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February 02

Frank Sinatra

Frank Sinatra worked to strengthen his lungs for better breath control—essential for professional singers. Among other things, he would hold his breath under water for as long as he could.

Photo by Herbert Gehr/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images.

1940: Hello, Old Blue Eyes
Frank Sinatra makes his singing debut
A young crooner from Hoboken, New Jersey, caught a lucky break on this night while performing with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra.

Frank Sinatra, whose vocal prowess, acting chops, and star quality would go on to earn him worldwide fame, was born to Italian immigrants in 1915. After hearing Bing Crosby sing, he worked hard to develop his voice and land local gigs.

While the kind of big-band music Dorsey favored was popular with an older crowd, Sinatra’s charm and talent lured younger people—especially teenage girls who hoped for a glance from the singer with the famous blue eyes. For over six decades, Sinatra’s great gift of combining effortless technique, innovative phrasing, and impeccable taste in song selection made what he did look oh-so easy.
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