What is the best Frank Sinatra biography

Frank Sinatra biography

Frank Sinatra - The Music Never Ends

Francis Albert Sinatra was born the son of Italian immigrants on December 12, 1915 in Hoboken, New Jersey, in his parents' home at 415 Monroe Street. His father came from Palermo / Sicily and worked as a professional boxer, fire fighter and pub man; his mother, however, came from the northern Italian Lumarzo near Genoa and was the local leader of the Democratic Party in Hoboken.

Frank Sinatra was attracted to music at an early age and was already playing around the bars of his hometown as a teenager with his ukulele, a small music system and a megaphone. From 1932 Sinatra had first small radio appearances; and since he saw his idol Bing Crosby in concert in Jersey City in 1933, singer had been his career aspiration. On the side, he worked as a sports journalist for a local newspaper during the recession in the 1930s after leaving high school without a degree. The cinema also found his great interest; one of his favorite actors was Edward G. Robinson, who at the time mainly appeared in gangster films.

With the vocal quartet The Hoboken Four Sinatra won a talent competition on the then popular radio show in September 1935 Major Bowes Amateur Hour and went on his first national tour with them in the months that followed. From 1937 he worked for 18 months as an entertainer in a music club in New Jersey, which was also frequented by stars like Cole Porter, and laid the foundation for his professional career there and with other radio appearances.
On February 4, 1939, Sinatra married his childhood sweetheart Nancy Barbato. From this marriage three children were born: daughter Nancy Sandra (* 8.6.1940), son Franklin Wayne ("Frank jr.") (* 10.1.1944) and daughter Christina ("Tina") (20.06.1948)

In the spring of 1939, the band leader Harry James, who was very popular at the time, discovered the young talent and signed Sinatra as the lead singer for his big band from the summer. Together with James Sinatra recorded his first records, including the title All Or Nothing At All, which brought him to the top of the charts when it was re-released in 1943 and made him a solo star alongside Bing Crosby. Sinatra had his national breakthrough as a singer before, after he switched to the Tommy Dorsey orchestra as a singer in early 1940, where he had his first number 1 hit after a few months with I’ll Never Smile Again. His concert and radio appearances with Dorsey quickly made Sinatra known nationwide. From 1942 he went solo after Dorsey had released him from the long-term contract at his request.

Sinatra had had a permanent record deal with Columbia since the summer of 1943, and his releases, mostly recorded with arranger Axel Stordahl, earned him numerous top positions in the charts and soon made him the most successful singer in the country. In addition, he could be heard on the radio several times a week for many years, for example in the popular program Your Hit Parade (1943/1944 and 1947-49), but also with his own series such as Reflections (1942), The Broadway Bandbox (1943), Songs By Sinatra (1943 and 1945-47), The Frank Sinatra Programs and Frank Sinatra In Person (1944), The Frank Sinatra Show (1945) and Light-Up Time (1949/1950). His consistent use of the radio medium was, along with the recordings, the most important basis for Sinatra's immense popularity. In the 1950s, the series of crime fiction radio plays followed Rocky Fortune (1953/54) and the music show To Be Perfectly Frank (1953-55).

Sinatra became the musical idol of the world war generation as early as Dorsey times, but increasingly after his several weeks of solo appearances at the Paramount Theater in New York, where he provoked the Columbus Day Riots in October 1944, the first mass ecstasy in pop history. The young girls in particular stood up Frankie Boywho had now made five-figure weekly fees and also enjoyed success as an actor in musicals and comedies at RKO and MGM. Sinatra himself, producer Frank Ross and At the beginning of March 1946, director Mervyn LeRoy was awarded a specially newly created special Oscar. (Sinatra later won two more Oscars, in 1954, as mentioned below, the award for best supporting actor and in 1971 the "Honorary Oscar" / Jean-Hersholt Humanitarian Award; in addition there was a nomination for best leading actor in "The Man With The Golden Arm" in 1956 ).

But at the beginning of the 1950s, its star sank noticeably. In addition, Sinatra finally lost his reputation as a clean man, he had numerous affairs with some prominent women, and finally his first marriage to Nancy was divorced on October 30, 1950. The second marriage with the film star Ava Gardner, which was concluded on November 7, 1951, only lasted a few years, the official separation took place as early as 1953, but the marriage was not divorced until July 5, 1957. Numerous other affairs with show colleagues should follow. In the spring of 1950 Sinatra began to bleed his vocal cords, which temporarily put his voice out of action. His first own television series The Frank Sinatra Show (1950-52) was a commercial flop, and two years later, in the fall of 1952, he lost his recording contract with Columbia Records after his film company had not renewed the contract: his singing career seemed to be at an end .

In 1952 Frank Sinatra had applied for a serious role in which he now put all hopes to give his career a new impetus, that of Angelo Maggio in damned forever. The director of the film, Fred Zinnemann, was initially unwilling to give the role to Frank Sinatra, and was only convinced when Sinatra insisted on test recordings. In any case, what no one thought possible happened: Sinatra not only got the role, but promptly also the Oscar for best supporting actor: the most incredible comeback in the show industry to date was a success.

In 1953, Sinatra also signed a new record deal with Capitol Records, which revived his musical career. In the following years he recorded a number of groundbreaking albums there such as In The Wee Small Hours, Songs For Swingin'Lovers, Come Fly With Me and Sinatra Sings For Only The Lonely, many of them with arranger Nelson Riddle, as well as with Billy May and Gordon Jenkins. With up to four films a year, Sinatra also cemented his reputation as a screen star during this time. With a weekly show in 1957/58 and other specials and guest appearances, he was also present on television again. Sinatra was now increasingly to be found on the concert stages of the gambling metropolis Las Vegas.

Since the 1960s, Frank Sinatra was the entertainer par excellence in several respects, had multiple award-winning specials on television, went on numerous tours at home and abroad and made successful films, as an actor and, more recently, as a film producer and director. Because he was increasingly dissatisfied with his contractual terms with Capitol, he founded his own record company Reprise Records in 1960, for which he exclusively produced his music recordings from 1962. In 1963 Sinatra sold the company to the Warner Music Group at a large profit, but retained full decision-making power for his own recordings and projects. In 1966, Sinatra had the greatest commercial success of his musical career to date with Strangers In The Night, which coincided with winning a Grammy for the albums September Of My Years and A Man and His Music and several Emmy wins for his “A Man and His Music ”television specials (1965-1967). At the end of December 1968 he took part with My Way, an English adaptation of the French chanson written by Paul Anka Comme D'Habitude (by Claude Francois, Jacques Revaux and Gilles Thibault), a song that from then on became a world hit and its own signature tune in its version.

In the spring of 1971 Sinatra announced his departure from the stage and show business, but after only two years of abstinence from 1973 and then into the 1990s he appeared again regularly and continued to make recordings, mostly Don Costa, as in the late 1960s Directed by. Sinatra not only limited himself to reinterpreting songs that had already been released, he also recorded a new absolute super hit in 1979 with the Theme from New York, New York, created in 1977, which also became another trademark.

With numerous concert tours to all five continents, the 1980s became Sinatra's most commercially successful stage years both abroad and at home, where he set audience records, some of which still exist today, with his concert series in New York's Carnegie Hall.
After breaking up with Ava Gardner, Sinatra had remained solo for a long time. In 1962 he was briefly engaged to the dancer Juliet Prowse, but it was not until July 19, 1966 that he remarried: Mia Farrow, a younger actress. But this marriage did not last long either: on August 15, 1968, the two were divorced again. It was not until 1976 that Frank found his personal happiness with his fourth wife Barbara, who had previously been married to Zeppo Marx: The marriage took place on July 11, 1976 in Palm Springs / California.

His entertainer appearance in an elegant tuxedo with the whiskey glass in his right hand and the microphone in his left was characteristic of him. Sinatra tried to hide his once plump, but early receding hair growth under his typical elegant hats away from the stage; on stage he became one of the most famous toupees in music history.

Time and again, Frank Sinatra was and is said to have had closer ties to the Italian-American Mafia, in whose clubs he, like many of his professional colleagues, had sung in the 1940s. As early as 1942 it was alleged that the gangster Willie Moretti had only got Tommy Dorsey to terminate his contract with Sinatra ("An offer that cannot be refused") without this having ever been proven. On the other hand, it is officially confirmed and documented that Sinatra successfully established his contacts with the Chicago Mafia and theirs in the 1960 American presidential election campaign in favor of the candidate John F. Kennedy, whose official campaign song was a special Sinatra recording of the title "High Hopes" Boss Sam Giancana let play to achieve a positive result for Kennedy in the associated state of Illinois, which then ultimately became the choice. Sinatra had also invested part of his income in Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe, two gambling metropolises in the state of Nevada, in which the mafia was undoubtedly also active. As a result, Sinatra temporarily lost its license to operate its own casinos. That Sinatra has regularly frequented with performances since its opening from 1952 to 1967 Sands-Hotel & Casino, in which he temporarily owned shares (until it was taken over by Howard Hughes), was allegedly founded with funds from Mafioso Meyer Lansky. There is a group picture from 1977 that was closed a short time later Westchester Premiere Theater in Tarrytown, New York, showing Sinatra with several high-ranking mafiosi. In this case, too, the official investigations did not provide any conclusive evidence of Sinatra's direct involvement in criminal transactions. Sinatra was therefore reassigned its casino license in the early 1980s.
Frank Sinatra's political and social commitment began as early as the 1940s when he supported the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt and with his Oscar-winning short film "The House I Live In" (1945) against the racial segregation that was still prevalent in his homeland at the time pronounced. In the 1960s, Sinatra supported the civil rights movement of Martin Luther King and was heavily involved in youth work in Israel and the West Bank, where he established a reforming home for Jewish and Arab orphans in Nazareth, which still exists today. Since the 1970s, Sinatra supported mainly republican politicians such as Spiro Agnew and Ronald Reagan in the USA, but remained a member of the Democratic Party throughout his life. From the beginning of his career, Sinatra performed regularly for charity; He has received numerous high national and international state awards for his commitment. The sum of all funds raised and donated by him at charity events over the decades is estimated at over a billion dollars.

Overall, Sinatra can be described as an extremely productive artist, who recorded a total of almost 1,300 songs in the studio in the 54 years between 1939 and 1993 and built up his musical legacy with around 1,900 different songs performed live. (All songs are listed in the song index) He was always a man of superlatives: From 1940 to 2006 not a year went by without at least one Sinatra title showing up in the Billboard charts (singles or albums). His Capitol album “Come Dance With Me” stayed in the Billboard LP charts for a full 140 weeks from January 31, 1959, and nine more albums stayed there for more than a year. Between January 1961 and August 1963 Sinatra released a total of 14 different completely newly recorded albums, 12 of which came into the top 30 of the Billboard charts. Sinatra herself won the Grammy nine times since the award was introduced in 1958 to 1995 and received another 25 nominations. He won the Emmy four times for his musical television shows. With one of the most legendary concerts in music history, the "Main Event" from Madison Square Garden in New York City in 1974, this live broadcast via satellite broke Elvis Presley's previous TV coverage record and even surpassed that of the moon landing . With his concert at the Maracana football stadium in Rio de Janeiro in January 1980 in front of 175,000 spectators, Sinatra was represented in the Guinness Book of Records until 1990, when Paul McCartney attracted more listeners at the same place. Sinatra has performed on every continent in the world and in more than three dozen countries; In over 90 different countries his records were sold in their own pressings during his lifetime. Estimates of the total number of records sold vary widely, but it can be assumed that he is the artist with the most sold records, alongside the Beatles and Elvis Presley. Cautious estimates suggest that around 700-800 million records have been sold

Sinatra's relationship with Germany, where he made a guest appearance in Wiesbaden for the first time in December 1951, was divided for a long time. In the 1970s, when asked for his opinion on Germany, he was still in the habit of telling a Nazi joke. Since Sinatra concerts in this decade were much more than just concerts, but rather celebrations of a living legend, Sinatra was of course used to performing in front of a sold out house. However, ticket sales for three concerts planned in West Germany in May 1975 were sluggish, not least due to high admission prices. Otherwise, the tour was not a good star either; his arranger and orchestra leader Don Costa fell seriously ill after the second concert in Germany, and a third appearance planned in Berlin was canceled. Sinatra made his two appearances in Munich and Frankfurt without comment, but a few days later in London some derogatory remarks about the German audience were the result, and it wasn't until 1989 that Sinatra (together with Liza Minnelli and Sammy Davis Jr.) returned to Germany. 1991 followed another appearance in Frankfurt as part of his "Diamond Jubilee" world tour. At his last concerts in Germany in late May and early June 1993 in Dortmund, Hamburg, Berlin, Stuttgart and Cologne, Sinatra, who had stayed in Deutz for ten days, said he felt very much at home. The five concerts were also his last concert appearances in Europe. Four weeks later, Sinatra began recording "Duets", his last studio project.

But in 1994 Sinatra made over 80 appearances and went on concert tours to the Philippines and Japan. In December he announced his final withdrawal after giving his last regular concerts in front of a home audience in Atlantic City. Sinatra had his very last vocal performance in February 1995 in Palm Springs on the sidelines of a benefit golf tournament he organized himself, and he was on a stage for the last time at the recording date of the official gala for his 80th birthday on November 19, 1995.
On January 9, 1997, Sinatra suffered a heart attack. Although he was able to leave the hospital after 8 days, he has not appeared in public since then, before he died on May 14, 1998 after another heart attack. In his honor, Las Vegas city lights were dimmed for three minutes and the Empire State Building in New York City was bathed in blue light for three days. He is known to his fans as The Voice or as Ol’ Blue Eyes (he had remarkable blue eyes) to be remembered forever. Sinatra is buried in Cathedral City, California.

Even 8 years after his death, Frank Sinatra is still breaking records - even before the official opening in March 2006, the Palladium Theater in London (where Sinatra made his concert debut in England in 1950) was selling tickets for a multimedia for more than £ 1.5 million -Sinatra concert show. Sinatra set the previous record in November 1975 with a series of concerts together with Sarah Vaughan and Count Basie.

(Served as the basis of this biography WIKIPEDIA with some additions and changes by Andreas Kroniger for "Sinatra - The Main Event")