8 Surprising Facts about Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra is one of the titans of music, and of American culture in general. His attitude, likeness and singing stylings have been imitated and reproduced for thousands of movies, book and games since his passing. When he was alive, he shone no less brightly.
He was born to Italian immigrants in New Jersey and worked his way to becoming a member of one of Las Vegas’ premier musical attractions. In honor of this American Icon, I want to go over some of the more interesting Sinatra facts you may not have been aware of.
Frank Sinatra Never Formally Learned How to Read Music
You wouldn’t know this from listening to a Frank Sinatra song. Although Frank never actually learned to read music, he had a great understanding of it. It surprises many when they learn that he went through such a long and fruitful musical career without this knowledge, but apparently, it’s more common than one would think. Michael Jackson, David Grohl, Eric Clapton and many others openly admit to the lack of this ability.
His Acting Career was Nearly as Successful as His Musical Career
Music seems to stand the test of time better than movies, and many of the younger generations only know Frank Sinatra for his music. He actually won an academy award for From Here to Eternity and won a golden globe for Pal Joey. He was also a standard fixture on TV and lent his personality to multiple presidential campaigns.
He Was Arrested Twice for “Sex Crimes”
The term “sex crime” paints a much worse picture than what actually happened. The first time was under charges of “seduction” when a woman claimed she slept with him under the promise of marriage. The second was for “Adultery”, even though he actually wasn’t married at the time. His then fiancé didn’t seem to mind much and married him shortly after.
It’s interesting that neither of these crimes are truly enforced, or even looked at as crimes in our modern age.
He had a Unique Relationship with Jack Daniels Whiskey
“Nectar of the Gods” as he called it. Frank began promoting Jack Daniels on his own, and the brand quickly supported him in this effort. He almost single-handedly lifted the brand out of obscurity. His drink of choice was Jack Daniels, four ice cubes and water. He was even buried with a bottle of it.
He Wasn’t a Big Woody Allen Fan
Woody Allen is known for his strange and controversial love life. When it became public knowledge, that Woody was having an affair with his own daughter -in-law, Frank Sinatra offered to have his legs broken. Frank’s ties to the Mafia were pretty well known, it may have just come with the Vegas territory, so this may not have been an idle threat.
He Was Married Four Times
Frank Sinatra had a number of wives and three verifiable children (and another who claims such). Being a Frank Sinatra spouse came with its own share of baggage it seems. He was married to Nancy Barbate, Ava Gardner, Mia Farrow and Barbara Marx. Barbara Sinatra became the last wife. It was said he also had romantic relationships with Judy Garland and Marilyn Monroe.
For a man that was self-conscious of his looks and wore lifted shoes in order to increase his height, it seems he didn’t lack in confidence with women.
He had a Number of Nicknames
“O’l Blue Eyes” due to his blue eyes. Duh. “The Chairman of the Board” because he was president of Reprise Records. “Swoonatra” and “Sultan of Swoon”. Another couple obvious ones. There was no shortage of catchy titles attributed to him.
His Influence on American and World Culture is Still Intense
Frank Sinatra’s death did little to stifle his influence. He lives on in not only the music and movies he created, and how he changed the industry and the way singers were looked at forever, but also his style and demeanor played a significant role in his legacy. There have been numerous movies made about his life, renditions of his style adapted, and even video game characters created based on him. Like the cowboy in general, Frank Sinatra nearly single-handedly created a caricature based upon himself – and is now a cemented piece of Americana.
The idea of Frank Sinatra and what he represents will live well past the man himself. His style and attitude will continue to leave its fingerprints across culture for decades to come. Learn more about Sinatra by reading his biography by Erick Galindo on Geeker!