Frank Sinatra

A true icon, Frank Sinatra was one of the most innovative and influential artists of the 20th century, revolutionising vocal techniques by singing off the beat and elevating the role of big band crooner from bit-part player to star attraction. His extraordinary 60-year career encompassed jazz, big band, swing and pop as well as acting, but started humbly as a singing waiter in New Jersey in Depression-era 1930s. He was hired by Harry James to sing with his band in 1939 and released his first record with them, 'From the Bottom of My Heart'. Soon afterwards he joined the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, developing the unique techniques that re-defined big band singing. During the 1940s, Sinatra's fan base grew and grew, with the phenomena described as Sinatramania. He signed with Columbia Records as a solo artist in 1943 and achieved a number two record with 'All Or Nothing at All', previously recorded with Harry James. His style and popularity developed even further, climaxing in the 1950s when collaborations with band leader Nelson Riddle resulted in classic recordings like 'Songs for Swingin' Lovers' and 'Come Fly With Me'. Later he embraced a more popular style of music, spawning further legendary hits such as 'Strangers in the Night', 'My Way' and 'Somethin' Stupid' with daughter Nancy Sinatra. He also began a more serious interest in acting, with the mid-'50s playing host to some of his biggest roles including 'Guys and Dolls', 'High Society', 'Meet Me in Las Vegas' and 'Around the World in 80 Days'. 1970 saw Sinatra's least successful album 'Watertown' which sold just 30,000 copies. After a brief retirement period, Sinatra returned with the release of 'Ol' Blue Eyes Is Back', managing to score a number 12 position in the UK Albums Charts and number 13 on the Billboard. Throughout the '80s and '90s Sinatra continued to perform, with his voice noticeably altering in his later years. To mark his 80th birthday in 1995, a celebration concert was put on in his honour, featuring performances from Ray Charles, Natalie Cole and Little Richard, with the Empire State Building lit up blue to match his eyes. Just two years later, after complications from a heart attack, Frank Sinatra passed away at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

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Stations Featuring Frank Sinatra

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