Frank Sinatra, long acclaimed as the world’s greatest performer of popular music, is the artist who set the standard for all others to follow. Sinatra was, of course, more than a singer - he was an actor, recording artist, cabaret and concert star, radio and television personality and, on occasion, producer, director and conductor.
A beloved entertainer for six decades, Sinatra’s achievements earned him three Oscars, two Golden Globes, 10 personal Grammys (and a total of 21 including those for his albums), an Emmy, a Cecile B. DeMille Award, a Peabody, and he was recognized at the Kennedy Center Honors in 1983. A generous charitable contributor, one of his most prestigious awards was the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1971. In the United States, Sinatra was also awarded the Presidential Medal Of Honor and the Congressional Gold Medal (Congress’s highest civilian award).
Born in Hoboken, New Jersey, Sinatra decided to become a singer after hearing the music of his idols, Bing Crosby and Billie Holiday. His big break came in 1939 when he became Harry James’ band vocalist. He went on to join Tommy Dorsey and later struck out on his own, appearing on radio’s “Your Hit Parade” and his own program, “Songs By Sinatra” among others. Sinatra was also recording hit songs for Columbia records from 1943 to 1952.
In late 1942, Sinatra made his historic appearance at the Paramount Theatre in New York’s Times Square, where the headline artist was Benny Goodman. Sinatra made his movie debut the following year and went on to star in over 50 films, winning an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor for his role in “From Here To Eternity,” and a special Oscar for a short film against racial prejudice, “The House I Live In.”
From 1953 to 1961, Sinatra recorded more than 17 albums for Capitol Records. In 1956, Frank Sinatra was the first artist to record in the newly built Capitol Studios at Hollywood & Vine in Los Angeles. During Sinatra’s years with Capitol, he pioneered and perfected the idea of the “concept album” by recording and sequencing songs on his LPs to strike and complete a specific mood. Albums such as “Come Fly With Me,” “Only The Lonely,” “Songs For Swingin’ Lovers!,” and “In The Wee Small Hours’ are considered classics.
In 1960, Frank Sinatra formed his own record company, Reprise. At Reprise,
he would record many of his signature hit such as “Strangers In The Night,” “My Way” and “New York, New York.”
Frank Sinatra has been called the most popular entertainer of the 20th century...many would also label him as one of the most generous philanthropists as well. During his lifetime, he donated more than one billion dollars to charities throughout the world.