Frank Sinatra with Tommy Dorsey Band


In 1939 Frank Sinatra signed on with trumpeter Harry James to front his big band. Sinatra was unique in his ability to "talk" a lyric and make listeners feel as if he were speaking directly to them. Teenage female fans—known as "bobbysoxers" at the time—fell in love with the skinny crooner, and they came out to see him in droves. Nationally known band leader, Tommy Dorsey, who was admired for the mellow tones of his trombone, saw Sinatra's remarkable drawing power and asked the young man if he'd like to join his band as a featured singer. It was an offer Sinatra couldn't refuse, and James graciously let Sinatra out of his contract so that he could have his shot at the big time.
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