Widgets December 12 ~  A Thing of Beauty Greatest Love Songs

"I am a thing of beauty." ~ Frank Sinatra

Francis Albert Sinatra (1915-1998) was born on this day in Hoboken New Jersey. Regarded by friends as generous and loyal, he was power and talent, guts and glory, unlike any one else.

"Whatever else has been said about me personally is unimportant. When I sing, I believe I am honest," Sinatra once said.

Inspired by his hero Bing Crosby, Ol' Blue Eyes cut his first record in 1939. A year later the skinny kid was singing romantic ballads with the Tommy Dorsey Band and making bobby-soxers riot. His crooning voice, with tender vocal phrasing, communicated vulnerability and cockiness.

"By infusing lyrics with a personal, intimate point of view, "eulogized the New York Times, "[Sinatra] conveyed a steady current of eroticism." In 1999, Time magazine described Sinatra as "a jazz-influenced singer...There is the sheer force of conviction, feeling, the weight of personal history in his voice."

His hits were many and included Witchcraft, Young At Heart, Strangers in the Night, and That's Life-- but he is best known for the song, My Way, written for him by Paul Anka. The song captures Sinatra's brutal honesty, charisma, and passion for life. "It's Frank's world," said fellow Rat Packer Dean Martin, "We're just lucky to be living in it."

U2 frontman Bono presented Sinatra with a 1994 Lifetime Achievement Grammy and called him "a man heavier than the Empire State, more connected than the Twin Towers, as recognizable as the Statue of Liberty, and living proof that God is a Catholic."

A humanitarian and an icon with "swagger and attitude," Sinatra acted in over 50 films and won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for the 1956 movie From Here to Eternity (w/Burt Lancaster). To many, he was the most influential entertainer of the 20th century.

Singer Tony Bennett remembered, "One of Sinatra's favorite toasts to make with a glass in hand was, 'May you live to be 100 and may the last voice you hear be mine.' The master is gone but his voice will live forever."

You are a thing of beauty!