On This Day: Frank Sinatra Makes His Recording Debut in 1939

by Keeli Parkey

A milestone in the history of music took place on this day 82 years ago. It was on July 13, 1939, that the legendary performer Frank Sinatra made his recording debut, according to America’s Library.

At this early moment in what would be an iconic decades-long career, Sinatra was not a solo artist. At this point in his life, the man who came to be known as “Ol’ Blue Eyes,” “Chairman of the Board,” and “The Voice,” was part of the band led by Harry James.

According to the singer’s official website, the title of the first song Frank Sinatra recorded was “From the Bottom of My Heart.” However, this song did not bring him immediate success. In fact, the song did not make it to the charts.

According to IMDb, being part of the Henry James band was not the only group Frank Sinatra worked with in his early days as a performer. Other bands included the Hoboken Four, as well as a band led by Tommy Dorsey.

Interestingly, 1939 was an important year in Sinatra’s life for another reason. It was during that year that he married his first wife, Nancy Sinatra. The two had dated for five years before they married that year.

Frank Sinatra was a native of Hoboken, New Jersey. He was the son of Italian immigrants. His father, Saverio Antonino Martino Sinatra, worked as a bar owner, fireman, and even a boxer during his life. His mother, Natalina Della (Garaventa), hailed from Northern Italy.

Being raised in Hoboken influenced Frank Sinatra’s work ethic. It also inspired him to do all he could to have a successful life.

Frank Sinatra Began His Solo Singing Career During 1942, Movies Soon Followed

It wasn’t until 1942 that Frank Sinatra began his work as solely a solo artist. Some of his earliest fans were known as “bobbysoxers.” These “bobbysoxers” were girls and young women who loved the singer. In fact, Sinatra was very, very well known among that age group during this point in his career.

As his music career was starting to take off, Sinatra also began acting in the movies. One of his most important early films was released in 1945. This was “Anchors Away,” which also starred the legendary Gene Kelly.

Sinatra would receive an Oscar for another movie project around this time. This short film was “The House I Live In.” It was also released in 1945. He also won another Oscar in 1954 for his work in “From Here to Eternity.”

Frank Sinatra teamed up with Gene Kelly again in 1949 for the popular films “On the Town” and “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”

Even though he was a successful movie star, Sinatra did not leave his singing roots behind. As we know, he went on to record some of the most popular songs in the American canon. There were such classics as “My Way,” “(Theme From) New York, New York,” “I’ve Got You Under My Skin,” and “Come Fly With Me” just to name a few.

Frank Sinatra passed away in 1998. He was 82 years old at the time of his death.