100 years: Frank Sinatra, ‘a man in full’

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — One hundred years ago, Francis Albert Sinatra was born in Hoboken, New Jersey. He died almost 18 years ago, and yet he’s still the Chairman of the Board.

Across the country, around the world and in prestigious institutions as the Smithsonian, the life and legacy of Frank Sinatra is remembered and appreciated.

This is how the New York Times began their story:“Before Michael Jackson, before Bob Dylan, before Elvis Presley, there was Sinatra, the first modern pop superstar. In the floodtide of centennial tributes (he was born on Dec. 12, 1915), we celebrate the cool, ring-a-ding-ding Sinatra, a man with the world on a string — but his most far-reaching accomplishment was infusing popular song with intimate personal emotion.”

He first came to prominence in the late 1930s. Over the next few decades Sinatra dominated — radio, television, films, pop culture, tabloids. He had his highs and lows but was never bowed.

Again, this is from the New York Times:“His union of the singer and the song was fortified by his protohipster image: a film-noir loner in a fedora with a cigarette and a drink; the flip side was the swinger bedding countless beautiful women and partying with his pals till dawn. To borrow a title from Tom Wolfe, he was “a man in full.”

The times were different. The country was different. But the constant from then through now is emotion. And no one infused a song with emotion like Frank Sinatra.

Once more from the New York Times:“It’s a sad reflection on contemporary tastes that the rude, swaggering entertainer of the Las Vegas “rat pack” is considered quintessential Sinatra by younger generations unacquainted with the voice of the ’40s crooner.”

So on his 100th birthday, whether you know a lot or next to nothing about Frank Sinatra, it’s worth your time to spend a few minutes with Ol’ Blue Eyes.

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