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One of the most acclaimed and influential singers of the 20th century, FRANK SINATRA (1915-1998) was born in Hoboken, New Jersey, to Italian immigrant parents. He began his career singing spots on New York radio programs, and as a vocalist with the big bands of Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, becoming a pop idol. His charisma transferred easily to television and film, and Sinatra had important roles in both musicals (Anchors Aweigh, On the Town, Guys and Dolls, High Society, Can-Can) and dramas (From Here to Eternity - winning an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor - The Man with the Golden Arm, Ocean's Eleven, and Von Ryan's Express).
After a string of recordings made for Columbia, he switched to Capitol in 1953 for a long series of best-selling recordings. Sinatra founded his own label, Reprise, in 1961, and cut classic discs for it with Count Basie and Duke Ellington. He announced his retirement in 1971, but returned to active touring and recording in 1973, and he continued entertaining through the rest of his life. Ronald Reagan awarded Sinatra the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1985.
Frank Sinatra made his Hollywood Bowl debut in 1943 before a legion of adoring bobby-soxers. (An exhibit at the Hollywood Bowl Museum features the microphone Sinatra sang into at that concert, as well as photos and audio recordings from the performance.) He returned in 1945, the same year that Anchors Aweigh was released. In that movie he and Gene Kelly played two sailors on leave who crash a rehearsal at the Bowl in order to persuade pianist/conductor José Iturbi to give a break to an aspiring young singer (Kathryn Grayson). Sinatra was back at the Bowl in 1946 for a Jerome Kern program, which also featured Kathryn Grayson, Judy Garland, and Lena Horne.