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Frank Sinatra: Bio

Growing up on the streets of Hoboken, New Jersey, made Frank Sinatra determined to work hard to get ahead. Starting out as a saloon singer in musty little dives (he carried his own P.A. system), he got his first major break in 1935 as part of The Hoboken Four on popular radio show Major Bowes Amateur Hour. In 1939 he signed with Harry James as lead singer of his big band before gaining the attention of Tommy Dorsey and his orchestra with whom he sang the first ever No. 1 song on Billboard, I'll Never Smile Again. That same year he married sweetheart Nancy Barbato with whom he had three children, Nancy, Tina and Frank, Jr. Sinatra's growing popularity led him to leave Dorsey in 1942 and starting in earnest a solo career, instantly finding fame as the number one singing star among teenage music fans of the era, especially the young women and girls known as The Bobbysoxers. Legendary appearances at the New York Paramount were sensational, namely the so-called Columbus Day Riot in 1944, when 35,000 blocked the streets outside the venue waiting to see their idol. About this time Sinatra's acting career was beginning in earnest and he struck box-office gold with a lead role in the acclaimed Anchors Aweigh (1945) alongside Gene Kelly. The following year Sinatra was awarded a special Oscar for his part in a short film against intolerance called The House I Live In (1946). His career on a high, Sinatra went from strength-to-strength, recording his first album, The Voice of Frank Sinatra, at Columbia and starring in several movies, peaking in 1949 with Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949) and On the Town (1949, co-starring in both with Gene Kelly. A torrid public affair with screen siren Ava Gardner broke up Sinatra's marriage and although a second marriage - to Gardner - followed in 1951, record sales began to dwindle and live appearances were failing to sell out, Sinatra's vocal chords hemorrhaging at one point live on stage as years of playing several shows in a single night took their toll. Sinatra continued to act, however, garnering good notice if hardly strong box office in the musical drama Meet Danny Wilson (1951) before fighting for, and winning, the coveted role of Maggio in From Here to Eternity (1953). He won an Oscar for Best Supporting actor and followed this with a scintillating performance as the deranged assassin John Baron in Suddenly (1954) and arguably a career best performance, and Academy Award nomination for Best Actor, in the powerful drama The Man With the Golden Arm (1955). On record Sinatra was also back on a high having signed with Capitol records and riding high on the charts with the album In the Wee Small Hours (1953) and the single Young at Heart (1954), the latter becoming so popular that a recently made film with Doris Day had its name changed to Young at Heart. Known as "One-Take Charlie" for his approach to acting that strove for spontaneity and energy, rather than perfection, he was an instinctive actor who was best at playing parts that mirrored his own personality. Throughout the 1950s Sinatra not only recorded a slew of critically and commercially successful albums, his acting career remained on a high as he gave strong and memorable performances in such films as Guys and Dolls (1955), The Joker is Wild (1957), Kings Go Forth (1957) and Some CameRunning (1958). He also dabbled with producing in the 1950s, first bringing the western Johnny Concho to the big screen and, along with Frank Capra, A Hole in the Head (1959), in which he co-starred with Edward G. Robinson. Continuing this trend into the 1960s Sinatra produced such lucrative offerings as Ocean's 11 (1960), Sergeants 3 (1963) and Robin and the 7 Hoods (1964) as well as starting his own record label, Reprise Records, in 1961. Many of Sinatra's movie projects of the era were lighter offerings alongside Rat Pack pals Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr., but alternating such projects with more stern offerings resulted in the stellar The Manchurian Candidate (1962), arguably Sinatra's best film. Sinatra turned 50 in 1965 and, in many ways, his career once again peaked, recording the album September of My Years which won the Grammy for album of the year and making his directorial debut with the anti-war film None but the Brave (1965). Von Ryan's Express (1965) was released the same year and was a box office sensation helping secure vast earnings for the floundering 20th Century Fox. In 1967 Sinatra returned to familiar territory in Sidney J. Furie's The Naked Runner (1967), once again playing an assassin in his only film to be shot in the U.K. and one of the few films to be shot inside Centre Point and post-war Leipzig in Berlin. That same year he starred as private investigator Tony Rome (1967), a role he reprised in the sequel Lady in Cement (1968). He also starred with Lee Remick in The Detective (1968) a film daring for its time and a major box office success. After appearing in the comic western Dirty Dingus Magee (1970) Sinatra refrained from acting for a further seven years until producing the made-for-TV movie Contract on Cherry Street (1977), based on the novel by William J. Rosenberg. Sinatra returned to the big screen in The First Deadly Sin (1980) once again playing a New York detective with a moving, understated performance that was a fitting coda to his career as a leading man. He made only one more appearance on the big screen with a cameo in Cannonball Run II (1984). His final acting performance in 1987 was as a retired detective seeking vengeance on the killers of his granddaughter in an episode of Magnum P.I. entitled Laura. On stage, Sinatra was as prolific as ever, playing both nationally and internationally to sold out crowds in stadiums and arenas. In 1993 Sinatra stepped back into Capitol studios to record his final albums, Duets and Duets II, both of which were highly successful, finding Sinatra an entirely new audience almost 60 years after he first tasted fame. Frank Sinatra passed away
on May 14th 1998.

1 I've Got The World On A String  
2 My Funny Valentine  
3 Young At Heart  
4 In The Wee Small Hours Of The Morning  
5 Love And Marriage  
6 You Make Me Feel So Young  
7 I've Got You Under My Skin  
8 The Lady Is A Tramp  
9 Witchcraft  
10 All The Way  
11 Come Fly With Me  
12 Angel Eyes  
13 Nice 'N' Easy  
14 Night And Day  
15 The Way You Look Tonight  
16 My Kind Of Town  
17 Fly Me To The Moon (In Other Words)  
18 It Was A Very Good Year  
19 Strangers In The Night  
20 Summer Wind  
21 That's Life  
22 My Way  
23 Theme From New York, New York  
24 Introduction/You Make Me Feel So Young  
25 It Happened In Monterey  
26 At Long Last Love  
27 I Get A Kick Out Of You  
28 Just One Of Those Things  
29 A Foggy Day  
30 The Lady Is A Tramp  
31 They Can't Take That Away From Me  
32 I Won't Dance  
33 Sinatra Dialogue  
34 When Your Lover Has Gone  
35 Violets For Your Furs  
36 My Funny Valentine  
37 Glad To Be Unhappy  
38 One For My Baby  
39 The Tender Trap  
40 Hey Jealous Lover  
41 I've Got You Under My Skin  
42 Oh! Look At Me Now  
Frank Sinatra - You Make Me Feel So Young (Live At Royal Festival Hall / 1962)
Frank Sinatra - 'I've Got the World on a String' (1959)
Frank Sinatra - 'Young At Heart'
Frank Sinatra - The Lady is a Tramp

For the first time, Frank Sinatra's greatest recordings for Capitol Records and his own Reprise Records have been gathered for one stellar collection. Sinatra: 'Best of the Best' single-disc and deluxe 2CD packages contain insightful track notes written by Frank Sinatra Jr. Tracklist leads with 1953's "I've Got The World On A String," followed by 12 other classic tracks Sinatra recorded for Capitol between 1953 and 1960, including "Young At Heart," "You Make Me Feel So Young," "All The Way," and "Come Fly With Me," as well as the Sinatra recording that is the theme of "Married With Children," "Love And Marriage." 10 of Sinatra's best Reprise recordings, released between 1962 and 1980, are also featured, including "Night And Day," "The Way You Look Tonight," "Fly Me To The Moon," "Strangers In The Night," "My Way," and "Theme From New York, New York." Best of the Best's 2CD version adds a previously out-of-print and sought-after Seattle concert recording.

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Crossover Media Projects with: Frank Sinatra