Frank Sinatra in the ‘Fifties

As Sinatra was born 100 years ago today, I thought I’d post my take on the great man again in his golden years

RGS History


After the war, the big band swing that dominated the ‘thirties had fallen out of fashion, a fact not helped by a musicians’ strike. In November 1939 the 24 year old Frank Sinatra got the gig as lead singer in Tommy Dorsey’s band. It was to make him a star. By 1942 he was a solo star, appealIng to what at the time were called bobby soxers, teenage girls. Sinatramania was pretty much unprecedented, representing a new market for popular music based primarily on radio, and the gramophone.


By the late ‘forties he was perhaps as much known for his movies: On the Town came out in 1949. His singing career, meanwhile, had all but collapsed. When his marriage had ended, thanks to his very public affair with the movie star Ava Gardener, he lost his movie and recording contracts, and even his voice at one point. Had it not…

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