Frank Sinatra, we have all heard of him, or heard him sing. Some of us have also seen him act, or even watched some of his movies, albeit he was a producer, not a director. Regardless, the name of Frank Sinatra resonates through the 21st century, even though he almost lived to see it, dying in 1998. This is a short recap of Frank Sinatra’s life.
The Early Days
Frank was born Francis Albert Sinatra, on December 12, 1915, in Hoboken, New Jersey. Sinatra was born to a bantamweight boxer named Antonino Martino Sinatra and Natalina Garaventa, who worked as a midwife.
The important part of his early life is his mother, who was abusive towards him, as reported by many sources. Sinatra’s own daughter, Nancy, talked about Sinatra and Dolly (Natalina’s nickname), fighting all the time, up until her death. Even though he was pushed and belittled by his mother, he found his passion in that fight, fighting for what he loved and felt was the best for him, jazz.
His early inspirations were Bing Crosby, Gene Austin and Bob Eberly. He got a ukulele for his 15th birthday, from his uncle. He practiced it and played at family gatherings.
The Start of His Music Career
Sinatra loved playing and singing, and he started his professional route when he was a teenager. He joined a group called 3 Flashes, and they performed under the name of Hoboken Four. After performing with them for a couple of years, he signed a two-year contract with Harry James in 1939. The deal didn’t last, not for more than half a year, as he moved on to be the lead singer of the Tommy Dorsey band in November of the same year. Sinatra’s first show with Tommy Dorsey in 1940 already had the audience captivated, so much that Dorsey almost forgot to do his own solo parts.
Sinatra recorded over 40 songs in his first year with Dorsey. His first hit was in April of 1940, a song called Polka Dots and Moonbeams. Sinatra made quite a lot of songs until 1942, when he went his own way. He signed a three-year deal with Columbia Records in 1943. His career went up and down from that moment.
The Second Rising of Sinatra
In 1953, Sinatra started making his comeback, which was noticed by the people around him who saw him working very hard. Signing with Capitol, he proceeded to record his first album for them, called Songs for Young Lovers. Many of the songs from this album became his regulars on concerts to be. His single Young at Heart reached the second spot on the charts and was named song of the year, the year being 1954.
His career was on the rise, in 1964 he released an Academy Award Winner, a song called My Kind of Town. 1968 saw him record My Way, one of his most popular songs, with Reprise as the publisher. He actually hated singing the song as it seemed like he was boasting, a trait he despised in others.
The Later Years
He had a brief retirement from 1970 to 1973, proceeding to sing and perform until the end of his days in 1998. He died of a heart attack. He had health issues, particularly with his blood pressure and heart, in the years prior to his death.
Frank Sinatra lived a life full of songs and music. He recorded over 1200 songs, many of which were hits. He met several presidents, of different countries, even. He left his mark on our world, as well as the world of music.