Frank Sinatra's recorded legacy

Frank Sinatra's Recorded Legacy

Frank Sinatra's recorded legacy

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Frank Sinatra's musical career begin in the swing era in 1935, and ended in 1995.


Sinatra's vocal style represented a significant departure from the "crooning" style of his idol, Bing Crosby. Sinatra's generation represented the first generation of children that had grown up in the era of the microphone, and the amplification of sound enabled singers to sing in a much softer, personal and nuanced style. However Sinatra, as he himself once noted, sang more, by which he meant that he introduced a bel canto sound to the tradition begun by Crosby. And, more importantly, he might be said to have brought the Crosby tradition to artistic completion, taking it to levels of intensity and depth of feeling that, because of the displacement of the Crosby – Sinatra tradition by rock and roll and subsequent genres, are unlikely to be achieved again.

Two other great performers of the 1930s and 1940s were significant influences on Sinatra: Billie Holiday and Mabel Mercer. Sinatra regularly heard "Lady Day" in New York clubs in the 1940s and learned from her the importance of authenticity of emotion. From Mercer he learned the importance of the element of "story" in a song. For Sinatra a song is a three-four minute narrative — sometimes even the story of himself, his own life, his own heartaches, his own feelings of buoyancy — and this is why Ella Fitzgerald could say of him, "With Frank, it's always this little guy, telling this ......
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