Scroll to explore important milestones for Frank Sinatra
Source: Sinatra, Nancy. Frank Sinatra: An American Legend. 1998.
Frank Sinatra’s first big break came when he and a local trio who called themselves the Three Flashes auditioned separately for an appearance on Major Bowes and His Original Amateur Hour. They put them all together and called them the Hoboken Four.
Frank Sinatra cut his first record with Harry James (trumpeter), “From The Bottom of My Heart” (backed with “Melancholy Mood”) on the Brunswick label. Recorded at 78 rpm, neither song hit the charts.
FS co-starred with Kathryn Grayson, Jimmy Durante and Peter Lawford in MGM’s It Happened in Brooklyn. FS won critical praise for his performance as an ex-solider returning home to civilian life after WWII, and he sang 7 songs.
On weekends in LA, Frank led a softball team, the Swooners, in games against other celebrity teams. He played second base in a lineup that included other stars of era. They even had their own cheerleaders: Virginia Mayo, Marilyn Maxwell, Shelley Winters and Ava Gardner.
At 19, while spending the summer at his aunt Josie’s house in Long Branch on the Jersey Shore, my father met my mother, Nancy Rose Barbato, 17, who was vacationing across the road in a big house with her father, Mike (a plastering contractor), his brother Ralph, his sister Kate and their families. Nancy was giving herself a manicure on the front porch when Frank came over with his ukulele and began to serenade her. One thing led to another and they started going together.