Frank Sinatra (December 12, 1915 - May 14, 1998) was a celebrated singer and cultural icon (a.k.a. "Ol' Blue Eyes") who was one of the most popular and influential musical artists of the 20th century. Born in Hoboken, New Jersey, Sinatra began singing professionally while still in his teens and, by the late 1930s, was performing with such top bandleaders as Harry James and Tommy Dorsey. His fame as a solo artist took off during the early 1940s, and he became a hugely popular teen idol of the "bobby soxers." Famous for his perfect diction, unique interpretive style, impeccable phrasing, and trademark crystal-clear baritone, Sinatra had numerous top hits both before and after the birth of rock and roll over a career spanning more than six decades. He was also a highly accomplished actor who co-starred and performed in many movie musicals beginning in the 1940s, received critical acclaim for his dramatic roles, and won an Oscar for his portrayal of Private Angelo Maggio in "From Here To Eternity" (1953).
While serving as a vocalist with Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra, Frank Sinatra had his first hit in 1940 under that moniker with the jazz standard, "Polka Dots And Moonbeams." Sinatra's many hits with Tommy Dorsey & His Orchestra, which continued through 1944, also included the chart-topping "I'll Never Smile Again" (1940). While still working with Dorsey, Sinatra made his solo debut in 1942 with "Night And Day," from the Broadway musical, "Gay Divorce." His string of over 200 hits through 1980 also included the chart-toppers, "All Or Nothing At All" (1943), "Oh! What It Seemed To Be" (1946), "Five Minutes More" (1946), "Mam'selle" (1947), "Learnin' The Blues" (1955), and his signature song, the Grammy Award-winning "Strangers In The Night" (1966). He also topped the charts in 1967 with "Somethin' Stupid," a duet performed with his daughter Nancy. Other hits that became signature songs for Sinatra include "I've Got The World On A String" (1953), "Young-At-Heart" (1954), "Love And Marriage" (1955), "High Hopes" (1959), "It Was A Very Good Year" (1965), "That's Life" (1966), and "My Way" (1969). Other longtime favorites include "I've Got You Under My Skin" (1946), "The Lady Is A Tramp" (1957), "Come Fly With Me" (1958), "Luck Be A Lady" (1963), "The Best Is Yet To Come" (1964), and "Fly Me To The Moon" (1964). Sinatra had his last chart hit in 1980 with "Theme From New York, New York," the title song from the movie musical.
Frank Sinatra was a recipient of the 1983 Kennedy Center Honors and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Reagan in 1985 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 1997. His numerous other honors and accolades include multiple Grammys and Golden Globe awards and three stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in both movies and music.
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- For more info on Frank Sinatra's life and career, visit sinatra.com.
- Sinatra describes how he communicates the mood of a song he's performing to an audience and discusses other topics in a 1963 interview with Playboy Magazine.
- BBC News remembers Frank Sinatra.
To listen to a song clip, click any song title that has a speaker icon. This will take you to a list of links to CD and/or MP3 product pages from one or more online merchants that have sound samples.
- It Was A Very Good Year 1965
(This song later also became a hit for Della Reese (1966).)
- Pocketful Of Miracles 1961
- Somewhere In Your Heart 1964
- Strangers In The Night 1966
(This song, which topped both the Adult Contemporary and Pop/Rock charts, won Frank Sinatra Grammys for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance and Record of the Year.)
- Summer Wind 1966
(This song was previously a hit for Wayne Newton (1965).)
- That's Life 1966
(This song later also became a hit for David Lee Roth (1986).)
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