(1915 - 1998)
Born in Hoboken, New Jersey to Italian immigrants, Francis Albert's parents thought he was stillborn until his grandmother
revived the baby Blue Eyes with cold water. As a youngster,
Sinatra idolized Bing Crosby. In 1933,
the young Sinatra attended one of Bing's
performances and decided right then that he wanted to be a
singer. At the tender age of 15, he dropped out of high school
to pursue his singing career. In 1939 he sang with Harry James'
orchestra. Of Sinatra, James reportedly said, "He considers
himself the greatest vocalist in the business. Get that! No
one's ever heard of him! He's never had a hit record, and
he looks like a wet rag, but he says he's the greatest."
He quit the James' band after 7 months to join Tommy Dorsey's
swing orchestra. After a short time he bought out his contract
to go solo. In 1942, Sinatra became the idol of the bobby
soxers. In the 1950s, tragedy struck when Sinatra's vocal
cords hemorrhaged. It was a painful and low point in his career.
In the late 50s, however, he made comeback and was better
than ever. He created his own record label, Reprise Records,
in the 1960s. This was also the time that he was known as
the leader of the "Rat Pack," which included such characters
as Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford, Joey Bishop,
and honorary members such as Milton
Berle, Shirley MacLaine and Tony Curtis. Sinatra always
wanted the entourage to be known as "The Summit." They did
many Vegas performances and movies together. The Chairman
of the Board continued to sing until his heart attack death
at age 82. At an earlier time in his life, he reportedly said,
"You've got to be livin', baby, because dyin' is a pain in
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Sinatra had a colorful love life. It all began when he married
his high school sweetheart. Their fairytale marriage ended
when Frank's affair with Ava Gardner made front-page headlines.
In 1951, 6 days after his divorce, he married Ava. He and
Ava never got along well, quarreling from the moment they
woke up. Their separation and eventual divorce hit him hard.
In the 1960s, at age 50, he shocked his friends and fans in
his marriage to Mia Farrow, a 20 year old no-name actress.
At the time, Dean Martin was
quoted to say, "I've got scotch older than Mia Farrow." Even
Mia's mother, actress Maureen O'Sullivan, said, "Never mind
Mia. He should be marrying me." They later divorced. Sinatra
then married Barbara Marx, widow of Zeppo Marx. However, he
did remain friends with his many former wives. When Mia found
out that her lover, Woody Allen, was having an affair with
her adopted daughter, Sinatra asked Mia if she would like
for him to arrange to have Woody's legs broken.
Sinatra was known for his colorful character, sometimes tough,
but always loved. He says that he never took voice lessons
and could barely read music. He also claims that he built
up his enormous lung capacity (helpful for belting out those
long phrases that he was known for) through swimming. Old
Blue Eyes was known for his quotes, such as "I'm for anything
that gets you through the night, be it prayer, tranquilizers,
or a bottle of Jack Daniels," or "You can be the most artistically
perfect performer in the world, but an audience is like a
broad – if you're indifferent, Endsville," or "May you live
to be 100 and may the last voice you hear be mine." He was
well-known for his style from women to liquor to clothing.
According to the author of the Sinatra biography The Way You
Wear Your Hat, Bill Zehme, "He never wore brown after dark.
For instance, men who wore brown would be ... taken aside.
[Sinatra] would say, 'What are you doing? You wear black or
dark gray or maybe navy, but that's it.'"
This collection comprises of Sinatra's many radio appearances:
For additional Frank Sinatra recordings, see also:The Rat Pack Collection.