FRANK SINATRA Biography - Other artists & entretainers


Biography » other artists entretainers » frank sinatra


On December 12, 1915, Francis Albert Sinatra was born in Hoboken, New Jersey. He was thought to be stillborn until his grandmother revived him under cold water. He was the only child of Italian immigrants Anthony Martin and Natalie Della “Dolly".


Sinatra dropped out of high school at 15 and decided he would follow in the footsteps of his idol, Bing Crosby. In 1935 he entered a radio talent program called Major Bowes Amateur Hour. For the performance Frank partnered up with a singing and dancing trio called the Three Flashes and formed the Hoboken Four. They won first prize and went on to more performances with Major Bowes’ traveling show. Within a few years, Sinatra was singing regularly on several radio stations. He got his big break while working as a singer and waiter at an Englewood, N.J. restaurant, the Rustic Cabin. There, trumpet extraordinaire Harry James found the young Sinatra and decided he would fit well as the lead singer for his band The Music Makers.


Sinatra quit James’ band after 7 months and joined Tommy Dorsey’s swing orchestra. It was with Tommy Dorsey’s orchestra that the classic Sinatra crooning began and the idol began to form. By the early forties Sinatra had made a name for himself and he bought out his contract with Dorsey to pursue a solo career. Success followed him and so did swarms of adoring teenage girls just to hear his unique phrasing and emotional performances.


The first Frank Sinatra hit song was recorded in 1939 with the Harry James Orchestra. “All or Nothing at All,” was actually released in 1943 after Sinatra had left James’ group and signed on with Tommy Dorsey’s Big Band.


In 1946, Sinatra signed a five-year film contract with M-G-M which diverted his primary focus away from music and toward acting. Just as on stage, Sinatra’s charisma came through on film and he went on to star in a variety of films that often featured his songs. The most successful of the early films was Anchors Aweigh with Gene Kelly in 1945 and On the Town in 1949.


The tough times began in the early 1950s. In 1951, Frank left his first wife Nancy and his three children for movie starlet, Ava Gardner. Their five-year relationship was a precursor to the more modern tabloid headline grabbers of today. In 1952, Sinatra suffered a severe blow to his career when his vocal cords hemorrhaged. At this point in his career the music was painful and the movie roles were poor. Professional abandonment came for Sinatra at age 37 when he was dropped by Universal, CBS-TV, Columbia Records and his agent.