The Life and Times of Frank Sinatra: How a Legend Became His Own Worst Enemy

He Was One of America’s First Teen Idols

In the 1940s, Frank (or Frankie as he was then known) became one of America’s first teen idols. By 1941, Sinatra was a hit and was named Billboard’s Top Male Vocalist. He was the new “It” boy. But let’s don’t forget that he still saw himself as the “ugly” skinny kid. Sinatra later recalled a series of shows he did in 1942 at New York City’s Paramount Theater, that “The sound that greeted me was absolutely deafening. I was scared stiff. I couldn’t move a muscle.”

/backstage-stories/the-life-and-times-of-frank-sinatra-how-a-legend-became-his-own-worst-enemy/img/franksinatra14_MobileImageSizeReigNN.jpg

Bobby Soxer fans eagerly waiting to see Frank Sinatra outside the Paramount Theater. New York City, Oct. 12, 1944. Photo By Everett Collection/Shutterstock

Did you know that some of his screaming fans were paid? Not to take anything away from his talent and ability to wow audiences, but the bobbysoxer craze (due to the coed fans who wore Catholic school-style bobby socks) had a little unorthodox help. George Evans, Sinatra’s publicist, would audition girls for how loud they could scream. He paid five bucks and placed them strategically in different parts of the audience.