Celebrating a Century of Frank Sinatra (December 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998)
From humble beginnings, Francis Albert “Frank” Sinatra has become one of the twentieth century’s most timeless stars. Born to Italian immigrants in a tenement in Hoboken, New Jersey, Sinatra was the only child of Natalina “Dolly” Garaventa and Antonino Martino “Marty” Sinatra. Sinatra was delivered with the aid of forceps, which caused scarring and perforated his ear drum, causing lifelong damage. His father Marty was an illiterate bantamweight boxer who worked his way up the Hoboken Fire Department to the rank of Captain; mother Dolly was in turns a midwife, local interpreter and a force to be reckoned with. From a young age Frank loved jazz music, and began singing professionally as a teenager.
In an early gig Frank worked as a singing waiter at “The Rustic Cabin” in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, but he soon became frustrated with his band’s lack of success and succeeded in being amicably released from his contact to join Tommy Dorsey at the Palmer House in Chicago. With Dorsey, Sinatra recorded over 40 songs. As those songs rose the charts, Sinatra pushed for solo songs, and, eventually, to be released from the contract with Dorsey. A year after his first recordings with Dorsey, “Sinatramania” had fully gripped an audience of teenage bobby soxers, who propelled the blue-eyed singer to the top of the Billboard charts. In October of 1944 an estimated 35,000 fans caused a near-riot outside the the Paramount Theater in New York, where he had made his legendary review only two years prior.