Episode 26: Frank Sinatra


Radio was an important part of many Hollywood careers, But formed the backbone of Frank Sinatra’s success, especially in the beginning. Long before Sinatra made a film, his voice could be heard on the radio, crooning love songs to bobbysoxers. He got hist start at 19, on the Major Bowse Amateur Hour, and soon became a regular on the show. Sinatra range with big bands in the early 40s, where had had even more opportunities to appear on radio. By 1943, he was hosting Your Hit Parade, as well as a short show bearing his name. He would keep up both shows, under various names and networks, throughout the 40s. As Sinatra’s singing career hit a snag in the early 50s, he still had limited radio work, including as start of Rocky Fortune, a vehicle for his comedy talents. He didn’t sing on the NBC show.

I’ll admit to giving you a very brief overview of Sinatra, the radio star. But you’ll get some sense of his presence from this week’s three recordings; Your Hit Parade, from 11/8/43, Songs by Sinatra, recorded 9/13/45, and The Boarding House Double-cross, a Rocky Fortune episode from 1953.

For more Sinatra on radio, check out the four-CD set, Frank Sinatra: A Voice On Air (1935-1953).