Sinatra, Frank (1915–1998)

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Frank Sinatra (1915–1998)

Frank Sinatra was one of the greatest singers in the history of American popular music. Sinatra first gained fame with Tommy Dorsey (1905–1956) and his band in the late 1930s before becoming a solo star in his own right in 1942. He inspired mass hysteria among his many female fans, known as bobbysoxers (see entry under 1940s—Fashion in volume 3). In addition to his many hit songs, he promoted the use of the concept album in the 1950s, assembling a number of songs around a single theme, as he did on such albums as Only the Lonely in 1958. Sinatra's hits were many, including "Love and Marriage," "Luck Be a Lady," "My Way," "New York, New York," and "Strangers in the Night."

Sinatra also acted in movie musicals and films, including Anchors Aweigh (1944); From Here to Eternity (1954), for which he earned an Oscar; and The Manchurian Candidate (1962). Although he was at his musical peak in the 1950s, Sinatra remained in the spotlight until his death in 1998 through his concerts, recordings, films, and his very public, and often controversial, lifestyle.

—Timothy Berg

For More Information

Frank Sinatra: The Best Is Yet to Come (video). MGM/UA, 1996.

Hamill, Pete. Why Sinatra Matters. Boston: Little Brown, 1998.

Lahr, John. Sinatra: The Artist and the Man. New York: Random House, 1997.

Sinatra Family. (accessed February 20, 2002).