| 22 Sep 2023
ôMay you live to be 100, and may the last voice you hear be mine."; remembering Frank Sinatra

MUMBAI:  He is known as one of the best-selling music artists of all time for he has sold out more than 150 million records worldwide. He had almost 1400 recordings. Born in 1915, Sinatra began singing professionally as a teenager, but he learned music by the ear and never learned to read music.


In between 1929 to 1933, he worked for the circulation manager of the Jersey Observer newspaper and enrolled in a Journalism class, and also worked as cub sports reporter.


First Break: He got his first singing break at the Hoboken Union Club, which his mother pitched a singing group called  The Three Flashes to include Frank and then it was renamed the Hoboken Four.


By May 1941, Sinatra topped the male singer polls in Billboard and Down Beat magazines. With his popularity he was known as ‘Swoonatra’ or ‘The Voice’, and his fans ‘Sinatratics’.


His first album: Sinatra signed with Columbia Records as a solo artist on June 1, 1943, and made his debut at Madison Square Garden and the Hollywood Bowl. Sinatra’s first album was ‘The Voice of Sinatra in 1946,  while his final album was a collection of duets, released in 1994.


Film Career: He acted in 46 films. Rumors of womanising and a violent temper led to a decline in his career  After a low, his career took a u turn in 1953 when he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for ‘From Here to Eternity’.


Columbia Records: During the 1940s' Columbia had a contract with Frank Sinatra. Sinatra helped boost Columbia in revenue. Sinatra recorded over 200 songs with Columbia which include his most popular songs from his early years. Later, Sinatra joined Capitol records and released several critically acclaimed albums including In the Wee -Small Hours , Songs for Swingin' Lovers!, Come Fly with Me, Only the Lonely , and Nice 'n' Easy  by the end 1960.


His own Label: It was 1961 when, Sinatra left Capitol to start his own record label - Reprise Records. Following that Sinatra signed a $16 million three-year deal with the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas in 1982.

Retirement: He retired in 1971 but returned on April 30, 1973 to record tracks for his Ol' Blue Eyes Is Back album. In 1993 Frank Sinatra returned to Capitol Records.


Awards: He has awarded a number of times. Some of his major awards include : the Kennedy Center Honors in 1983 - he was one of the five recipients;  the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Ronald Reagan in 1985; and Congressional Gold Medal in 1997.


He is a recipient of eleven Grammy Awards including Grammy Trustees Award, Grammy Legend Award and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Frank Sinatra died on 14 May 1998, he was 82 years old. In his tribute a two-hour prime time musical  was aired on CBS television in December 2015.