Immortality is defined as eternal life. Frank Sinatra is one who will live forever. His music, his movies, his attitude, his eyes, whatever it is you remember him for, all the same, he IS greatness. Few people come along in the course of life that can be labeled great, Frankie is the symbol of greatness. Tens of millions of recordings, nine Grammys and two Academy Awards, over 60 films, worldwide tours, television specials, hundreds of millions of dollars raised for charities. Sinatra passed the tests of time with grades better than though could be achieved, this is his story
. Sinatra was born Dec. 12, 1915, the only child of working-class Italian-American immigrants, in a tenement at 415 Monroe St. in Hoboken. His father, Anthony, was a boxer/fireman in Hoboken. His mother, Natalie "Dolly" Sinatra, worked as a barmaid who loved to sing at family gatherings. Music always filled the Sinatra home. In high school, he saw his hero, Bing Crosby, perform live. This was all the inspiration Sinatra needed to set his goal as becoming a professional singer. Sinatra, while working jobs at The Jersey Observer, sang with a neighborhood vocal group, the Hoboken Four, He also appeared in neighborhood theater amateur shows, where first prize was usually $10 or a set of dishes. His first professional gig was at the Rustic Cabin roadhouse in Englewood Cliffs, where Sinatra sang, told jokes and emceed when he wasn't waiting tables. At the request of his mother Frank enrolled in Hoboken's Stevens Institute of Technology , but he soon dropped out after 1½ semesters. In 1939 he was offered his first professional singing contract as the lead vocalist in Harry James' new band. When Sinatra started performing with the "Big Bands" he acquired a fierce following of young fans, which enabled him to later branch out as a solo artist. It was at this time that Sinatra's career soared. Sinatra was signed to a recording contract as a soloist by Columbia Recording Corporation. Sinatra had developed a highly innovative style of singing and finally could make decisions on how the band should play or how a song should be sung. If he wanted something changed, it was changed. A talent agency marketing Sinatra advertised him as: "The Voice That Thrilled Millions." This was later changed to "The Voice." This would be on of his many labels for life. Having the ability to entertain one person is an achievement in itself, but thousands is another story. He could entertain anyone, any place, any time. In September 1942, Sinatra decided to go solo. A year later, he had his first lead movie role, in the musical "Higher and Higher," but he didn't stay put in Hollywood. Instead, he toured as part of a concert series devoted to movie music; did two radio shows a week, including "Your Hit Parade," and performed up and down the West Coast. In November 1946, Columbia estimated that Sinatra was recording an average of twenty-four songs a year, enabling them to release one new Sinatra record a month. Not a single band today can produce hit albums at the pace Sinatra did. A successful band today would be expected to produce three records a year; Sinatra did four times that amount. In 1946 his records were selling at an annual rate of ten million per year. He had a successful radio program and a film contract with M.G.M. He was at the peak of his popularity. "He's the one who made it possible for the singer to be the star of the band," says jazz singer Jon Hendricks of Lambert, Hendricks and Ross. During the World War II years, Sinatra ( who was exempted from service by a punctured eardrum ) and Axel Stordahl, his chief arranger and conductor, introduced "Nancy (With the Laughin' Face)." Originally presented to Sinatra's oldest child on her fourth birthday, it became one of his signature tunes in a period when he was king, that also brought forth "When Your Lover is Gone," "The Song Is You," "Fools Rush In," "Begin the Beguine"and "I've Got a Crush on...
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