As we inch towards the year 2000, we look back to the pre-dominant individuals of the 20th century. Time magazine voted Frank Sinatra as the world’s most influential vocalist of the 20th century. Frank Sinatra not only excelled but transcended music and became a true personality of our time. Whether you’re talking about recorded music, live performances, movies or simply living large, Frank Sinatra has done that all. He has become an international figure, having the reputation as a celebrity, icon, bad boy and the greatest singer of American popular songs. He is known as being America’s first teen idol and also as a true American Legend. You may all know the name "Frank Sinatra" but you may all not know why Frank Sinatra is a cultural icon. After reading the book "Sinatra:Behind the Legend" by Randy Tarabelli, I learned a lot about this American legend.
Francis Albert Sinatra was born on Dec.12th,1915 in Hoboken, New Jersey. His parents were Italian immigrants and he grew up poor in the streets of Hoboken. Those tough early years made him all the more determined to work hard and make something of his life. He was a very ambitious person. Since he was a little boy he loved to sing. In his teen years he attended a Bing Crosby concert and that is when he decided that he too would become a singer. At the age of 19 the first break of his musical career came on when he sang with a band called the Hoboken Four. After that taste of success he knew he had to be a solo singer and make it on his own.
During the late 30’s he played poorly paid gigs in musty, little dives having the title as the world’s greatest saloon singer. When he was working in a little nightclub in New Jersey he was discovered by the well known trumpeter Harry James. James loved Sinatra’s voice and told him he needed a boy singer for his band and Sinatra jumped at the chance. Sinatra’s success with Harry James made him become noticed by the Tommy Dorsey band who were a very popular swing band of the 30’s. This led him to quit performing with Harry James and join the Tommy Dorsey band. While he was working with Tommy Dorsey Sinatra learned his phrasing and intonation from listening to Dorsey play.
In 1942 he decided to go solo and found the fame as the king of the bobbysoxers, which were the young women and girls who were his fans. He became America’s first teen idol. He was the only singer that sang the most smooth, straightforward ballads. And he credited jazz singer Billie Holliday as a major influence on his vocal style.
He had a lot of charisma which attracted all the famous movie actresses to him. He had love affairs with every movie actress during that time. In the 50’s he had affairs with movie stars such as Judy Garland, Marylin Monroe, and Ava Gardner. He and Ava Gardner were married for a few...