Frank Sinatra is a voice for all generations. His showmanship and artistry have remained unmatched since he began performing professionally in the 1930s to his last recording 21 years ago. When you think Sinatra, you think of the greatest music ever performed. People have marked milestones in their lives to songs made famous by the legendary Frank Sinatra. 2015 marks a very special year as the most loved entertainer of all time Frank Sinatra will be celebrated around the world with a series of commemorative centennial events.
Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra; December 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998) was an American jazz and traditional pop singer, songwriter, actor, producer and director, who was one of the most popular and influential musical artists of the 20th century. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold more than 150 million records worldwide. Born in Hoboken, New Jersey to Italian immigrants, he began his musical career in the swing era with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey. He found success as a solo artist after being signed by Columbia Records in 1943, becoming the idol of the "bobby soxers". He released his first album, The Voice of Frank Sinatra, in 1946. Sinatra's professional career had stalled by the early 1950s, and he turned to Las Vegas, where he became one of its best known performers as part of the Rat Pack. His career was reborn in 1953 with the success of From Here to Eternity and his subsequent Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. He signed with Capitol Records and released several critically lauded albums, including In the Wee Small Hours (1955), Songs for Swingin' Lovers! (1956), Come Fly with Me (1958), Only the Lonely (1958) and Nice 'n' Easy (1960).
While Sinatra never formally learned how to read music, he had a fine, natural understanding of it, and he worked very hard from a young age to improve his abilities in all aspects of music. He did, however, learn to follow a lead sheet during a performance by "carefully following the patterns and groupings of notes arranged on the page" and made his own notations to the music, using his ear to detect semi-tonal differences. Charles L. Granata, in Sessions with Sinatra: Frank Sinatra and the Art of Recording, states that some of the most accomplished classically trained musicians soon noticed his musical understanding, and remarked that Sinatra had a "sixth sense", which "demonstrated unusual proficiency when it came to detecting incorrect notes and sounds within the orchestra". Sinatra was an aficionado of classical music, and would often request classical strains in his music, inspired by composers and Puccini and other Impressionist masters. His personal favorite was Ralph Vaughan Williams. He would insist on always recording live with the band because it gave him a "certain feeling" to perform live surrounded by musicians. By the mid 1940s, such was his understanding of music that after hearing an air check of some compositions by Alec Wilder which were for strings and woodwinds, he became the conductor at Columbia Records for six of Wilder's compositions: "Air for Oboe", "Air for English Horn", "Air for Flute", "Air for Bassoon", "Slow Dance" and "Theme and Variations". The works, which combine elements of jazz and classical music were considered by Wilder to have been among the finest renditions and recordings of his compositions-past or present. At one recording session with arranger Claus Ogerman and an orchestra, Sinatra heard "a couple of little strangers" in the string section, prompting Ogerman to make corrections to what were thought to be copyist's errors. Critic Gene Lees, a lyricist and the author of the words to the Jobim melody "This Happy Madness", expressed amazement when he heard Sinatra's recording of it on Sinatra & Company (1971), considering him to have worded the lyrics in the way that he had intended when writing them to perfection.