Frank Sinatra

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What I do with my life is of my own doing. I live it the best way I can.

Francis Albert Sinatra (December 12, 1915May 14, 1998) was an American singer. Renowned for his impeccable phrasing and timing. In terms of the number of hit records, he is at the level of Elvis Presley and The Beatles.


I would like to be remembered as a man who had a wonderful time living his life, and who had good friends, a fine family…
Whatever else has been said about me personally is unimportant. When I sing, I believe. I'm honest.
  • In terms of my singing I have sometimes been asked how it all began, and it’s usually been a little hard for me to set the story down in any continuous narrative. From the days of my childhood I’ve been listening to sounds and singers, both colored and white, and absorbing a little bit here and a little bit there. Countless musicians of talent have helped. But it is Billie Holiday, whom I first heard in 52nd Street clubs in the early 1930s, who was and still remains the single greatest musical influence on me. It has been a warm and wonderful influence and I am very proud to acknowledge it. Lady Day is unquestionably the most important influence on American popular singing in the last 20 years. With a few exceptions, every major pop singer in the U.S., during her generation has been touched in some way by her genius.
  • I would like to be remembered as a man who had a wonderful time living his life, and who had good friends, a fine family. I don't think I could ask for anything more than that, actually.
    • In a 1965 interview with Walter Cronkite, as quoted in "Just A Couple Of Legends" CBS (20 May 1998)
    • Variant: "I would like to be remembered as a man who had a wonderful time living life, a man who had good friends, fine family — and I don't think I could ask for anything more than that, actually."
  • You can be the most artistically perfect performer in the world, but an audience is like a broad — if you're indifferent, Endsville.
    • As quoted in Moment of Grace: The American City in the 1950s (2002) by Michael Johns.
  • Whatever else has been said about me personally is unimportant. When I sing, I believe. I'm honest.
    • As quoted in And I Quote : The Definitive Collecton of Quotes, Sayings, and Jokes for the Contemporary Speechmaker (2003) by Ashton Applewhite , Tripp Evans, and Andrew Frothingham.
  • If you possess something but you can't give it away, then you don't possess it... it possesses you.
    • Tom Dreesen on the Late Show with David Letterman March 30th 2009 said that Frank Sinatra had said this after giving his $2000 cuff links to a fan.
  • The only male singer who I've seen besides myself and who's better than me – that is Michael Jackson.[1]
  • I'm going to be the best singer in the World, [...] the best singer that ever was.[2]
  • And may the last voice you hear be mine![3]

Playboy interview (1963)

Interview for Playboy magazine, with Joe Hyams (February 1963)
  • I believe in you and me. I'm like Albert Schweitzer and Bertrand Russell and Albert Einstein in that I have a respect for life – in any form. I believe in nature, in the birds, the sea, the sky, in everything I can see or that there is real evidence for. If these things are what you mean by God, then I believe in God. But I don't believe in a personal God to whom I look for comfort or for a natural on the next roll of the dice.
  • I'm not unmindful of man's seeming need for faith; I'm for anything that gets you through the night, be it prayer, tranquilizers, or a bottle of Jack Daniel's. But to me religion is a deeply personal thing in which man and God go it alone together, without the witch doctor in the middle.
    • Also quoted in Frank Sinatra, My Father (1986) by Nancy Sinatra, p. 201.
  • There are things about organized religion which I resent. Christ is revered as the Prince of Peace, but more blood has been shed in His name than any other figure in history. You show me one step forward in the name of religion and I'll show you a hundred retrogressions. Remember, they were men of God who destroyed the educational treasures at Alexandria, who perpetrated the Inquisition in Spain, who burned the witches at Salem. Over 25,000 organized religions flourish on this planet, but the followers of each think all the others are miserably misguided and probably evil as well.
  • I'm for decency — period. I'm for anything and everything that bodes love and consideration for my fellow man. But when lip service to some mysterious deity permits bestiality on Wednesday and absolution on Sunday — cash me out.
  • If you don't know the guy on the other side of the world, love him anyway because he's just like you. He has the same dreams, the same hopes and fears. It's one world, pal. We're all neighbors.

The Way You Wear Your Hat (1997)

The Way You Wear Your Hat : Frank Sinatra and the Lost Art of Livin' (1997) by Bill Zehme
  • I'm supposed to have a Ph.D. on the subject of women. But the truth is I've flunked more often than not. I'm very fond of women; I admire them. But, like all men, I don't understand them.
  • For years I've nursed a secret desire to spend the Fourth of July in a double hammock with a swingin' redheaded broad … but I could never find me a double hammock.
  • Fear is the enemy of logic.
  • The big lesson in life, baby, is never be scared of anyone or anything.
  • [On religion] I'm for anything that gets you through the night, be it prayer, benzedrine or a bottle of Jack Daniel's.

Quotes about Sinatra

In alphabetical order by author or source.
  • There are certain artists who belong to all the people, everywhere, all the time. The list of singers, musicians, and poets must include David the harpist from the Old Testament, Aesop the Storyteller, Omar Khayyam the Tent Maker, Shakespeare the Bard of Avon, Louis Armstrong the genius of New Orleans, Om Kalsoum the soul of Egypt, Frank Sinatra, Mahalia Jackson, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles .... Celia Cruz ... All great artists draw from the same resource: the human heart, which tells us all that we are more alike than we are unalike.
  • I'll tell you who liked a laugh [He holds up a finger]. Frank Sinatra. [...] He was very nice, he became my friend, and he loved to laugh. But he never did many things that made you laugh.
    He was tough ... very tough. He took me to Las Vegas on his private plane, and then I knew every mafia guy in Las Vegas. I had dinner with them all.
  • For Sinatra, there was also an androgynous quality, which also makes the youth-middle age transformation interesting. There's also a certain innocence and vulnerability. Something special happened -- when he got up on the stage he was transformed by the gift.
  • I think Frank Sinatra was the most hated man of World War II, much more than Hitler.
    • William Manchester, active duty serviceman and journalist, because Sinatra was stateside making tons of money and surrounded by beautiful girls. [4]
  • It's Frank's world, we're all just livin' in it.
    • Dean Martin [5]
  • I did not want to do anything hokey, corny or make a tribute to Sinatra. So when I went in, I felt the best way was to be absolutely honest, rather than hope I could turn the script my way later.
  • Worst of all was when I went to see Frank Sinatra in Atlantic City and left before the end because I didn't want to be recognized when the lights went up. I heard later that the woman I had been sitting next to was a friend of Sinatra's and she said to him after the show 'Guess who was here? Nina Simone.' And Sinatra said 'Why didn't anybody tell me? Why wasn't she up here with me?' I cried for a year when I heard that.
  • Sinatra with a cold is Picasso without paint, Ferrari without fuel — only worse.
  • He seemed now to be also the embodiment of the fully emancipated male, perhaps the only one in America, the man who can do anything he wants, anything, can do it because he has money, the energy, and no apparent guilt. ... The man who had everything, lost it, then got it back, letting nothing stand in his way, doing what few men can do.
  • Words that warmed women, wooed and won them, snipped the final thread of inhibition and gratified the male egos of ungrateful lovers; [...] for which they were eternally in his debt, for which they may eternally hate him.
  • Sinatra brings out the best and worst in people.
  • All the Way; All or Nothing at All. This is the Sicilian in Sinatra; he permits his friends, if they wish to remain that, none of the easy Anglo-Saxon outs. But if they remain loyal, then there is nothing Sinatra will not do in turn — fabulous gifts, personal kindnesses, encouragement when they're down, adulation when they're up. They are wise to remember, however, one thing. He is Sinatra. The boss. Il Padrone.
  • He is what in traditional Sicily have long been called uomini rispettati — men of respect: men who are both majestic and humble, men who are loved by all and are very generous by nature, men whose hands are kissed as they walk from village to village, men who would personally go out of their way to redress a wrong.
  • He is a wholly unpredictable man of many moods and great dimension, a man who responds instantaneously to instinct — suddenly, dramatically, wildly he responds, and nobody can predict what will follow.
  • The whole thing had lasted only about three minutes. And three minutes after it was over, Frank Sinatra had probably forgotten about it for the rest of his life — as Ellison will probably remember it for the rest of his life: he had had, as hundreds of others before him, at an unexpected moment between darkness and dawn, a scene with Sinatra.
  • It was suddenly obvious to everybody in the studio that something quite special must be going on inside the man, because something quite special was coming out. He was singing now, cold or no cold, with power and warmth, he was letting himself go, the public arrogance was gone, the private side was in this song about the girl who, it is said, understands him better than anybody else, and is the only person in front of whom he can be unashamedly himself.
  • He has everything, he cannot sleep, he gives nice gifts, he is not happy, but he would not trade, even for happiness, what he is....
  • He never knows whether they want him for what he can do for them now — or will do for them later.
  • When Sinatra sits to dine, his trusted friends are close; and no matter where he is, no matter how elegant the place may be, there is something of the neighborhood showing because Sinatra, no matter how far he has come, is still something of the boy from the neighborhood — only now he can take his neighborhood with him.
  • It no longer matters what song he is singing, or who wrote the words — ​they are all his words, his sentiments, they are chapters from the lyrical novel of his life.
  • Frank Sinatra stopped his car. The light was red. Pedestrians passed quickly across his windshield but, as usual, one did not. It was a girl in her twenties. She remained at the curb staring at him. Through the corner of his left eye he could see her, and he knew, because it happens almost every day, that she was thinking, It looks like him, but is it? Just before the light turned green, Sinatra turned toward her, looked directly into her eyes waiting for the reaction he knew would come. It came and he smiled. She smiled and he was gone.

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