Francis Albert Sinatra (/sɪˈnɑːtrə/; December 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998) was an American singer, actor, and producer who was one of the most popular and influential musical artists of the 20th century. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 150 million records worldwide. Born in Hoboken, New Jersey, to Italian Americans, Sinatra began his musical career in the swing era with bandleaders Harry James and Tommy Dorsey. Sinatra found success as a solo artist after he signed with Columbia Records in 1943, becoming the idol of the “bobby soxers”. He released his debut album, The Voice of Frank Sinatra, in 1946. Sinatra’s professional career had stalled by the early 1950s, and he turned to Las Vegas, where he became one of its best known residency performers as part of the Rat Pack. His career was reborn in 1953 with the success of From Here to Eternity, with his performance subsequently winning an Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor. Sinatra released several critically lauded albums, including In the Wee Small Hours (1955), Songs for Swingin’ Lovers! (1956), Come Fly with Me (1958), Only the Lonely (1958) and Nice ‘n’ Easy (1960).
Sinatra left Capitol in 1960 to start his own record label, Reprise Records, and released a string of successful albums. In 1965, he recorded the retrospective September of My Years and starred in the Emmy-winning television special Frank Sinatra: A Man and His Music. After releasing Sinatra at the Sands, recorded at the Sands Hotel and Casino in Vegas with frequent collaborator Count Basie in early 1966, the following year he recorded one of his most famous collaborations with Tom Jobim, the album Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim. It was followed by 1968’s Francis A. & Edward K. with Duke Ellington. Sinatra retired for the first time in 1971, but came out of retirement two years later and recorded several albums and resumed performing at Caesars Palace, and reached success in 1980 with “New York, New York”. Using his Las Vegas shows as a home base, he toured both within the United States and internationally until shortly before his death in 1998.
Sinatra forged a highly successful career as a film actor. After winning an Academy Award for From Here to Eternity, he starred in The Man with the Golden Arm (1955), and received critical acclaim for his performance in The Manchurian Candidate (1962). He appeared in various musicals such as On the Town (1949), Guys and Dolls (1955), High Society (1956), and Pal Joey (1957), winning another Golden Globe for the latter. Toward the end of his career, he became associated with playing detectives, including the title character in Tony Rome (1967). Sinatra would later receive the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award in 1971. On television, The Frank Sinatra Show began on ABC in 1950, and he continued to make appearances on television throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Sinatra was also heavily involved with politics from the mid-1940s, and actively campaigned for presidents such as Harry S. Truman, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. In crime, the FBI investigated Sinatra and his alleged relationship with the Mafia.
While Sinatra never learned how to read music, he had an impressive understanding of it, and he worked very hard from a young age to improve his abilities in all aspects of music. A perfectionist, renowned for his dress sense and performing presence, he always insisted on recording live with his band. His bright blue eyes earned him the popular nickname “Ol’ Blue Eyes”. Sinatra led a colorful personal life, and was often involved in turbulent affairs with women, such as with his second wife Ava Gardner. He later married Mia Farrow in 1966 and Barbara Marx in 1976. Sinatra had several violent confrontations, usually with journalists he felt had crossed him, or work bosses with whom he had disagreements. He was honored at the Kennedy Center Honors in 1983, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Ronald Reagan in 1985, and the Congressional Gold Medal in 1997. Sinatra was also the recipient of eleven Grammy Awards, including the Grammy Trustees Award, Grammy Legend Award and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. He was collectively included in Time magazine’s compilation of the twentieth century’s 100 most influential people. After his death, American music critic Robert Christgau called him “the greatest singer of the 20th century”, and he continues to be seen as an iconic figure.
1915 – 1998
I grew up with Frank sinatra in my household due to my Father’s obsession with the man, and grew to really love his work. My Mother ended up hating the songs and music of Sinatra, because the only time my Father was ‘remotely romantic’ was when he had listened to three albums after each other!
Now, how do we find the right handful from this performer’s huge career? We’ll see eh?
I’ve Got You Under My Skin
New York New York
Fly Me to The Moon
The Way You Look Tonight
Mack the Knife
Luck Be a Lady
Ole Man River
Stranger’s in the Night
Killing Me Softly
It was a Very Good Year
Pennies from Heaven
One for My Baby
Higher and Higher 1944
On the verge of losing his home, former millionaire Cyrus (Leon Errol) and his driver, Mike (Jack Haley), recruit Millie (Michele Morgan), a beautiful maid, to pose as the fictitious heiress to Cyrus’ now-spent fortune. With Mike’s guidance, Millie courts the debonair Sir Victor Fitzroy (Victor Borge) in hopes of marrying him to obtain a dowry. But Victor may not be what he seems, neighborhood kid Frank (Frank Sinatra) wants Millie for himself — and poor Millie doesn’t love either of them.
On the Town 1949
Fun-loving sailors Gabey (Gene Kelly), Chip (Frank Sinatra) and Ozzie (Jules Munshin) have 24 hours of shore leave in New York City, and they want to make every second count. While Chip hooks up with loudmouth cab driver Brunhilde (Betty Garrett) and Ozzie swoons for prim anthropologist Claire (Ann Miller), Gabey falls in love with an actress he sees in an advertisement, Ivy Smith (Vera-Ellen). Leonard Bernstein, with lyricists Betty Comden and Adolph Green, provides the music.
From Here to Eternity 1953
At an Army barracks in Hawaii in the days preceding the attack on Pearl Harbor, lone-wolf soldier and boxing champion “Prew” Prewitt (Montgomery Clift) refuses to box, preferring to play the bugle instead. Hard-hearted Capt. Holmes (Philip Ober) subjects Prew to a grueling series of punishments while, unknown to Holmes, the gruff but fair Sgt. Warden (Burt Lancaster) engages in a clandestine affair with the captain’s mistreated wife (Deborah Kerr).
In advance of a presidential visit to the small town of Suddenly, California, a trio of FBI agents enters the Benson family’s home to assess potential security risks. Once inside, leader John Baron (Frank Sinatra) reveals himself as a psychopathic assassin, and he kidnaps the family in order to use their house as his vantage point in his plot to kill the president. Sheriff Tod Shaw (Sterling Hayden) matches wits with the assassin and his gang in an attempt to save the day.
The Man with the Golden Arm 1955
When illegal card dealer and recovering heroin addict Frankie Machine (Frank Sinatra) gets out of prison, he decides to straighten up. Armed with nothing but an old drum set, Frankie tries to get honest work as a drummer. But when his former employer, small-time con man Schwiefka (Robert Strauss), and Frankie’s old drug dealer, Louis (Darren McGavin), re-enter his life, Frankie finds it hard to stay clean and eventually finds himself succumbing to his old habits.
Guys and Dolls 1955
Gambler Nathan Detroit (Frank Sinatra) has few options for the location of his big craps game. Needing $1,000 to pay a garage owner to host the game, Nathan bets Sky Masterson (Marlon Brando) that Sky cannot get virtuous Sarah Brown (Jean Simmons) out on a date. Despite some resistance, Sky negotiates a date with her in exchange for bringing people into her mission. Meanwhile, Nathan’s longtime fiancée, Adelaide (Vivian Blaine), wants him to go legit and marry her.
High Society 1956
Jazz artist C.K. Dexter Haven (Bing Crosby) is still hung up on his ex-wife and neighbor, socialite Tracy Samantha Lord (Grace Kelly), however Tracy is engaged to another man (John Lund). Matters are complicated even further when a magazine reporter (Frank Sinatra), in town to cover Tracy’s wedding, also winds up falling for the beautiful bride-to-be. As Tracy tries to decide on the ideal husband, each suitor works hard to convince her he is the best choice.
Kings Go Forth 1958
During World War II, in a picturesque town on the French Riviera, U.S. Army Lt. Sam Loggins (Frank Sinatra) and Cpl. Britt Harris (Tony Curtis) both fall for the same local girl, the American-born Monique Blair (Natalie Wood). But when the soldiers learn that Monique and her mother (Leora Dana) had moved to France from the United States to escape discrimination against her parents’ interracial marriage, each man must examine his own bigotry and prejudices.
Ocean’s 11 1960
Danny Ocean (Frank Sinatra) calls on some of his World War II buddies — including Jimmy Foster (Peter Lawford), Sam Harmon (Dean Martin) and Josh Howard (Sammy Davis Jr.) — to pull off an elaborate New Year’s Eve heist at five casinos in Las Vegas. Eleven members of Danny’s crew come together to pull off a perfect robbery, but they suffer a series of setbacks when Duke Santos (Cesar Romero), a former gangster, tries to thwart Ocean’s plans to disappear with the money.
The Manchrian Candidate 1962
Near the end of the Korean War, a platoon of U.S. soldiers is captured by communists and brainwashed. Following the war, the platoon is returned home, and Sergeant Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey) is lauded as a hero by the rest of his platoon. However, the platoon commander, Captain Bennett Marco (Frank Sinatra), finds himself plagued by strange nightmares and, together with fellow soldier Allen Melvin (James Edwards), races to uncover a terrible plot.
Von Ryan’s Express 1965
World War II story about Allied prisoners who stage a mass breakout from an Italian POW camp, commandeer a train and head towards the Swiss border. As the Italian war effort collapses, the escapees are aided by their erstwhile captors, but when the Germans catch on, they set out to halt the escape with an armoured train and aerial attack.
The Detective 1968
When a gay man is viciously slain, Detective Joe Leland (Frank Sinatra) is put on the case. Joe eventually tracks down the victim’s roommate, who confesses to the crime and is sentenced to death; however, the outcome of the case doesn’t sit well with the detective. Norma (Jacqueline Bisset), a distraught widow, visits Joe. She believes her husband’s death was no accident, but the cops don’t seem to care. Joe begins to investigate, and stumbles on a cover-up related to his previous case.
The First Deadly Sin 1980
Edward Delaney (Frank Sinatra) is nearing the end of his career as a New York City homicide detective. But, before he can retire, he picks up a case involving multiple brutal murders, the victims of which have nothing in common. With help from a museum curator (Martin Gabel), Edward starts to piece together the few clues the vicious killer has left behind. As he starts to close in on the killer, his wife, Barbara (Faye Dunaway), is diagnosed with a serious disease.