Frank Sinatra

Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra '57.jpg
Sinatra in 1957's Pal Joey
Biographical data
BornFrancis Albert Sinatra
(1915-12-12)December 12, 1915
Hoboken, New Jersey, U.S.[1]
DiedMay 14, 1998(1998-05-14) (aged 82)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Resting placeDesert Memorial Park
Cathedral City, California, U.S.
  • Singer
  • actor
  • producer
Years active1935–1995
Musical career

Francis Albert Sinatra (ə/; December 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998) was an American singer, actor, and producer who was one of the most popular and influential musical artists of the 20th century. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 150 million records worldwide.[2] Born in Hoboken, New Jersey, to Italian Americans, Sinatra began his musical career in the swing era with bandleaders Harry James and Tommy Dorsey. Sinatra found success as a solo artist after he signed with Columbia Records in 1943, becoming the idol of the "bobby soxers". He released his debut album, The Voice of Frank Sinatra, in 1946. Sinatra's professional career had stalled by the early 1950s, and he turned to Las Vegas, where he became one of its best known residency performers as part of the Rat Pack. His career was reborn in 1953 with the success of From Here to Eternity, with his performance subsequently winning an Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor. Sinatra released several critically lauded albums, including In the Wee Small Hours (1955), Songs for Swingin' Lovers! (1956), Come Fly with Me (1958), Only the Lonely (1958) and Nice 'n' Easy (1960).

Sinatra left Capitol in 1960 to start his own record label, Reprise Records, and released a string of successful albums. In 1965, he recorded the retrospective September of My Years and starred in the Emmy-winning television special Frank Sinatra: A Man and His Music. After releasing Sinatra at the Sands, recorded at the Sands Hotel and Casino in Vegas with frequent collaborator Count Basie in early 1966, the following year he recorded one of his most famous collaborations with Tom Jobim, the album Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim. It was followed by 1968's Francis A. & Edward K. with Duke Ellington. Sinatra retired for the first time in 1971, but came out of retirement two years later and recorded several albums and resumed performing at Caesars Palace, and reached success in 1980 with "New York, New York". Using his Las Vegas shows as a home base, he toured both within the United States and internationally until shortly before his death in 1998.

Sinatra forged a highly successful career as a film actor. After winning an Academy Award for From Here to Eternity, he starred in The Man with the Golden Arm (1955), and received critical acclaim for his performance in The Manchurian Candidate (1962). He appeared in various musicals such as On the Town (1949), Guys and Dolls (1955), High Society (1956), and Pal Joey (1957), winning another Golden Globe for the latter. Toward the end of his career, he became associated with playing detectives, including the title character in Tony Rome (1967). Sinatra would later receive the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award in 1971. On television, The Frank Sinatra Show began on ABC in 1950, and he continued to make appearances on television throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Sinatra was also heavily involved with politics from the mid-1940s, and actively campaigned for presidents such as Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. In crime, the FBI investigated Sinatra and his alleged relationship with the Mafia.

While Sinatra never learned how to read music, he had an impressive understanding of it, and he worked very hard from a young age to improve his abilities in all aspects of music. A perfectionist, renowned for his dress sense and performing presence, he always insisted on recording live with his band. His bright blue eyes earned him the popular nickname "Ol' Blue Eyes". Sinatra led a colorful personal life, and was often involved in turbulent affairs with women, such as with his second wife Ava Gardner. He later married Mia Farrow in 1966 and Barbara Marx in 1976. Sinatra had several violent confrontations, usually with journalists he felt had crossed him, or work bosses with whom he had disagreements. He was honored at the Kennedy Center Honors in 1983, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Ronald Reagan in 1985, and the Congressional Gold Medal in 1997. Sinatra was also the recipient of eleven Grammy Awards, including the Grammy Trustees Award, Grammy Legend Award and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. He was collectively included in Time magazine's compilation of the twentieth century's 100 most influential people. After his death, American music critic Robert Christgau called him "the greatest singer of the 20th century",[3] and he continues to be seen as an iconic figure. [4]

Early life

Hoboken, New Jersey, early 20th century

Francis Albert Sinatra[a] was born on December 12, 1915, in an upstairs tenement at 415 Monroe Street in Hoboken, New Jersey.[6][b] He was the only child of Italians Natalina "Dolly" Garaventa and Antonino Martino "Marty" Sinatra.[9] [10][11][c] Sinatra weighed 13.5 pounds (6.1 kg) at birth and had to be delivered with the aid of forceps, which caused severe scarring to his left cheek, neck, and ear, and perforated his eardrum, damage that remained for life.[13] Due to his injuries at birth, his baptism at St. Francis Church in Hoboken was delayed until April 2, 1916.[14] A childhood operation on his mastoid bone left major scarring on his neck, and during adolescence he suffered from cystic acne that scarred his face and neck.[15] Sinatra was raised Roman Catholic.[16]

Sinatra's mother was energetic and driven,[17] and biographers believe that she was the dominant factor in the development of her son's personality traits and self-confidence.[18] Barbara Sinatra claims that Dolly was abusive to him as a child, and "knocked him around a lot".[19] Dolly became influential in Hoboken and in local Democratic Party circles.[20] She worked as a midwife, earning $50 for each delivery,[21] and according to Sinatra biographer Kitty Kelley, also ran an illegal abortion service that catered to Italian Catholic girls, for which she was nicknamed "Hatpin Dolly".[22][d] She also had a gift for languages and served as a local interpreter.[25] Sinatra's illiterate father was a bantamweight boxer who fought under the name Marty O'Brien.[26] He later worked for 24 years at the Hoboken Fire Department, working his way up to captain.[27] Sinatra spent much time at his parents' tavern in Hoboken,[e] working on his homework and occasionally singing a song on top of the player piano for spare change.[29] During the Great Depression, Dolly provided money to her son for outings with friends and to buy expensive clothes, resulting in neighbors describing him as the "best-dressed kid in the neighborhood".[30] Excessively thin and small as a child and young man, Sinatra's skinny frame later became a staple of jokes during stage shows.[31][32]

"They'd fought through his childhood and continued to do so until her dying day. But I believe that to counter her steel will he'd developed his own. To prove her wrong when she belittled his choice of career ... Their friction first had shaped him; that, I think, had remained to the end and a litmus test of the grit in his bones. It helped keep him at the top of his game."

—Sinatra's daughter Nancy on the importance of his mother Dolly in his life and character.[33]

Sinatra developed an interest in music, particularly big band jazz, at a young age.[34] He listened to Gene Austin, Rudy Vallée, Russ Colombo, and Bob Eberly, and idolized Bing Crosby.[35] Sinatra's maternal uncle, Domenico, gave him a ukulele for his 15th birthday, and he began performing at family gatherings.[36] Sinatra attended David E. Rue Jr. High School from 1928,[37] and A. J. Demarest High School in 1931, where he arranged bands for school dances.[36] He left without graduating, having attended only 47 days before being expelled for "general rowdiness".[38] To please his mother, he enrolled at Drake Business School, but departed after 11 months.[36] Dolly found Sinatra work as a delivery boy at the Jersey Observer newspaper, where his godfather Frank Garrick worked,[f] and after that, Sinatra was a riveter at the Tietjen and Lang shipyard.[40] He performed in local Hoboken social clubs such as The Cat's Meow and The Comedy Club, and sang for free on radio stations such as WAAT in Jersey City.[41] In New York, Sinatra found jobs singing for his supper or for cigarettes.[36] To improve his speech, he began taking elocution lessons for a dollar each from vocal coach John Quinlan, who was one of the first people to notice his impressive vocal range.[42]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Frank Sinatra
aragonés: Frank Sinatra
asturianu: Frank Sinatra
Aymar aru: Frank Sinatra
azərbaycanca: Frenk Sinatra
Bân-lâm-gú: Frank Sinatra
беларуская: Фрэнк Сінатра
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Фрэнк Сынатра
Bikol Central: Frank Sinatra
Bislama: Frank Sinatra
български: Франк Синатра
bosanski: Frank Sinatra
brezhoneg: Frank Sinatra
català: Frank Sinatra
čeština: Frank Sinatra
Cymraeg: Frank Sinatra
Deutsch: Frank Sinatra
Ελληνικά: Φρανκ Σινάτρα
emiliàn e rumagnòl: Frank Sinatra
español: Frank Sinatra
Esperanto: Frank Sinatra
euskara: Frank Sinatra
français: Frank Sinatra
Gaeilge: Frank Sinatra
Gàidhlig: Frank Sinatra
hrvatski: Frank Sinatra
Bahasa Indonesia: Frank Sinatra
íslenska: Frank Sinatra
italiano: Frank Sinatra
latviešu: Frenks Sinatra
Lëtzebuergesch: Frank Sinatra
lietuvių: Frank Sinatra
Limburgs: Frank Sinatra
македонски: Френк Синатра
Malagasy: Frank Sinatra
მარგალური: ფრენკ სინატრა
Bahasa Melayu: Frank Sinatra
Nāhuatl: Frank Sinatra
Nederlands: Frank Sinatra
norsk nynorsk: Frank Sinatra
occitan: Frank Sinatra
Piemontèis: Frank Sinatra
português: Frank Sinatra
română: Frank Sinatra
Runa Simi: Frank Sinatra
sicilianu: Frank Sinatra
Simple English: Frank Sinatra
slovenčina: Frank Sinatra
slovenščina: Frank Sinatra
српски / srpski: Френк Синатра
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Frank Sinatra
svenska: Frank Sinatra
Tagalog: Frank Sinatra
Türkçe: Frank Sinatra
українська: Френк Сінатра
vèneto: Frank Sinatra
Tiếng Việt: Frank Sinatra
Volapük: Frank Sinatra
Winaray: Frank Sinatra
Yorùbá: Frank Sinatra