Sunday Dec 12, 1915 to Thursday May 14, 1998
U.S.Francis Albert Sinatra 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.
He got his first break in 1935 when his mother persuaded a local singing group, the 3 Flashes, to let him join. Fred Tamburro, the group's baritone, stated that "Frank hung around us like we were gods or something", admitting that they only took him on board because he owned a car and could chauffeur the group around. Sinatra soon learned they were auditioning for the Major Bowes Amateur Hour show, and "begged" the group to let him in on the act. With Sinatra, the group became known as the Hoboken Four, and passed an audition from Edward Bowes to appear on the Major Bowes Amateur Hour show. They each earned $12.50 for the appearance, and ended up attracting 40,000 votes and won first prize—a six-month contract to perform on stage and radio across the United States.
As Sinatra's success and popularity grew, Sinatra pushed Dorsey to allow him to record some solo songs. Dorsey eventually relented, and on January 19, 1942, Sinatra recorded "Night and Day", "The Night We Called It a Day", "The Song is You", and "Lamplighter's Serenade" at a Bluebird recording session, with Axel Stordahl as arranger and conductor.
After the 1942 recordings, Sinatra believed he needed to go solo, with an insatiable desire to compete with Bing Crosby, but he was hampered by his contract which gave Dorsey 43% of Sinatra's lifetime earnings in the entertainment industry. A legal battle ensued, eventually settled in August 1942. On September 3, 1942, Dorsey bade farewell to Sinatra, reportedly saying as Sinatra left, "I hope you fall on your ass".
His appeal to bobby soxers, as teenage girls of that time were called, revealed a whole new audience for popular music, which had been recorded mainly for adults up to that time.The phenomenon became officially known as "Sinatramania" after his "legendary opening" at the Paramount Theatre in New York on December 30, 1942.
Sinatra did not serve in the military during World War II. On December 11, 1943, he was officially classified 4-F ("Registrant not acceptable for military service") by his draft board because of a perforated eardrum. However, U.S. Army files reported that Sinatra was "not acceptable material from a psychiatric viewpoint", but his emotional instability was hidden to avoid "undue unpleasantness for both the selectee and the induction service".
Sinatra's first album for Capitol, Songs for Young Lovers, was released on January 4, 1954, and included "A Foggy Day", "I Get a Kick Out of You", "My Funny Valentine", "Violets for Your Furs" and "They Can't Take That Away from Me", songs which became staples of his later concerts.
It was a turbulent marriage with many well-publicized fights and altercations. The couple formally announced their separation on October 29, 1953, through MGM. Gardner filed for divorce in June 1954, at a time when she was dating matador Luis Miguel Dominguín, but the divorce was not settled until 1957.
In 1958 Sinatra released the concept album Come Fly with Me with Billy May, designed as a musical world tour. It reached the top spot on the Billboard album chart in its second week, remaining at the top for five weeks,and was nominated for the Grammy Award for Album of the Year at the inaugural Grammy Awards. The title song, "Come Fly With Me", written especially for him, would become one of his best known standards.
Sinatra sang for the very last time on February 25, 1995, before a live audience of 1200 select guests at the Palm Desert Marriott Ballroom, on the closing night of the Frank Sinatra Desert Classic golf tournament.