Historic Musical Event: Event of the Week: Frank Sinatra debuts on radio's "Your Hit Parade," February 6, 1943.
In December of 1942, Frank Sinatra had given his first concert at New York's Paramount Theater, causing hysteria among the teen girls in the audience—many of whom had been paid to shriek and scream. From that time forward, Sinatra was an entertainment legend.
Sinatra was probably the first real teen idol and later a pop superstar. Though he had gotten his first show business break by winning a radio talent contest as part of a singing group, his radio debut as a solo vocalist came during 1943 on a show called "Your Hit Parade."
Only four months earlier, he had broken his contract as a singer leaving the Tommy Dorsey Band to further his career as a soloist. Known as "ole blue eyes," Sinatra sang in front of a live studio audience as the lead singer for "Your Hit Parade" through the end of 1944. "Your Hit Parade" was a popular radio show that brought Sinatra the attention he sought. Hollywood producers as well as teenage girls tuned in to the show as Sinatra's solo career went into overdrive.
Despite a musicians' strike at the time, Sinatra moved up the pop charts by making records a capella with only a backup chorus—garnering four Top 10 hits in 1943.
A talented performer who transformed popular singing with a personal point of view and an uncanny ability to tell a story with song, he was also blessed to have worked with many of the finest arrangers of his time and to have the songs of great theater composers to call upon and imbue with his own style. Sinatra went on to record many hits during a career that, despite ups and downs, spanned more than 60 years and earned him the reputation of one of the greatest singers of the 20th century. A 1954 Oscar winner for his acting in From Here to Eternity, Sinatra was awarded the Legend Award at the 1994 Grammy Awards. In 2002, the post office in his home town of Hoboken, New Jersey, was named in his honor. In 2008, the U.S. Postal Service issued a 42-cent stamp in his honor. The U.S. Congress passed a resolution on May 20, 2008, making May 13 Frank Sinatra Day in honor of his contribution to American culture.