Say it loud and say it proud: “I’m not getting older. I’m getting better!” In the spirit of aging beautifully, we present a year-long series on The Classics — books, movies, cars, and music that just get better and better as time goes by.
Ring-a-Ding-Ding, baby! Nobody had a voice like the Chairman of the Board, Ol’ Blue Eyes, the Lean Lark, the Groovy Gallahad — the one and only Frank Sinatra. A multitime Grammy winner (with his first win for 1959’s “Only the Lonely”), he branched out into the film industry, taking home an Oscar for his role in “From Here to Eternity.” But it was his velvety voice that makes Frank Sinatra one of the true artistic giants of the past century.
- Growing up in Hoboken, New Jersey, young Frank Sinatra started singing for tips at age eight, and began singing professionally in his teens — which is good, because he was expelled from high school after only 47 days for rowdy
behavior. He sang entirely by ear, having never learned to read sheet music.
- Rumors of his relationship to organized crime persisted throughout Frank’s career. Under contract to Tommy Dorsey’s band, Sinatra allegedly called in favors from mobster Sam Giancana to “pursuade” the bandleader into releasing him from his legal obligations. Though never proven, the incident was fictionalized in Mario Puzo’s “The Godfather.”
- Every year, the owners of the Empire State Building honor Sinatra by turning all the lights in their famous skyscraper blue — what better tribute for the man who recorded “New York, New York”?
To learn more about Frank Sinatra, click here to visit his Wikipedia entry.