New York, New York…
Every New Years Eve, the second the shining diamond encrusted infamous ball drops in Times Square, New York City, in front of millions of people watching from all around the world, his voice is the very first thing that serenades and welcomes the New Year, and has become the very anthem of the city itself – New York, New York…
Frank Sinatra dominated the 20th century as an actor, and most prominently a singer, who came to set a trademark with his astounding crooning voice and especially highlighted the popularity of jazz music and successfully intertwined it with pop music in the middle of the 20th century. Sinatra has sold over 150 million records worldwide, and the success and demand for his records continued vigorously for over six decades. His records even continued to sell successfully throughout what many call the “Elvis era” as well as the “Beatles era.” Another significant strength of Sinatra’s was covering songs that were considered classics (from theater/musicals and various composers), in a way that arguably heightened their appeal even more.
Sinatra’s height of popularity was during the 1940’s and 1950’s. He gained his first exposure through radio, and taking part in a vocal group called “The Hoboken Four” in 1935. He had a radio show “Songs by Sinatra” which later would become “The Frank Sinatra Show” in 1943. The same year he also appeared in his first film, performing “Night and Day.” The next year he would release the song “White Christmas” which is one the most popular songs for the holidays even today. Sinatra dominated the screens as well, scoring numerous Academy Awards for his roles in “The House I Live In,” “From Here to Eternity,” and “The Man with the Golden Arm” just to name a few.
Sinatra was signed to many labels throughout both his acting and singing career which included Capitol Records, Warner Bros., Columbia Records, Sony Music, EMI, Warner Music Group, Warner Bros Records., Legacy Recordings, and Qwest Records. In 1960, he even came to found his own label, “Reprise Records” which is currently still owned and operated by Warner Bros. Records. Sinatra originally founded the label to have more power over his own work. It has a number of popular artists currently signed to it, including Neil Young and Michael Bublé.
As soon as a Sinatra track comes on, one is immediately taken into a black and white film of the 1940’s, imagining either a couple walking along a dimly lit path, holding hands dressed in a classic sophisticated style…or perhaps that is just the picture that comes to my head! But Sinatra’s style and voice became infamous because of its beautiful intimate tone and the ability that he had and continues to have to connect with audiences in a swooning kind of way. In one of his biggest hits, “Strangers in the Night,” the song has a beautiful melody which became iconic for various movies (film noir in particular) throughout the 20th century. The melody melts with his voice perfectly in a supreme way.
Sinatra always got away with pretty much singing any song that was a classic, and somehow making it his own. One of Sinatra’s most popular songs “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” perfectly exemplifies this. Originally, it was written in 1936 and performed by Virginia Bruce for the musical “Born to Dance.” However, in 1966, when Sinatra took over, he made it his own with silky words and even silkier jazzy vibes. Another cover of Sinatra’s, “Summer Wind” which was originally released in Germany in 1965, reached spot 25 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1966 when recorded by him. The track has a beautiful, light, and playful melody with lyrics to match, and naturally, Sinatra adds a unique sultry feel to it.
And so, just about a century later, Sinatra’s voice still fills just about every home around Christmas and New Years, and still fills millions of hearts with nostalgia as just about anyone will know a Sinatra song the minute a jazzy tune and sultry voice fills their ears.
Below I have included an iconic song of Sinatra’s that will always be my personal favorite, and will never get old. Enjoy!