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.... [continues]
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