1967.

Periodicals

Down Beat, March, 1985; April, 1985.

Rolling Stone, June 12, 1980; September 18, 1980.

Time, May 25, 1998.

Online

www.musicnet.com/franksinatra/discography

B. Kimberly Taylor

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Taylor, B.. "Sinatra, Frank." Contemporary Musicians. 1999. Encyclopedia.com. 25 May. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

Taylor, B.. "Sinatra, Frank." Contemporary Musicians. 1999. Encyclopedia.com. (May 25, 2016). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3494100077.html

Taylor, B.. "Sinatra, Frank." Contemporary Musicians. 1999. Retrieved May 25, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3494100077.html

Sinatra, Frank

Frank Sinatra

Singer

For the Record

Selected discography

Sources

Frank Sinatra was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, on December 12, 1915, and even though his tender father, Marty, helped to raise him, it was his mother, Dolly, who would have the most influence on his character. She was a powerful figure in the local community who ran a saloon and, allegedly, an illegal abortion service. She had an extremely short temper and the ability to walk over anyone who got in her way; traits that would also be attributed to her son. A poor student in school, Sinatra decided he wanted to be a singer during his teens. He didnt have a job at the time, but he loved hanging around musicians, said a friend of Sinatras, Maria Brush Schrieber, so I suggested that he get an orchestra together for our Wednesday night school dances. Hed just started singing [in public] a little bit [at about age 17] and in exchange for hiring the musicians hed get to sing a few numbers with the band, Schrieber told Kitty Kelley, author of the controversial His Way: The Unauthorized Biography of Frank Sinatra.

Sinatra has said he always knew he would be a successful singer, bigger than Bing Crosby one day. His first real group was The Three Flashes, a singing and dancing trio which later became The Hoboken Four. I always liked to sing and I liked to be around bands and to have a part of the band glamour. I couldnt play an instrument and I didnt care about learning to play one. While I wasnt the best singer in the world, they werent the best bands in the country either, he is quoted in His Way.

After taking some vocal lessons, his mother pulled some strings with the musicians union and got him a job singing at the Rustic Cabin for $15 a week. Trumpeter Harry James had just left the Benny Goodman band and was looking for a singer for the band he was forming when he heard Sinatra on the radio. James went to the Rustic and in June of 1939 hired Sinatra to sing with his Music Makers for $75 a month. Reviews of Sinatras singing were not overwhelmingly favorable, and the band was even thrown out of Victor Hugos during one gig. After just seven months of a two-year contract, Sinatra quit the band to join Tommy Dorseys orchestra.

I learned about dynamics and phrashing and style from the way he played his horn, and I enjoyed my work because he sees to it that a singer is always given a perfect setting, Sinatra told Metronome. His career began to blossom with Dorsey and he worked hard at developing his own unique style of slurring the vocals just enough to drive the young girls crazy. One tale has it that Sinatras agent, George Evans, planted screaming teenage girls in the front rows as a ploy to create a sensation. Regardless, their single, Ill Never Smile

For the Record

Full name, Francis Albert Sinatra; born December 12, 1915, in Hoboken, N.J.; son of Anthony Martin (a boxer, boilermaker, and fireman) and Natalie Delia (a midwife and saloon owner; maiden name, Garaventi) Sinatra; married Nancy Barbato, February 4, 1939 (divorced, 1951); married Ava Gardner (an actress), November 7, 1951, (divorced, 1957); married Mia Farrow (an actress), July 19, 1966 (divorced, 1968); married Barbara Jane Blakeley Marx (a dancer), July 11, 1976; children (first marriage) Nancy Sandra, Franklin Wayne, Christina. Education: Attended Demarest High School, Hoboken, N.Y.

Worked as copy boy and reporter covering college sports for Jersey Observer, during early 1930s; professional singer, 1936; sang with The Hoboken Four, 1937; featured singer with Harry Jamess Music Makers, 1939-40, with The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, 1940-42, and with Benny Goodmans band, 1942; began solo career in 1942; star of Lucky Strike Hit Parade radio program, 1943-45. Actor in more than 60 films, including From Here to Eternity, 1953, The Man With the Golden Arm, 1955, and The Dectective, 1968; producer of and actor in film The First Deadly Sin, 1980; has also appeared in featured dramatic roles on television; hosted two talk/variety shows on television during 1950s.

Awards: Billboard magazines top Band Vocalist, 1941; down beat magazines Top Band Vocalist, 1941; down beat magazines Top Vocalist, 1943; recipient of Special Academy Award, 1945, Academy Award for best supporting actor, 1953, for From Here To Eternity;down beat magazines Favorite Male Singer, 1946; down beat magazines Most Popular Male Vocalist and Top Pop Records Personality, 1954; Grammy Award for best album, 1959, 1965, and 1966, for best male vocalist, 1959, 1965, and 1966, and for record of the year, 1966; Emmy Award, 1965; George Foster Peabody Award, 1965; Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award from Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1971 ; Screen Actors Guild Award, 1972; Presidential Medal of Freedom, 1985; Kennedy Center Honor, 1986; Lifetime Achievement Award from National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), 1987.

Addresses: Office c/o Nathan Golden, 8501 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 250, Beverly Hills, CA 90211.

Again, went to number 1 and by 1941 Sinatra had dethroned Crosby in the down beat poll for Top Band Vocalist. In January of 1942, Sinatra recorded four solo songs and was on the verge of leaving Dorseys band. The two had become very close; Dorsey was even godfather to Sinatras daughter. When Sinatra left the band in September, it would be the end of their friendship.

In December of that year Sinatra sang with Benny Goodmans band, the hottest at the time, at New Yorks Paramount, earning $1, 250 a week. He also appeared in the movie Higher and Higher, but began receiving criticism for not serving in the armed forces during World War II. With things rolling along so well, Sinatra was not about to upset the flow. Ive planned my career. From the first minute I walked on a stage I determined to get exactly where I am, he said in His Way. In 1946 he signed a five-year contract with MGM for $260, 000 annually to make movies at a time when he was at the top of the music polls.

Because of Sinatras movie career, his singing was more or less put on hold. By 1949 he had sunk to number 49 in the top 50 in record sales, after selling more than ten million records just three years prior. His films were not taking off like he had planned and his marriage was also shaky. In 1951 he divorced Nancy and married actress Ava Gardner, beginning a stormy relationship that would end five years later. She was able to help Sinatra revive his acting career when she helped to secure his role in From Here To Eternity. He had desparately wanted the part and eventually earned an Oscar for best supporting actor.

Gardner also had a profound effect on his singing, according to veteran music arranger Nelson Riddle. It was Ava who did that, who taught him how to sing a torch song. Thats how he learned. She was the greatest love of his life and he lost her, he told Kelley. Sinatras collaboration with Riddle began when he left the Columbia label in 1952 and signed with Capitol. They teamed him with Riddle and the two worked together on such hits as: My One and Only Love, A Foggy Day, My Funny Valentine, and 1954s Billboard top single, the million-disc seller, Young at Heart.

After nearly ten years, Sinatra was back on top in the music world during the late 1950s. His string of million-sellers would continue: Love and Marriage, Learnin the Blues, The Tender Trap, All the Way, Witchcraft, and Hey, Jealous Lover. After his divorce from Gardner, he courted a seemingly endless row of entertainment beauties, including Liz Taylor, Judy Garland, Lauren Bacall, and Juliet Prowse. His film career continued with the likes of The Manchurian Candidate and The Man With the Golden Arm. All totaled, Sinatra has appeared in over 60 movies.

His affiliations with reputed mobsters have caused him much grief. He has been questioned numerous times about his involvement in the Las Vegas casino world, and after a fight there in 1970, he vowed to never play Vegas again (but he was back at Caesars Palace in 1974.

His 1965 album, September of My Years, won a Grammy Award, but in just six years he would announce his retirement from the recording studio at a farewell show at L.A.s Music Center. But, that too, was short-lived, and Sinatra was back with a television special and a new album, 01 Blues Eyes is Back, in 1973. Although his personal life may raise some eyebrows, as a professional, Sinatra is regarded in the music world as the consummate artist. Quincy Jones, who produced Sinatras 1984 release, LA. Is My Lady, described the session for down beat: Sinatra came into the office here, and started with a list of things he wanted to do. I had two or three suggestions. He came in at 2 p.m., and in less than two hours we had rehearsed, had keys and routines on 10 songs. Thats the way hes always recorded. Frank is one take, thats it. If the bands not in shape, he leaves them behind he came in at 7, and at 8:20, baby, we went home. None of that three month stuff.

Although he was criticized for performing in Sun City, South Africa, in the early 1980s, Sinatra has spent a good deal of time fighting racism and performing community services. He has received numerous awards, including the Philadelphia Freedom Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, accolades that help to quell the publicity focused on the more controversial aspects of his character. After his movies, marriages, reported mobster ties, awards, and bad press have been analyzed and attempts to separate popular myth from fact have been abandoned, there is only one true element by which to judge Frank Sinatra: the voice. There can be little doubt that Sinatra is the single greatest interpreter of American popular song we have had the pleasure of hearing, wrote down beats Pete Welding, the one performer who has raised what he deprecatingly refers to as saloon singing to a high art and who, over a long and distinguished career, has enriched American music with countless superior recordings of many of the idioms finest songs.

Selected discography

Albums; released by Capitol

Songs For Young Lovers, 1954.

Swing Easy, 1954.

In the Wee Small Hours, 1955.

Songs for Swingin Lovers, 1956.

Close to You, 1957.

A Swingin Affair, 1957.

Where Are You?, 1957

A Jolly Christmas from Frank Sinatra, 1957.

Come Fly With Me, 1958.

Only the Lonely, 1958.

Come Dance With Me, 1959.

Look to Your Heart, 1959.

No One Cares, 1959.

Nice n Easy, 1960.

Sinatras Swingin Session, 1961.

All the Way, 1961.

Come Swing with Me, 1961.

Point of No Return, 1962.

Sinatra Sings of Love and Things, 1962.

Released by Reprise

Ring-A-Ding-Ding, 1961.

Sinatra Swings, 1961.

I Remember Tommy, 1961.

Sinatra and Strings, 1962.

Sinatra and Swingin Brass, 1962.

All Alone, 1962.

Sinatra-Basie, 1963.

The Concert Sinatra, 1963.

Sinatras Sinatra, 1963.

Frank Sinatra Sings Days of Wine and Roses, Moon River and other Academy Award Winners, 1964.

Sinatra-Basie: It Might as Well be Swing, 1964.

Softly, As I Leave You, 1964.

Sinatra 65, 1965.

September of My Years, 1965.

A Man and His Music, 1965

My Kind of Broadway, 1965.

Moonlight Sinatra, 1966.

Strangers in the Night, 1966.

Sinatra-Basie: Sinatra at the Sands, 1966.

Thats Life, 1966.

Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim, 1967.

Frank Sinatra and Frank & Nancy, 1967.

Francis A. & Edward K., 1968.

Cycles, 1968.

My Way, 1969.

A Man Alone, 1969.

Watertown, 1970.

Sinatra & Company, 1971.

Ol Blue Eyes Is Back, 1973.

Some Nice Things Ive Missed, 1974.

The Main Event/Live from Madison Square Garden, 1974.

Trilogy (three-record album), 1980.

She Shot Me Down, 1981.

Released by QWest

LA. Is My Lady, 1984.

Also featured vocalist on numerous hit songs, including Night and Day, 1943, Nancy, 1945, Young at Heart, 1954, Love and Marriage, 1955, How Little We Know, 1956, Chicago, 1957, All the Way, 1957, High Hopes, 1959, It Was a Very Good Year, 1965, Softly, As I Leave You, 1964, Strangers In the Night, 1966, (with daughter, Nancy Sinatra) Somethin Stupid, 1969, and My Way, 1969.

Sources

Books

Ewen, David, All the Years of American Popular Music, Prentice-Hall, 1977.

Kelley, Kitty, His Way: The Unauthorized Biography of Frank Sinatra, Bantam 1986.

The Rolling Stone Record Guide, edited by Dave Marsh with John Swenson, Random House/Rolling Stone Press, 1979.

Simon, George T., The Big Bands, Schirmer Books, 1967.

Periodicals

down beat, March, 1985; April, 1985.

Rolling Stone, June 12, 1980; September 18, 1980.

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"Sinatra, Frank." Contemporary Musicians. 1989. Encyclopedia.com. 25 May. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Sinatra, Frank." Contemporary Musicians. 1989. Encyclopedia.com. (May 25, 2016). http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3491900077.html

"Sinatra, Frank." Contemporary Musicians. 1989. Retrieved May 25, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3491900077.html

Sinatra, Frank

SINATRA, Frank



Nationality: American. Born: Francis Albert Sinatra in Hoboken, New Jersey, 12 December 1915. Education: Attended David E. Rue Junior High School and Demarest High School, Hoboken. Family: Married 1) Nancy Barbato, 1939 (divorced 1950), daughters: the singer Nancy and Christina, son: Frank Jr.; 2) the actress Ava Gardner, 1951 (divorced 1957); 3) the actress Mia Farrow, 1966 (divorced 1968); 4) Barbara Marx, 1976. Career: 1935—singer with Hoboken Four: winner of Major Bowes' Amateur Hour contest, and appeared in short film; solo singer at clubs; 1939—singer with Harry James Band; first recordings; 1940–42—singer with Tommy Dorsey Band; 1942—first appearance as solo singer in New York; 1943–44—on radio program Your Hit Parade (also appeared on the show, 1947–49); 1945–47—on radio program Songs by Sinatra; 1950–52—in the musical TV series The Frank Sinatra Show; 1953—serious film role in From Here to Eternity; 1956—produced the film Johnny Concho; 1957–58—in the music and drama TV series The Frank Sinatra Show; 1960—formed his own record company, Reprise Records; 1965—directed the film None but the Brave. Awards: Best Supporting Actor Academy Award, for From Here to Eternity, 1953; Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, 1970. Died: 14 May 1998, in Los Angeles, of acute heart attack.


Films as Actor:

1935

Major Bowes' Amateur Theatre of the Air (Auer) (as singer)

1941

Las Vegas Nights (Murphy) (as band singer)

1942

Ship Ahoy (Buzzell) (as band singer)

1943

Reveille with Beverly (Barton) (as singer); Higher and Higher (Whelan) (as Frank); Show Business at War (March of Time series) (short)

1944

The Road to Victory (Prinz) (as himself); Step Lively (Whelan) (as Glen)

1945

The All Star Bond Rally (Audley) (as himself); Anchors Aweigh (Sidney) (as Clarence Doolittle); The House I Live In (LeRoy) (as himself)

1946

Till the Clouds Roll By (Whorf) (as himself)

1947

It Happened in Brooklyn (Whorf) (as Danny Miller)

1948

The Miracle of the Bells (Pichel) (as Father Paul); The Kissing Bandit (Benedek) (as Ricardo)

1949

Take Me Out to the Ball Game (Berkeley) (as Dennis Ryan); On the Town (Donen and Kelly) (as Chip); Adam's Rib (Cukor) (voice only)

1951

Double Dynamite (Cummings) (as Emile Keck); Meet Danny Wilson (Pevney) (title role)

1953

From Here to Eternity (Zinnemann) (as Angelo Maggio)

1954

Suddenly (Lewis Allen) (as John Baron)

1955

Young at Heart (Gordon Douglas) (as Barney Sloan); Not as a Stranger (Kramer) (as Alfred Boone); The Tender Trap (Walters) (as Charlie Reader); Guys and Dolls (Joseph L. Mankiewicz) (as Nathan Detroit); The Man with the Golden Arm (Preminger) (as Frankie Machine)

1956

Meet Me in Las Vegas (Viva Las Vegas) (Rowland) (as himself); High Society (Walters) (as Mike Connor); Around the World in Eighty Days (Anderson) (as piano player)

1957

The Pride and the Passion (Kramer) (as Miguel); The Joker Is Wild (Charles Vidor) (as Joe E. Lewis); Pal Joey (Sidney) (title role)

1958

Kings Go Forth (Daves) (as Lt. Sam Loggins); Some Came Running (Minnelli) (as Dave Hirsh)

1959

Invitation to Monte Carlo (Lloyd) (as himself); A Hole in the Head (Capra) (as Tony Manetta); Never So Few (John Sturges) (as Captain Tom Reynolds)

1960

Can-Can (Walter Lang) (as Francois Durnais); Ocean's Eleven (Milestone) (as Danny Ocean); Pepe (Sidney) (as himself)

1961

The Devil at Four O'Clock (LeRoy) (as Harvey)

1962

Sinatra in Israel (short) (as himself); The Road to Hong Kong (Panama) (as himself); The Manchurian Candidate (Frankenheimer) (as Bennett Marco)

1963

Come Blow Your Horn (Bud Yorkin) (as Alan Baker); The List of Adrian Messenger (Huston) (as Gypsy stableman); Four for Texas (Aldrich) (as Mack Thomas)

1964

Paris When It Sizzles (Quine) (as singing voice)

1965

Von Ryan's Express (Robson) (as Colonel Joseph Ryan); Marriage on the Rocks (Donohue) (as Dan Edwards)

1966

Cast a Giant Shadow (Shavelson) (as David "Mickey" Marcus); The Oscar (Rouse) (as himself); Assault on a Queen (Donohue) (as Mark Brittain)

1967

The Naked Runner (Furie) (as Sam Laker); Tony Rome (Gordon Douglas) (title role)

1968

The Detective (Gordon Douglas) (as Joe Leland); Lady in Cement (Gordon Douglas) (as Tony Rome)

1970

Dirty Dingus Magee (Kennedy) (title role)

1974

That's Entertainment! (Haley—compilation) (as narrator)

1977

Contract on Cherry Street (Graham—for TV) (as Detective Frank Horannes)

1984

Cannonball Run II (Needham) (as himself)

1988

Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (Zemeckis) (as voice of Singing Sword)

1989

Entertaining the Troops (doc)

1990

Listen Up!: The Lives of Quincy Jones (Weissbrod—doc)

1995

Young at Heart (for TV) (as himself); The Films of John Frankenheimer (Emery) (as himself); Sinatra: 80 Years My Way (as himself)

1996

Rodgers & Hammerstein: The Sound of Movies (Burns—for TV) (archive footage)



Films as Actor and Producer:

1956

Johnny Concho (McGuire) (title role)

1962

Sergeants 3 (John Sturges) (as Sgt. Mike Merry)

1964

Robin and the Seven Hoods (Gordon Douglas) (as Robbo)

1980

The First Deadly Sin (Hutton) (as Edward Delaney, exec pr)



Film as Actor, Director, and Producer:

1965

None but the Brave (as Chief Pharmacist Mate Maloney)



Publications


By SINATRA: books—

Sinatra in His Own Words, compiled by Guy Yarwood, New York, 1982.

A Man and His Art, New York, 1991.


By SINATRA: article—

"Frank Sinatra: My Meeting with the Chairman of the Board," interview with Walter Thomas, in Interview (New York), July 1991.

"And Then There Was One," interview with B. Zehme, in Esquire (New York), March, 1996.


On SINATRA: books—

Shaw, Arnold, Sinatra, New York, 1968.

Ringgold, Gene, and Clifford McCarty, The Films of Frank Sinatra, New York, 1971.

Barnes, Ken, Sinatra and the Great Song Stylists, London, 1972.

Romero, J., Sinatra's Women, New York, 1976.

Howlett, John, Frank Sinatra, New York, 1979.

Lonstein, Albert, and Vito Marino, The Revised Compleat Sinatra: Discography, Filmography, Television Appearances, Motion Picture Appearances, Radio Appearances, Concert Appearances, Stage Appearances, Ellenville, New York, 1979.

Frank, Alan, Sinatra, London, 1984.

Jewell, Derek, with George Perry, Frank Sinatra: A Celebration, Boston, 1985.

Sinatra, Nancy, Frank Sinatra: My Father, Garden City, New York, 1985.

Kelley, Kitty, His Way: The Unauthorized Biography of Frank Sinatra, New York, 1986.

Adler, Bill, Sinatra, the Man and the Myth: An Unauthorized Biography, New York, 1987.

De Stefano, Gildo, Frank Sinatra, Venice, 1991.

Doctor, Gary L., The Sinatra Scrapbook, Secaucus, New Jersey, 1991.

Pickard, Roy, Frank Sinatra at the Movies, London, 1994.

Britt, Stan, Sinatra: A Celebration, New York, 1995.

Coleman, Ray, Sinatra: Portrait of the Artist, Atlanta, 1995.

Friedwald, Will, The Song Is You: A Singer's Art, New York, 1995.

Petkov, Steven, and Leonard Mustazza, The Frank Sinatra Reader, New York, 1995.

Shirak, Ed Jr., Our Way: Based on the Song a Time that Was, Hoboken, New Jersey, 1995.

Sinatra, Nancy, Frank Sinatra: An American Legend, Los Angeles, 1995.

Vare, Ethlie Ann, editor, Legend: Frank Sinatra and the American Dream, New York, 1995.

Levy, Shawn, Rat Pack Confidential: Frank, Dean, Sammy, Peter, Joey and the Last Great Showbiz Party, New York, 1998.

Granata, Charles L. and Ramone, Phil, Sessions with Sinatra: Frank Sinatra and the Art of Recording, Chicago, 1999.


On SINATRA: articles—

Current Biography 1960, New York, 1960.

Tercinet, A., "Frank Sinatra," in Avant-Scène du Cinéma (Paris), 15 June 1980.

Horton, R., "Ol' Blue Eyes," in American Film (New York), July/August 1988.

Plagens, Peter, "Stranger in the Night," in Newsweek (New York), 21 March 1994.

Ressner, Jeffrey, "And Again, One More for the Road," in Time (New York), 21 March 1994.

Schwartz, Jonathan, "And Now the End Is Near . . . Sinatra's Last Audition," in Esquire (New York), May 1995.

Holden, Stephen, "They Did It His Way," in New York Times, 10 December 1995.

Radio Times (London), 9 December 1995.

Tosches, Nick, "The Death, and Life, of the Rat Pack," in New York Times, 7 January 1996.

Natale, Richard & others, "Frank Sinatra 1915–1998: The 'Voice' is Silenced," obituary in Variety (New York), 18 May 1998.

Conomos, John, "It's a Quarter to Three?" obituary in Cinema Papers (Fitzroy), August 1998.

Sight & Sound (London), March 1999.


On SINATRA: films—

Sinatra, mini-series directed by James Sadwith, 1992.

Sinatra: 80 Years My Way, documentary, 1995.


* * *

Frank Sinatra's acting has been notable for its variety of roles and versatility of styles. Appearing in many different types of films, he has made particular contributions to musicals, dramas, action/adventure films, and comedies. To a certain extent his film career has paralleled his singing career. As he grew older, he became more serious and introspective, sometimes more personal, as a singer. He sought new material and different arrangements in a conscious evolution of vocal style. Similarly, in films he turned from youthful, singing roles to serious, dramatic ones during the 1950s in an attempt to establish himself as an actor. His uncanny ability to choose just the right material to sing, however, has not always worked for him on the screen. Although he has had remarkable success in certain, very disparate films—On the Town, From Here to Eternity, A Hole in the Head, The Manchurian Candidate, and The Detective—he has also seemed frequently miscast or indifferent in others—Guys and Dolls, Can Can, and The Pride and the Passion. Nevertheless, he is probably as well known as a screen star as he is as a recording artist.

Sinatra's earliest roles exploited an image that had contributed to his popularity as a singer—the skinny kid who needs mothering. In several of the films, he played opposite a strong female character who had to teach him about love. In Take Me Out to the Ball Game, for example, Betty Garrett's Shirley chases Sinatra's Dennis Ryan, aggressively overcoming his reticence. At one point, she even picks him up and carries him off the baseball field. The two were paired in almost identical roles in On the Town as well. He was also cast in Anchors Aweigh as the younger partner who could not succeed in getting the leading lady to fall for him, but who realizes in time that a less sophisticated girl is the one he really loves.

Dissatisfied, however, with that image and the roles in those musicals, Sinatra left MGM. Although he appeared in subsequent musicals, it is primarily in dramatic roles that Sinatra has achieved success since he played Maggio in From Here to Eternity (the role that won him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor). Pivotal to that change in emphasis for his career, Maggio was a role for which Sinatra campaigned, and it led to further roles of dramatic power and significance, usually as a character whose tough facade hides his vulnerability. Such contradictions often lead to the film's dramatic conflict as in The Man with the Golden Arm, The Joker Is Wild, Some Came Running, and The Detective.

Sinatra's versatility as a screen actor is especially represented by his roles in comedies and adventure films. In both genres he avoids the pretentiousness of some of his less successful serious roles while still displaying a personal style akin to some of his best work as a singer. As Alan Baker, the older brother teaching the younger about sex in Come Blow Your Horn, as Tony Manetta, the playboy father working to raise a son in A Hole in the Head, or as Colonel Joseph Ryan leading a group of soldiers in a dangerous act of sabotage during World War II in Von Ryan's Express, Sinatra plays characters who assert themselves in precarious, though often funny, situations. They frequently make big mistakes in the process, but manage ultimately to turn the mistakes into successes. Moreover, as a result, the character learns a great deal about himself and proves to be a more responsible, endearing individual than the self-centered cad he seemed at first.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Sinatra and other actors such as Shirley MacLaine, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr.—who appeared in several films together—became known as the "Rat Pack." (Sinatra has also been nicknamed "Chairman of the Board of Show Business," or just "Chairman of the Board.") His leadership of the Rat Pack and the stories of Sinatra's impatience with film production practices and lack of cooperation on the set are legendary. Certain films, particularly The Pride and the Passion, may have been compromised because of his intransigence. In addition, many other aspects of his offscreen life are often difficult to separate from his on-screen performances. Nevertheless, such a separation must be made because he created a significant number of diverse roles over a 40-year career.

—Jerome Delamater, updated by Linda J. Stewart

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"Sinatra, Frank." International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers. 2001. Encyclopedia.com. 25 May. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Sinatra, Frank

FRANK SINATRA

Born: Francis Albert Sinatra; Hoboken, New Jersey, 12 December 1915; died Los Angeles, California, 14 May 1998

Genre: Vocal

Best-selling album since 1990: Duets (1993)


Frank Sinatra defined the role of popular vocalist in the twentieth century, influencing nearly every singer who came after him, from pop artist Tony Bennett to country performer George Strait. The impact of Sinatra's drawn-out phrasing and lyrical interpretation was matched by the durability of his image. A combination of swinging hipster, tough guy, and vulnerable romantic, Sinatra's personaloosened tie, slightly cocked hat, cigarette held introspectivelyprojected a cool sophistication that symbolized mid-century masculinity, strong but soul-searching. The power and versatility of his image allowed Sinatra to grow with his audience, progressing from teen pop idol in the early 1940s to high-flying man of the world in the 1950s to contemplative midlife sage in the 1960s and beyond. Acknowledging but never succumbing to newer music styles such as rock and roll, Sinatra carved out his own path during a career that lasted nearly sixty years.


Early Years

Slight and wiry during his youth, Sinatra grew up in Hoboken, New Jersey, the son of Italian-American working-class parents. Dropping out of high school in the mid-1930s to pursue his musical ambitions, he performed with a local vocal group and worked as a singing waiter. In 1939 Sinatra was discovered singing on the radio by band-leader and trumpeter Harry James, with whom he made his first recordings that year. Beginning in 1940 Sinatra was the featured vocalist on a string of pop hits for trombonist Tommy Dorsey's band, but it was a dramatic performance with famed clarinetist Benny Goodman on New Year's Eve 1942 that secured his fame. Suddenly, Frank Sinatra was a pop phenomenon, receiving the same adulation that was showered on stars like Elvis Presley in the 1950s.

By the mid-1940s Sinatra had signed with Columbia Records, releasing hits such as the atmospheric "I'm a Fool to Want You" (1951). Recording with lush strings and a powerful vocal chorus, Sinatra built his performance with artful precision, displaying masterful phrasing and control of volume and tone. Influenced by great jazz and blues singers such as Billie Holiday, Sinatra was one of the first popular vocalists to sing long phrases in one breath. The result was a controlled, smooth, "legato" vocal sound that gave his singing a yearning emotional quality. Delving into the songbooks of great 1930s composers such as Cole Porter and Irving Berlin, Sinatra became one of popular music's most meaningful interpreters. While jazz singers such as Anita O'Day improvised the melody and lyrics, Sinatra for the most part stayed true to the song as written.


1950s and 1960s Masterworks

This quality became a hallmark of Sinatra's work after his move to Capitol Records in 1953. Coinciding with the development of the "long play" album, which sequenced over thirty minutes of music on a vinyl disc, Sinatra's Capitol tenure marked the peak refinement of his art. Working with gifted musical arrangers such as Nelson Riddle and Gordon Jenkins, Sinatra used the LP medium to construct song cycles unified by contours of sound and theme. Alternating swinging, up-tempo albums with ballad sets, Sinatra released classic works such as In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning (1955). Recorded shortly after his break-up with actress Ava Gardner, the album is remarkable for its display of feeling. On songs such as "I Get Along without You Very Well," "I See Your Face Before Me," and the poignant title cut, Sinatra achieves a depth and pathos rare in popular music, using his mellowed baritone to draw out subtleties within the lyrics.

Up-tempo releases of the Capitol period, such as Come Fly with Me (1958), are just as stirring, conveying a jaunty, carefree sense of rhythm and swing. At Capitol, Sinatra was simultaneously the "intercontinental" sophisticate and lovesick loner, both sides of his personality represented with maturity and taste. Moving to his own record label, Reprise, in 1961, Sinatra recorded another string of classic albums, in particular September of My Years (1965). On the title song, an introspective exploration of aging, Sinatra delivers an impeccably controlled performance, the slight tremor in his voice suggesting a well of emotion held in check by technique. The haunting strings, arranged by Gordon Jenkins, follow Sinatra's every melodic curve, supporting his vocal with weight and resonance. In the 1970s and 1980s Sinatra recorded less frequently; still, he managed to release critically acclaimed albums such as L.A. Is My Lady (1984), produced by arranger Quincy Jones.


1990s Successes

By the 1990s Sinatra had lost much of his vocal range and elasticity, although his phrasing and timing remained intact. More a clever marketing scheme than a cohesive album, Duets, Sinatra's 1993 showcase of performances with other vocal stars, became the most successful album of his career, selling more than 2 million copies. The success of the album was due largely to publicity hype aimed at young urbanites entranced by Sinatra's cool hipster image. In actuality the songs on Duets were solo performances, with Sinatra recording his parts first. Next, the guest artists entered different studios and recorded around Sinatra's vocals. The separate tracks were then stitched together by producer Phil Ramone to give the illusion of duets. Despite a roster including Barbra Streisand, Aretha Franklin, and Liza Minnelli, Duets emerges solidly as Sinatra's album.

Critics noted that, with few exceptions, the guest performers sing the material with more embellishment than necessary, as if struggling to prove their worth alongside Sinatra. Attempts to create an air of casual improvisation, such as Franklin tacking on a spoken "See ya," after Sinatra's final "goodbye" on "What Now, My Love?" seem especially forced, considering the fabricated nature of the production. Streisand and Minnelli fare better than the other performers, perhaps because their work has always relied on heavy doses of artifice for its effectiveness. Unaware of the vocal pyrotechnics going on around him, Sinatra often sounds assured despite the deterioration of his voice. On the medley "All the Way / One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)," he even captures some of his old romantic wistfulness and vulnerability.

In 1994 Sinatra released a follow-up album, predictably titled Duets II. Although it features less of a high-profile cast, Duets II nonetheless sounds very similar to its predecessor. According to critics, the album's most impressive track is "Embraceable You," featuring the mellowed voice of legendary pop interpreter Lena Horne. With its feel of two vocal legends exchanging life experiences, "Embraceable You" works on the basis of sheer professionalism. "Come Fly with Me," a duet with Latin pop star Luis Miguel, is another high point. Possessing a bright, agile voice, Miguel follows the melodic path of the arrangement and pulls off the admirable feat of keeping up with Sinatra. On other tracks, performers such as flamboyant R&B diva Patti LaBelle clash with Sinatra's terse, subdued style. In 1995 Sinatra, afflicted with chronic health problems and frequent hospitalizations, retired from performing. Three years later he died after suffering a heart attack at his home in Los Angeles.

While much has been written about Sinatra's turbulent private lifehis purported connections with Mafia leaders such as Lucky Luciano and his stormy relationship with Ava Gardnerhe is best remembered for his music, a body of work that stands alongside the greatest recordings of the twentieth century. Balancing technical precision with emotional honesty, Sinatra invented a new understanding of popular vocalizing. The effortless quality of his singing belied its inner complexity; many imitate Sinatra, but few succeed in conveying his warmth and assuredness of swing. Although his hit 1990s albums paled in comparison to his greatest work, they provide ample evidence of his enduring relevance and integrity.

SELECTIVE DISCOGRAPHY:

Swing and Dance with Frank Sinatra (Columbia, 1944); In the Wee Small Hours (Capitol, 1955); Songs for Swingin' Lovers (Capitol, 1956); Where Are You (Capitol, 1957); Come Fly with Me (Capitol, 1958); Only the Lonely (Capitol, 1958); Nice 'n' Easy (Capitol, 1960); September of My Years (Reprise, 1965); My Way (Reprise, 1969); L.A. Is My Lady (Reprise, 1984); Duets (Capitol, 1993); Duets II (Capitol, 1994).

SELECTIVE FILMOGRAPHY:

Anchors Away (1945); It Happened in Brooklyn (1947); On the Town (1949); From Here to Eternity (1953); Guys and Dolls (1955); High Society (1956); Pal Joey (1957); A Hole in the Head (1959); Ocean's Eleven (1960); The Manchurian Candidate (1962); Come Blow Your Horn (1963); Von Ryan's Express (1965); The First Deadly Sin (1980).

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

K. Kelley His Way: The Unauthorized Biography of Frank Sinatra (New York, 1986); W. Friedwald, Sinatra!: The Song Is You (New York, 1995); C. Granata, Sessions with Sinatra: Frank Sinatra and the Art of Recording (Chicago, 1999).

WEBSITE:

www.franksinatra.com.

david freeland

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Freeland, David. "Sinatra, Frank." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. 2004. Encyclopedia.com. 25 May. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Freeland, David. "Sinatra, Frank." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Popular Musicians Since 1990. 2004. Retrieved May 25, 2016 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1G2-3428400485.html

Sinatra, Frank

Frank Sinatra

Born: December 12, 1915
Hoboken, New Jersey
Died: May 14, 1998
Los Angeles, California

American singer, actor, and performer

Frank Sinatra is one of the most popular singers in American history. As an actor, he appeared in fifty-eight films and won an Academy Award for his role in From Here to Eternity. His career started in the 1930s and continued into the 1990s.

Early years

Francis Albert Sinatra was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, on December 12, 1915, the only child of Italian immigrants Martin and Natalie "Dolly" Sinatra. His father was a fire-fighter for the city of Hoboken and his mother was an amateur singer who often sang at social events. Sinatra lived in a mainly Italian American working-class neighborhood. His first experience with music came when his uncle gave him a ukulele, and on hot summer nights he loved to go outside and sing while playing the instrument. His other interest was boxing. To protect himself in the tough neighborhood he grew up in, he became a competent boxer. In high school he was a generous but pugnacious (likely to fight) individualthe traits he would carry with him throughout his life.

Early in his life Sinatra knew he wanted to become a singer. His influences were Rudy Vallee (19011986) and Bing Crosby (19031977). He dropped out of high school and began to sing at small clubs. He got his first big break on the radio talent show Major Bowes and his Amateur Hour in 1935, singing in a group called the Hoboken Four. At this time Sinatra sang in various New Jersey nightclubs, hoping to attract the attention of "Swing Era" bandleaders. In 1939, he began working on radio station WNEW in New York City with bandleader Harry James for $75 per week. That same year he married his longtime sweetheart, Nancy Barbato. They would eventually have three children.

The beginning of success

After seven months with Harry James, Sinatra joined Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra, causing his career to skyrocket. Dorsey's orchestra was one of the most popular in the land, and it remained so with Sinatra singing with it from 1940 through 1942.

During that time, Sinatra performed with the band in his first two moviesLas Vegas Nights (1941) and Ship Ahoy (1942). He began his solo career at the end of 1942 and continued his meteoric (speedy and brilliant) rise.

Fans

The Swing Era lasted from 1935 through the end of World War II (193945; a war fought between the Axis PowersItaly, Japan, and Germanyand the AlliesFrance, Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and the United States). Sinatra was by far the Swing Era's best-known vocalist. His musical roots combined Tin Pan Alley (the song writing center of New York City) and Italian opera. Most important to him throughout his career would be his insistence on his own style and arrangements for whatever music he sang, thus producing his own unique phrasing of lyrics and melody lines.

Though Sinatra was exempted from military service in World War II because of a damaged eardrum, he helped the war effort with his appearances in movies and benefits for soldiers. He was also an outspoken supporter of Franklin D. Roosevelt (18821945) and liberal viewpoints, including racial and religious tolerance. He made many appearances to support charities.

Sinatra's wide-shouldered suits and his bow ties were imitated by many men, but his most ardent followers were teenaged girls, nicknamed "bobby-soxers" for the ankle-high socks they wore. His widespread appeal was further fueled by America's explosive mass media growth in newspapers, magazines, films, record players, and radio stations. Sinatra was the first singer to attract the kind of near hysteria that would later accompany live appearances by Elvis Presley (1935 1977) and the Beatles.

This type of excitement reached its peak in the Columbus Day riot of October 12, 1944. Thousands of his fans (mostly female) were denied entry into the already-packed Paramount Theater in New York City. They stormed the streets and vented their frustration by smashing nearby shop windows.

The 1950s

There were rumors that Sinatra was connected to the Mafia (organized crime). These stories arose mostly from his socializing with alleged Mafia kingpins (chiefs). He also received bad publicity about his noted bar-room brawls (fights) with customers and reporters. The allegations of underworld activity were never proven, and no criminal charges were ever made.

In 1954 Sinatra appeared in the critically acclaimed film From Here to Eternity (1954). The role won him an Academy Award for best supporting actor. He appeared in nine films in just two years, including Guys and Dolls (1955), Young At Heart (1955), The Tender Trap (1955), The Man With the Golden Arm (1955), and High Society (1956). Sinatra was back on the record charts as well with "Young at Heart." Nelson Riddle became his musical arranger in the 1950s, and he helped Sinatra stay on the record charts throughout the rest of the decade. (In fact, Sinatra stayed on the charts steadily through 1967, in spite of rock and roll.) Sinatra did not just record singles. He recorded albums around a central theme with a large collection of songs or ballads. From 1957 through 1966 he had twenty-seven Top Ten albums without producing one Top Ten single.

Sinatra's bobby-soxer fans were now adults and Sinatra had shifted smoothly to the role of the aging romantic bachelor. This was signified by the image of him leaning alone against a lamppost with a raincoat slung over one shoulder.

The 1960s

Sinatra's hits in the 1960s included "It Was a Very Good Year" and "Strangers in the Night" (1966). He reached the top of the singles charts in a duet, "Somethin' Stupid," with his daughter Nancy in 1967.

Sinatra continued to act in several movies in the 1960s, including Ocean's 11 (1960), The Manchurian Candidate (1962), Robin and the Seven Hoods (1964), and Tony Rome (1967). Many critics felt several of these films had declined in artistic merit. Sinatra became known as part of a group of friends called the "Rat Pack." It included entertainers Dean Martin (19171995), Sammy Davis Jr. (19251990), Joey Bishop, and Peter Lawford.

"My Way"

After Sinatra's famous recording of "My Way" (1969), he made an ill-fated attempt to sing some of the lighter tunes of modern rock composers. This led to a brief retirement from entertainment (1971 through 1973). At this time he also shifted his politics from liberal to conservative. He had become a close friend of Ronald Reagan (1911), helping him in his later successful presidential campaigns.

Sinatra's financial empire produced millions of dollars in earnings from investments in films, records, gambling casinos, real estate, missile parts, and general aviation. He came out of his retirement in 1974 with a renewed interest in older tunes. His return to the limelight was highlighted by his famous recording of "New York, New York" (1980) as he entered his sixth decade of entertaining.

In 1988 Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., and Dean Martin embarked on a cross-country tour. The tour lasted only one week. Sinatra later organized another reunion tour with Shirley MacLaine (1934) in 1992 and it was an undeniable success.

By 1994 Sinatra was experiencing memory lapses, but that did not keep him from performing publicly. He merely added the use of a prompter (device that shows the words of a song) to remind him of the lyrics. After celebrating his eightieth birthday at a public tribute, new packages of recordings were released and became instant best-sellers. But Sinatra's health continued to deteriorate in the 1990s. On the evening of May 14, 1998, Sinatra died of a heart attack in Los Angeles, California.

The audiences who grew up with him and his music were complemented by adoration from younger generations. They have all made "Old Blue Eyes" one of the most outstanding popular singers of the twentieth century.

For More Information

Friedwald, Will. Sinatra! The Song is You: A Singer's Art. New York: Scribner, 1995.

Kelley, Kitty. His Way: The Unauthorized Biography of Frank Sinatra. New York: Bantam Books, 1986.

Morley, Sheridan. Frank Sinatra: A Celebration. New York: Applause, 1998.

Rockwell, John. Sinatra: An American Classic. New York: Random House, 1984.

Wilson, Earl. Sinatra: An Unauthorized Biography. New York: Macmillan, 1976.

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"Sinatra, Frank." UXL Encyclopedia of World Biography. 2003. Encyclopedia.com. 25 May. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Sinatra, Frank

Frank Sinatra (Francis Albert Sinatra), 1915–98, American singer and actor, b. Hoboken, N.J. During the late 1930s and early 40s he sang with the Harry James and Tommy Dorsey bands, causing teenage girls to shriek and swoon over his romantic, seemingly casual renditions of such songs as "I'll Never Smile Again" and "This Love of Mine." During his long career he became one of the most successful pop music figures of the century, widely respected as a "singer's singer" for his richly detailed readings of lyrics and his versatile and nuanced musical style. Sinatra's sophisticated musicianship was evident in his many recordings. He had a long-lived and successful movie career, appearing in 58 films including On the Town (1949), From Here to Eternity (1953, Academy Award), Guys and Dolls (1955), Pal Joey (1957), The Manchurian Candidate (1962), and The Detective (1968). He also directed and produced several films. Sinatra retired from show business in 1971 but returned in several concert tours.

See A. I. Lonstein, The Compleat Sinatra (1970); G. Ringgold and C. McCarthy, The Films of Frank Sinatra (1971); R. Peters, The Frank Sinatra Scrapbook (1982); K. Kelley, His Way (1986); W. Friedwald, Sinatra! The Song Is You (1995); S. Petkov and L. Mustazza, ed., The Frank Sinatra Reader (1995); P. Hamill, Why Sinatra Matters (1998); T. Santopietro, Sinatra in Hollywood (2008); J. Kaplan, Frank: The Voice (2010)

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"Sinatra, Frank." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. 2016. Encyclopedia.com. 25 May. 2016 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Sinatra, Frank

Sinatra, Frank ( Francis Albert) (1915–98) US popular singer and actor. Sinatra began his career in the jazz bands of Harry James and Tommy Dorsey. His interpretations of standards, on albums such as Songs for Swinging Lovers (1956) and Come Fly with Me (1958) are definitive. Sinatra won an Academy Award for his supporting role in From Here to Eternity (1953). He married Ava Gardner and later Mia Farrow.

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