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Frank Sinatra - The First American Idol 3 of 3

Updated on April 4, 2018
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Audrey Hunt, a renowned vocal coach, shares valuable information for singing like a professional. Learn how to improve your present voice.


Sinatra Helped Other Famous Singers

The Genuine, First American Idol

It was in July 1944 that a riot broke out at The Paramount Theater in New York City. The cause - a young singer by the name of Frank Sinatra - and some 35,000 fans, mostly teen age girls called "bobby soxers."

Sinatra was the first true American Idol long before the name became a popular television show. The judges were his real life fans. His voice, a brand new sound which has become the most imitated voice in the world including Elvis Presley.

Please see Part 1 and Part 2 of Frank Sinatra - The First American Idol to capture the full history of this unique and somewhat controversial man.

Next, the wives and children of Frank Sinatra.

No Sound But Great Footage

The Wives of Frank Sinatra

Sinatra's private life reads like a movie. He truly "did it his way." Now, follow along with me as we learn more about Francis Albert Sinatra, the boy from Hoboken, New Jersey, who became the most famous entertainer in the world.

Frank was first married to his childhood sweetheart, Nancy Barbato (4 February 1939 - 29 October 1951) and 3 children were born to the couple. Nancy Sinatra, Tina Sinatra, and one son Frank Sinatra Jr. The couple divorced in 1951. Sinatra adored his children and he and Nancy remained friends throughout his life.

He fell madly in love with the beautiful actress Ava Gardner and they married November 7 1951 and after a turbulent 6 years, divorced on - July 5, 1957. He never got over her.

He met actress Mia Farrow and married her on 19 July 1966 - 16 August 1968 when the marriage ended in divorce.

Then in 1976 Sinatra married Barbara Marx, former wife of Zepo Marx of Marx Brother fame. This time the marriage lasted for the rest of Sinatra's life. He had at last found emotional stability.

Frank Sinatra Jr is Kidnapped

On December 8, 1963 Frank Sinatra Jr. was kidnapped at Harrah's Lake Tahoe and was released two days later. His kidnappers collected a hefty ransom for the famous young man who's father was world known for his superior singing voice.

Read more about the kidnapping and events of his life at,_Jr.

Introducing Frank Sinatras Children Frank Sinatra Jr. and Christina Sinatra

Franklin Wayne Emmanuel Sinatra (born 10 January 1944 in Jersey City, New Jersey), professionally known as Frank Sinatra, Jr., is an American singer, songwriter and conductor. Frank Jr. is the son of famed musician and actor Frank Sinatra and Nancy Barbato, his father's first wife. He is the younger brother of singer and actress Nancy Sinatra, and the older brother of television producer Tina Sinatra.

Christina Sinatra, primarily known as "Tina" (born June 20, 1948, in Los Angeles, California) is the youngest child (and the second daughter) of Frank Sinatra and his first wife, Nancy Barbato Sinatra. Christina's parents divorced when she was three years old. Sinatra's song "Tina" was about her. She is an occasional film producer who has also done some acting in the past.

Born as the first child of Frank Sinatra and Nancy Barbato, Nancy Sinatra was born in Jersey City on June 8th 1940. First TV appearance was with her father and Elvis Presly in 1959. First appeared as a film actress in 1964 in For Those Who Think Young in(1964) and Get Yourself a College Girl in (1964). Nancy appeared alongside Elvis in Speedway(1968).

Nancy Sinatra also had a successful career as a singer with two US chart-toppers: "These Boots are made for Walking" and the duet with her father called "Somethin' Stupid". She also got together with composer John Barry and Leslie Bricusse to pen the theme song to the James Bond film You Only Live Twice (1967).

In recent years, Nancy has made a comeback also not hindered by the recent successful re-recording of "Somethin' Stupid" by Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman.

Chairman of the Board

A punctured eardrum gave him exemption from military service and he was able to work hard during the war years to further his recording career. Some of his most famous classics such as 'Beguin the Beguine' and 'I've Got A Crush On You' were recorded at this time.

Sinatra's recording and singing career were also resurrected on the back of his movie success. Always cool and collected, Frank Sinatra carried himself in a way that most in the limelight do not. No one was as hard on Frank Sinatra as Frank himself. He worked hard to maintain the standards he set with sold-out concerts, hit records, and popular films and television specials. "The Chairman of the Board" added successful businessman to his resume with many successful deals including the co-founding of his own recording label in 1961 dubbed Reprise Records.

In 1988 Frank Sinatra launched a hugely successful Rat Pack reunion tour with Sammy Davis, Jr. and Dean Martin. But when Dean pulled out due to the strenuous schedule, Liza Mennelli (Judy Garland and Vincent Minnelli's daughter) provided a very qualified replacement. The release of two albums featuring Sinatra with other popular artists of the times, Duets (1993) and Duets II (1994), proved his style of music was still in demand. The two Duets albums outsold any of his albums. Frank proved he could cross-generational barriers with as much ease as he sang a song.

His Final Years - Frank Sinatra

As he aged, his voice changed, most would say for the better. It was mellower and the timbre seemed richer. He was able to project himself as the mature sophisticate, expiriencing and enjoying life's ups and downs and still at heart a romantic. He loved to laugh and spread joy. He also was a humanitarian, giving generously to charities, organizations and causes.

Sinatra retired in 1971 but no-one quite believed it and it proved to be the first of several retirements. He continued to record and make television appearances throughout the 1970s and early 1980s.

As the years caught up with him he slowed down his performing side and also his lifestyle became more sedate. He devoted more time to worthy causes including a new wing at the Atlantic City MedicalCenter. Even so he was still able to win two more Grammys for 'Duets I & II,' with recording stars of the past and present. He also received many prestigeous awards including the United States's highest civilian accolade, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

With old age came more public interest and accolades. In the 1990s it was once again fashionable to be 'hip' and 'cool' and the press, radio and television were flooded with articles about Sinatra and The Rat Pack's hard-living culture. The market was flooded with books and films of Sinatra concerts, movies and recordings.

It was his last hurrah and he made his last ,and this time final retirement, in 1995,at the age of 80. He suffered a heart attack in 1997 and passed away on May 14, 1998 at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Hospital.

Francis Albert Sinatra will never be replaced and never be equaled. His golden voice will live forever in the hearts of those who love him.

Thank you, Mr. Sinatra.

Do you have Frank Sinatra's Songs in your music library?

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"The Best Is Yet To Come"

Frank Sinatra Gravestone at Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City, California
Frank Sinatra Gravestone at Desert Memorial Park in Cathedral City, California | Source

© 2010 Audrey Hunt


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    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      2 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      I'm glad to see you here Peggy. There is so much to cover about this remarkable singer I had to write this hub in three parts. Thank you for reading my article and leaving your comments.

      Wishing you happy holidays,


    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Frank Sinatra certainly had a beautiful and memorable voice for the ages. "The Best Is Yet To Come" on his gravestone is nice to see. Nice article about him. I had forgotten some of the details of his life.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      8 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Leighsue - Welcome again! I am beyond delighted to see you here and to know that you enjoyed pt 3 of Frank Sinatra - The Man and His Music. Your friend...vocalcoach

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      8 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Billrrr - You are wonderful to visit this hub and support it after almost a yr without any comments. I am touched that you would make such a kind gesture.

      I want to thank you for commenting on Sinatra's life-long battle against racism. I have always admired him for how he opened doors for Sammy.

      One of the distasteful things about the media is how "bad" news influences the public while the honorable goes unreported. Frank Sinatra gave so much of himself and his money and celebrity so that others could benefit.

      I am proud to portray pictures of him in my music room. I do my best work with his music playing in the background. I feel alive as I am lifted up by his pure, original and magnificent voice.

      Thank you!

    • Leighsue profile image


      8 years ago

      Very good hub. Makes me smile just to hear him again.

    • Billrrrr profile image

      Bill Russo 

      9 years ago from Cape Cod

      This blog's old news now. No comments in 11 months. That's why I am checking in.

      As one who is W (ith) O (ut) P (apers), I can tell you a few more things about Frank Sinatra - The Man. You will readily hear the bad things, I will not speak of them. I will talk only of his life-long battle against racism. If you could speak to Sammy Davis Jr or Count Basie or Duke Ellington or any one of a million guys whose last name ends in O or I or another vowel, you would hear of a thousand things he did for peace and harmony, that went unreported. When his son was kidnapped, Frank showed courage and quick action in getting Junior safely back.

      Word is that the kidnappers asked for $240,000. "I'll give you a million. Just don't hurt him," Frank is reported to have said.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      10 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Micky - So happy to see you here, commenting on Frank. So glad you liked the video. You are the best, micky!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      10 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      I never tire of Sinatras voice - he remains my favorite vocalist. I haven't heard of him having problems with his voice in his younger days. That may be true. Thanks for your commenting.

    • Cedar Cove Farm profile image

      Cedar Cove Farm 

      10 years ago from Southern Missouri

      I love Sinatra. Didn't he have a problem with his vocal cords when he was younger? (You may have mentioned this in another hub, I just started reading here.)

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 

      10 years ago

      This is a great tribute to Mr. Sinatra! I loved the video. I never knew that his home and mine were so similar! God bless!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      10 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      William - Good comments about Bing - I joined his website and will be contributing what I can to bring more awareness to this great singer. Thank you so much for bringing me to this awareness.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      10 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      katiem2 - I enjoyed doing this series and am thrilled that you read all three hubs and left comments. I thank you, dear katiem2 for your support. You are my heroe.

    • William F. Torpey profile image

      William F Torpey 

      10 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      Well done, vocalcoach. Great series on Frank Sinatra. He was indeed a great talent. By the way, his family has done good work keeping his legacy alive. I wish Bing Crosby's family had done as well -- although they have finally begun to take a greater interest in Bing's legacy. Thumbs up!

    • katiem2 profile image

      Katie McMurray 

      10 years ago from Westerville

      WOW more Frank Sinatra the man and his music, I love all the fantastic pictures you included it's so cool to reflect on such an amazing talent as Frank Sinatra what a voice! Peace :)

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      10 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      LillyGrillzit - You're welcome and thank you for hangin' in there with me. :-)

    • LillyGrillzit profile image

      Lori J Latimer 

      10 years ago from Central Oregon

      Thank you for this series! The Rat Pack man...

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      10 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Hello, Hello, Thank you my friend. You were the first to comment!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      10 years ago from London, UK

      You wrote a great tribute to Frank Sinatra's achievements.


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