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Happy 101st Birthday To Frank Sinatra

Tonight the top of the Empire State Building will be lit in blue for all to see, one of the many annual tributes to "'Ol' Blue Eyes" himself, Frank Sinatra, on his 101st birthday.

Looking back on Sinatra's incredible career - 11 Grammy wins, 2 Golden Globes, an Oscar, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and more than 150 million records sold worldwide - it's worth remembering that he was born to humble beginnings: he was the child of two Italian immigrant parents who lived in a tenement in Hoboken, New Jersey.

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"Sinatramania"

Sinatra got his start sitting on top of the piano in his parents' tavern, singing songs for loose change from bar patrons.

As a young solo act touring the country, Sinatra's golden voice and good looks drew hordes of teenaged fans - mostly teen girls - who created fan clubs devoted to the young singer. At one show, when his audience stayed inside the venue after his performance was over, a mob of 35,000 Sinatra fans waiting to come inside the theater started a riot.

Sinatra's fans, called "Sinatratics", would often steal pieces of Sinatra's clothing like his bow tie, or bribe hotel staff to touch the bed he had slept in.


From Here to Eternity

While Sinatra headed a number of hugely popular films throughout his career, including the original versions of The Manchurian Candidate and Ocean's Eleven, his Oscar winning performance in 1953's From Here to Eternity is the one he's best known for.

Sinatra's connection to famous mobsters of the era like Lucky Luciano were well known, and rumors swirled that Sinatra got his part in the movie because his friends in high places made the studio an "offer they couldn't refuse."

In fact, the film came at a low point in Sinatra's career, and he probably got the role because of the influence of his then-wife, Ava Gardner.

The film's director Fred Zinnemann was actually so against casting Sinatra that he made the star pay for his own screen test!

Lasting Legacy


While Sinatra is one of only 35 celebrities to have three different stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame - for his work in music, film, and television - he'll always be remembered best for his many classic songs.

"My Way", Sinatra's most successful record, still holds the record for the most weeks spent in the United Kingdom's top 40 chart. The record spent 75 weeks on the chart between 1969 and 1971.

Despite the success of My Way, Sinatra's daughter, Tina, insists that the Chairman himself never liked it; saying her dad thought it was "self-indulgent."

Then again, many of Sinatra's best-loved songs seemed to rub the performer the wrong way. Ol Blue Eyes called "Strangers in the Night," which won three Grammys including Record of the Year for 1967, "the worst" song he had ever heard.

Let's agree to disagree on this one Frank, and happy birthday!

Which Sinatra tune is your favorite? Share this article with the Chairman fan in your life.

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