Frank Sinatra was the first ever teen idol, in the 1940s, known as “The Voice.” Then he repeatedly reinvented himself over many decades to become one of the select few artists to define American culture. This year Sinatra would have turned 100 years old. Here is an brief and excellent article on his career from Howard Reich of the Chicago Tribune:
“Before Sinatra, pop singers such as Crosby, Columbo and the like spun silken phrases more notable for beauty of sound than for burrowing down into the deepest, darkest meanings of a song. Despite their elegance of line and smoothness of delivery, these crooners may as well have been singing their grocery lists for all the interpretive insight they brought to the subtext of a lyric. Sinatra changed that, practically from the start of his career.”
There are many lessons we can learn from Sinatra’s story that go beyond music.