Friday, December 12, 2014

Frank Sinatra: A Legendary Sound

Today marks the 99th anniversary of the birth of the American singer and actor, Frank Sinatra (1915-1998). His career spanned sixty years ending in 1995, and producing a discography spanning the eras of jazz, swing, big band, and pop music. 

Greatest Hits, Sinatra's first compilation was released in August 1968
 William Ruhlman concluded his biography of Sinatra with these words:

Sinatra finally retired from performing in his 80th year in 1995, and he died of a heart attack less than three years later. Anyone will be astonished at the sheer extent of Sinatra's success as a recording artist over 50 years, due to the changes in popular taste during that period. His popularity as a singer and his productivity has resulted in an overwhelming discography. Its major portions break down into the Columbia years (1943-1952), the Capitol years (1953-1962), and the Reprise years (1960-1981), but airchecks, film and television soundtracks, and other miscellaneous recordings swell it massively. As a movie star and as a celebrity of mixed reputation, Sinatra is so much of a 20th century icon that it is easy to overlook his real musical talents, which are the actual source of his renown. As an artist, he worked to interpret America's greatest songs and to preserve them for later generations. On his recordings, his success is apparent.

Read the rest of the biography here.

And here are two examples of the man at his best:

In case you think Sinatra's influence is waning, here are the details of Bob Dylan's new album covering ten of his classics.  Shadows in the Night will be released February 2, 2015.

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