I had been seeing and hearing a lot about Frank Sinatra recently, and while reading the NY Times this morning, it became clear why the news has been covering the legendary crooner. There is a new book out about Sinatra's early career, "Frank: The Voice," by James Kaplan, a book that New York Times writer Stephen Holden says is riveting in his review.
The first words of the review cover the story about how a few edits of the publicist's pen made all the difference in branding the singer and bringing him to wider fame and adoration. According to the article:
… the author pinpoints the moment in 1943 when the crooner's publicist, George B. Evans, came up with his defining sobriquet. Fourth billed at the Paramount Theater in New York… Sinatra's name was accompanied by a slogan: "The Voice that Has Thrilled Millions."
The creakiness and sexlessness of those words made Evans cringe. Certain he could come up with something better, Evans closed his eyes and and imagined what drove Sinatra's fans in bobby socks into a frenzy and suddenly realized he didn't have to add anything. "All he had to do was subtract. Frank was just… The Voice."
If "The voice" was later superseded by "the Chairman of the Board" and "Ol' Blue Eyes," it was the only major nickname to focus on the indispensable ingredients of Sinatra's success… "The Voice" evokes the intangible, mystical alchemy of sound, technique and emotion that fused when the skinny young Sinatra murmured tender endearments into a microphone."