10 days! 10 days! 10 days! Yes, there are only 10 days left until Frank Sinatra Day! For me, this countdown has been extremely fun so far, telling you the (condensed) story of Frank’s life. Last night we visited a serious time in Frank’s life, and delved a little deeper into the controversy. Tonight we’ll be visiting the comeback in all of it’s glory.
Well, it happened with Frank’s role as Angelo Maggio in From Here to Eternity, Frank won an Academy Award of Best Supporting Actor for this role and with that his career shot forward once again. He was making movies again, he was recording again. In fact, the string of records he made after his comeback were more successful than any of the previous ones had been. This was huge, of course, because one of the main reasons that Frank’s career had declined in the first place was due to a vocal cord hemorrhage. In 1951, right before the drop of his career, his vocal cords hemorrhaged on stage and from there he carried great doubt that he would ever be able to sing again. Well, not only could he still sing, but many argued that his voice sounded better.
Frank was back! And even more successful than before it seemed. At the point when his career shot back to the top, Frank and Ava Gardner were still married but having major problems with their marriage. With his divorce from Ava Gardner in 1957, he began one of the longest bachelor periods of his life. All may have not been perfectly rose colored, but there were wonderful things happening to Frank. The 1950’s as a whole were very good to him career wise, and he had endless amounts of success both in the studio and on the big screen.
He was in movies like The Man With The Golden Arm (1955), a movie about a drug addict which almost won him another Oscar, and Some Came Running (1958), a very serious movie which exposed the controversy of small-town America. It was the first movie that he ever worked on with Dean Martin. Music wise, Frank came out with seven new records from 1954 to the end of the 50’s, and each of them were smashing successes which shaped Frank into the musical icon that we know today. On top of all that, he formed his own record label. It seemed that he was untouchable, when only a few years before he had been penniless and without a career. Frank was definitely back in the neighborhood, and back in the penthouse, too.
It reminds me of a story from his early career when he was brought into a venue he’d be singing at. He is reported to have said, “You’d better push the walls of this joint out. I’m gonna pack ’em.” It was never more true than after the comeback.