And here we are, with only 14 days left! My excitement has definitely gotten ahead of me and I keep trying to remind myself that there is still some time to wait until Frank Sinatra day, but I feel like a little child at Christmas. (Not that I don’t still act that way at Christmas time, but that’s a different story entirely.) Today, we’ll continue with our narrative of Frank. Yesterday, I shared with you the story of his birth, now we’ll continue on to the teenage years.
Frank knew fairly early on that he wanted to be a singer. It came from watching Bing Crosby perform. I don’t know, of course, exactly what happened in that moment. Perhaps Frank’s blue eyes lit up and he just knew that he would be on that stage someday. Whatever the case, Bing Crosby became Frank’s idol. Growing up close to New York City, Frank had the privilege to mix with a lot of singers and bands as he began making his way into the scene, and he knew great talent when he saw it. When he found somebody with great talent, he knew to learn from them.
What is fascinating about Frank’s early obsession with music and musicians alike is that it never waned. Even being a teenager, Frank always knew that he wanted to be a singer. Frank dropped out of high school, where he was a member of the glee club, to begin singing. His mother Dolly was good to support him in that dream, too. Even in the midst of the Great Depression, the family was able to do well because of Dolly’s heavy involvement with the local Democratic party. She was able to find work for her husband and Frank, too for that matter. When he wasn’t working on the docks, he was working on his singing and wearing a cap like Bing Crosby.
The beginnings of his career with the Hoboken Four and the Tommy Dorsey band didn’t happen for Frank until his twenties, but his teenage years were definitely influential for him. They were the birth and nourishment of a dream. At this point, he may have just been Frankie, the skinny kid next door. But he was coming.