BBC News UK Edition
 You are in: Special Report: 1998: 05/98: Sinatra  
News Front Page
N Ireland
UK Politics
Talking Point
Country Profiles
In Depth
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
Sinatra Thursday, 21 May, 1998, 16:11 GMT 17:11 UK
Ol' Blue Eyes - Tributes and memories
Frank Sinatra was one of the greatest show business celebrities of the 20th century. His death from a heart attack at the age of 82 will be a great loss to the world of music and to his fans worldwide.

Click here to email us with your tributes and memories of Frank Sinatra

You can read the reaction to his death from visitors to BBC News online:

I guess I just needed to find a place suitable for the release of the intense grief I feel due to Sinatra's passing. I am 30 years old and have been listening to him and singing to his records since I was 14. I am an amateur singer, and he was a tremendous influence for me and occupied a very special part of my life along with Elvis, Johnny Mathis and others. I just hope that we won't forget about him next week or next month, but that we'll keep him alive through listening to his music for many years to come, as I know I will do for as long as I live. Thanks.
Rafael from Miami, FL; USA

Coming from a Generation "X" perspective, I have to say I am truly and deeply hurt by his death...He was a "Godsend" that the whole world enjoyed...I hope his music lives on, and wish that the newer bands pick up on what Frank was about.
Thom Arnold

I belong to the generation of those born in the 60s. Born not in the U.S.A., but U.S.S.R. I wonder whether Frank was aware of his popularity in Russia. There were not many of his songs that could reach over, because the borders in the 50s-60s-70s-80s were so high. The people who travelled abroad were those that made the exchange of music happen. The songs of Sinatra came into the Russian culture and never left it. The unrepeatable sincerity of his songs was the key, that made Sinatra a "great Russian singer". Or better to say "great world singer". Similar to great world writer Dostoyevsky or great world artist Picasso. I am happy, that the voice of Sinatra can be heard in today's Russia. He is on TV, on radio, on the CDs and LPs. The world has changed. And Sinatra finally became THE GREAT WORLD SINGER. From now on - forewer.
Valentin Schulmann, Russia

He is and always will be No1. No other kind of music can touch the heart so deep and softly as THE VOICE. I got all his complete CD boxes and playing them all days long and feel like crying. He surely changed this world.
Michael, Russia

May God look after his soul, may he give you strength in your days of sorrow. Rest in Peace, you will always be remembered.
Love Rosetta & Cristoforo Family Sydney, Australia

Frank Sinatra will be with us forever.Enough Said!
Derek Rigby, Merseyside, United Kingdom

I am very sad and we will all miss him and his marvelous voice.
Francoise, Paris

Frank Sinatra has been a part of my life for 15 years, since I was 14 years-old and bought my first album. I am so saddened by his death. He was a giant personality and musical genius. There will never be another to match him. How can we thank someone who gave so much to the world? Thankfully, he has left us such an incredible legacy of music and film. We will miss you, Frank.
Sally Earney (Sinatra Music Society, Cardiff Branch)

I have been a fan of Mr Frank Sinatra since I was 11; I am now 20. I have to say I was totally gutted to hear the sad news. I was very upset when Dean Martin died and again when Gene Kelly died but this was worse as fortunately I got to see Frank at the Albert Hall. I am a bit of a singer myself. I sing all the old songs, the real songs, the ones that the likes of Frank, Dean and Doris Day did. I just hope I get the lucky break I need in order to carry on their good work. You see, when you listen and watch someone for so long you feel like you know them. God bless you Frank, you were class!
SINATRA SPICE Julie-Anne Elliott, UK

Young folk forget that before there was ever any talk of civil rights movements, Irish, Italians, and Jews were the colourfully amusing "ethnics" which the American public used to jibe and jeer at condescendingly. Mr Sinatra was one of the first actor-musicians of Italian descent not portrayed as a fruit vendor, organ grinder, bank robber, or gigolo.
Having achieved this stature by pure force of professionalism, character and goodwill, he then went on to promote the professional standing of other "colourful ethnics," as well as to push for safe working conditions, equitable pay standards, and standardised contracts for the American Federation of Musician members (Sir Paul McCartney picked up the ball for musicians worldwide in this respect for rock and rollers, for which I have never seen him get credit in print). During the Second World War, he refused to play officers' clubs while on USO tours. If you fancied his films, in the movie "Tony Rome," he was the first to stand up for the gay community with his fists. In an age where the concept of "a good man" is anathema if not oxymoronic, he more than filled the bill. Who then shall come forth to fill his shoes?
Walt O'Brien, Vermont, USA

I have an autographed picture of Frank hanging in my office and I look at it each and every day. I played all of his music on Friday and refused to listen to anything but. Most people have lists and lists of the things they wanted to do before they died. Mine consisted of two things. . .and one will now never happen. I will never be able to see Frank Sinatra sing in person. He was a wonderful songwriter and singer. I will definitely miss him. God Bless.
Camille, Midland, Texas

It is a great loss for a man with such talents.
Georgina and Selina

I may be one of the younger fans of Frank Sinatra (I just turned 26 last week), but I'm definitely not the only one in my age group. It goes beyond the revival of swing culture as a trend...Sinatra always had universal appeal. The easiest way to get a mixed-age crowd on a dance floor is to play his version of "New York, New York" and watch the chorus lines form! He had a great voice and he could teach most entertainers today a thing or two about attitude and showmanship. One of the best pieces he wrote was the open letter to George Michael a few years ago basically telling him to quit whining and enjoy the privilege and hard work that comes with being a celebrity. Condolences to his family and is the end of an era in music.
Shaila Manyam, "New York, New York"

I am deeply saddened and empty-hearted by Frank Sinatra's death. He changed the world with his music, his great sense of humour and his kindness and nobody will ever be able to replace him. He was one of the few great heroes of our time, one of the few who made a great difference in the lives of so many, in our society and in the world. What a great man he was. He was part of our souls. I will miss him.
Dianne, Miami

Frank's death leaves a void in our lives that can never be filled. He was unique,one of a kind, and an American treasure. He gave me enormous pleasure over the years and will continue to do so for years to come. In the next millennium, colleges around the world will have a curriculum on Frank Sinatra . That will truly be a fittng tribute to his memory and the way he infuenced and enriched all our lives.Thanks for the memories and for doing it your way, Frank! !
Mark H Boyd Copiague, NY, USA

As a teenager in 1942 I did not understand the adulation and "swooning" of the girls at Mr. Sinatra'a concerts. I was jealous of his success with the girls and for long afterwards I did not like him, preferring Bing Crosby as a singer. My attitude changed when I saw that Frank Sinatra was a first rate movie actor. I never saw him in a movie role in which he did not distinguish himself. In " From Here To Eternity", and "The Manchurian Candidate" featuring high drama, and in "Ocean's Eleven" he was superb. He was a comedic success in "Robin And The Seven Hoods" and I always knew that any movie with Frank Sinatra would be entertaining. Lastly I speak for many, many others who marvel that as our contemporary idol has passed on then we, too, must be aged and maybe "Next".
William F. Terrell, Atlanta, Georgia

Thank you for all the wonderful songs, we will miss you very much. My condolences to the family.
Graham Fairweather, Sherwood Park, Alberta. Canada.

To The Sinatra Family: Life won't be the same without him. Absolutely the greatest with no one to ever take his place in American music. He will be missed. My condolences to all.
Rich Barbarossa, Simi Valley, California (New Jersey Native)

The world will not be the same. . . I grew up listening to him, he was my father's idol. My Mother saw him when he performed in Washington DC in the 70s. She said his eyes were the bluest she had ever seen. I am sure I was one of the babies conceived while my parents listen to the romantic songs of Frankie.
Bonnie, Florida

I can't help feeling that the end of the 20th century came a little earlier with the death of the great Frank Sinatra. He was the last of the greats. My thoughts are with his family and with all those who like me grieve for his passing.
Gareth Hughes, London, UK

The end of another will be missed, Frank....first time I saw you was at the Paramount Theatre in NYC...the last time I saw you was in a Thrifty Drug Store in Cathedral City, California...I are looking down and still doing it your way!
J Jyerman, California

Sad to see the world has lost such an amazing person and wonderful singer. We will probably never hear a voice so full of life and experience in show business as Frank's. Deepest Condolences to the family and fans worldwide.
M Davidson, Toronto, Canada

I am a Welshman working in Malaysia. True to my Welsh heritage I am also a singer and have been one of those millions over the years who have been inspired, touched and loved the songs of Frank Sinatra - a truly great songster whose unique voice has lifted my spirits on many times of my life. I shall miss you Frank as we all shall miss you, You lived life to the full and your voice will go on for ever.
Len, Malaysia

Bye Frank, This is definitely the day the music died.
Sylvia McCarthy, Ireland

He was the best. There aren't enough superlatives.
Dave Dengler, Hawaii, USA

As you look down from above know you shall be missed.
Mark, Florida

A light has gone out and life will never be the same again. God bless you, Frank. You'll be sorely missed and never forgotten. Love,
Dina Drew, Cyprus

Red eyes for "Ol blue eyes" down under". Thanks for the wonderful memories and the help in getting through the good times and the bad. Special thoughts to the wonderful Liza who lost her "Uncle Frank".
Ralph, Cairns Australia

I'll remember Frank Sinatra most in his swinging songs.
John van Eijsden, The Netherlands

We all loved him very much and will be forever grateful to have been on the earth when this legend was on the earth to bless us with his singing and many other talents.
J. Neron, USA

There will not be another Frank Sinatra, never! He is great for many reasons, and I can't write it in English so good as I could in German. So let me say that he will never die, and we all will enjoy his great works "The Saloons, the Concerts, the Films...". My personal regret is, that I saw him only for one time live! I Believe Frank is at a fine place. And now the Rat-Pack "Sinatra, Martin, Sammy..." is already complete. They will have much fun together, wherever they are!
Franks Unknown Friend, Paul

Sinatra was one great singer. The only other person who I thought was as good as him was Nat King Cole. Both Nat and Frank had wonderful voices. Frank will be greatly missed.
Mary, Canada

Frank Sinatra, I missed great man of my heart. His song "My Way" is my favourite song and I never tired to hear this song. Whenever I depressed, I hear "My Way" and play harmonica. He is still alive in my heart.
Dai Sakamoto From Japan

When I was but a kid, I remember cutting a flimsy vinyl record from the back of a cereal box. It was "Strangers in the Night" by Frank Sinatra. I played it on my little record player over and over; it was one record I had of which my mother approved.

A wonderful voice, a unique career, a man to remember. He had it all, and he did it his way. Sadly missed by the many who lives he touched with his magical and amazing singing. I grew up listening to his romantic songs in the WW2, I will always appreciate the thrill his voice brought to the world.
A Brit in Texas

When I heard the news about Frank, my eyes welled up with tears. I was one of those bobby soxers, saw Frank twice as a young girl. I fell in love with my present husband of 50 years while dancing to Frank's music, "You'll Never Know" was our song! His music moved everyone, physically and emotionally. We will miss him, I'm playing the album "Come Fly With Me" right now.
R.C.Armstrong, New York

I was always a fan of Frank Sinatra, his songs, his style everything about him was so unique and so very special, I will always treasure that. My sincere condolences goes out to the Sinatra family in particular to Nancy Sinatra, whom I admire so much, I never miss seeing all her films with another of my favourites Elvis Presley.
Mrs Eugene, The State of Kuwait

His voice was with me in my every love affair. I never had a pleasant memory without one of his songs. He gave pleasure to every one who ever heard him. He lead a FULL life. Good bye.
Ahmet Cavusoglu, Turkey

In our house in Sri Lanka Frank Sinatra's records were played every evening by my mom on the gramophone. Our whole family loves every song of him. As I came to USA I bought five old records and sent to my mother. I have still some of the very old records I bought from yard sales. I wish I could have met him after I came here. When he fell ill I prayed for him. He may go away but his voice will not fade away. I do hope one day I will be able to visit his grave and tell him how I love the music and wish I met him.
Rita Edie, USA

Frank Sinatra meant a lot to me. His marvellous interpretations of the great American song-treasury is great comfort in a troubling time age. I will continue to listen to his music for the rest of my life. My great hero is gone but his fine music lives.
Ola Jönsson, Lund, Sweden

I grew up hearing and listening to Frank Sinatra all my life. His style, his voice which expressed so exquisitely the meaning of each song, a voice which flowed smoothly from inside of him, and the smoothness of his voice, made him probably the greatest popular singer of this century. He will always be remembered and his songs will for ever be played by all radio stations over the world. He was one and only. The greatest.
Douglas Taylor, USA

I moved to Rome, Italy, to study operatic singing. I can share my own comments that Sinatra was, in the realm of singing only, the equal of Caruso, only in a different musical form. The quality of voice, of diction, of communicativeness, of intimacy, and of simplicity in the extreme, are shared with Caruso, with Al Jolson, with John McCormack, with John Lennon, and with Elvis Presley. Sinatra found purity and unity in his stunning vocal storytelling, and it will finally find its rightful place in history next to the other great vocal artists of this century.
Richie Hastings, Martinsville, VA

Dear Frank,

The sun has gone and now my face is wet with heavy rain Watertown What more can I say, you were absolutely the greatest.
Michael, USA

I was brought up with Frank Sinatra, through my father's love of his music. It played a big part in my childhood and I shall always remember those evenings spent listening to his music. Goodbye to a great performer who will be sorely missed.
Susan Laing, United Kingdom

I am a mere 34 years old and yet Mr Francis Albert Sinatra has been a major influence in my life, for as long as I can remember in fact. He and Mozart are my ultimate heroes. He is larger than life. I always intended to write a simple message of gratitude to his fan club but typically like many others, I never got around to it. Why? I guess it's got something to do with the fact that he seems to have been around forever and maybe always would. My deepest sympathies to his family and friends. He had a great innings but I still feel so very sad.
Stewart Gemmill, United Kingdom

Frank was before my time as i grew up with the Beatles and post rock and roll music. But whenever I used to see the old newsreels of him arriving at airports being greeted by hordes of adoring young women I thought "He's cool". As the years passed and my musical tastes expanded I even found myself listening to "Old Blue Eyes" now and again and thinking "Oh yes I get it now!" Be seein ya Frank.
Malangill, United Kingdom

I was saddened to hear that the Chairman of the Board is no longer with us in person. His voice, though, will always float in the wind and his memory in our hearts. Raymond Ancog, Philippines

Dear All: I would like to express my gratitude to Frank Sinatra, for his music made this world a better place.
Jorge Munoz From the city of Concepcion, Chile

The World has just lost a legend! I will never forget you. My thoughts go out to Frank's family, friends and fans.
David Vone, USA

We will miss you Frank, My Way paved the road in my life!
Cristina from Guatemala

I want to express my deepest sorrow over Sinatra's death. His song Strangers in The Night sparked my first love affair, while sitting at the 19 Steps Bar in Bir Kir Kara, Malta. I will always remember him.
N. Rodriguez, Grand Rapids, MI USA

Way back in the late 60s and early 70s, the broadcast company where I worked had one of our radio station (DZXX) played only Sinatra's songs from sign-on to sign-off. This was in Manila Philippines. It was a tremendous success. Most banks, hotels and offices then in Manila tuned in and piped his soothing and melodious music in their lobbies and offices. Some people said that people wood get tired of it but they were wrong, we played his music for more than 5 years. This is when the airlanes were ruled by the Beatles and by the Rolling Stones.
Cris Samia, Seattle, Washington

One of the loves of my life is gone! I have been a fan for nearly 50 years. His kids, especially Tina, ought to be ashamed of themselves.
Gail Von Busch, Minneapolis, MN, USA

Even though I am to young to have had the pleasure of seeing Frank Sinatra in his prime. I have through my parents love of his music come to appreciate him and his music myself in the last twenty years. For me his gift was not so much his voice, more it was his ability to interpret a song in such a way that it touches you when you hear it. When listen to his recordings you feel the emotion that was intended to be expressed by the lyrics. I have never heard anybody else who could put so much feeling into a song. My thoughts go out to his family and friends. We will never forget him.
Gary, Edinburgh, Scotland

I will soon be 65 yrs of age. Frank Sinatra has sung the soundtrack of my life. He is the only entertainer that I will truly miss. God loved you Frank for bringing such pleasure to our lives.
Moira Miller, Barefoot Bay, Florida, USA

Thanks big Frank for doing it your way. Good luck in the next life.
Rory Callan of Ireland

The King is dead. There is no other. Night & day you were the one! RIP.
Douglas Wright

Dear Mrs Babara Sinatra, I was stunned to hear the news of Frank's passing away this morning on the Melody Radio around 11 am local time. He has given me many years of listening pleasure and I was privileged to have listened to him in person when he performed in London in 1990. It was an unforgettable night for me. I am sure millions of his fans have had greater experieces to tell in your hour of great sorrow. May I offer you my hearfelt condolences to you and the children of Frank. May he rest in peace. Sincerely yours
Dean Mohideen, UK

A great voice. A great man. The music world has lost one of the most distinctive singers of the century. He shall be missed.
Gavin Lennon, Uk

I feel so sad, but now at last my dear dad may meet our idol.
Lesley Stead

With deepest sympathy. I feel your loss.
Kay D. Bice/ Baton Rouge, LA

For sure I will always remember that 'stranger in the night'. So long Frankie...
Daniel Devries, Brussels

Frank, you were the best. We will miss you.
Laurie Kaufman, UK

He did it his way. Condolences to the Family and fans worldwide. See you Frank.
P J Cleeves

Born in 1942, I disdained Elvis Presley to buy everything Sinatra recorded- until the mid-60s when I decided his cigarette smoking had ruined his voice. Listening to the beautiful cynicism of "Falling in Love with Love" and "I Wish I Were in Love Again" got me through the bad times when my first marriage broke up. I will always admire his ability to find all the meanings of the lyrics he was singing - and the manic light that flared in his eyes when he grabbed hold of a gun, whether it was in "Guys and Dolls" as laugable Nathan Detroit or in "Suddenly" as an assassin.
Lee Gold, Los Angeles

' Strangers in the Night' is the reason why I feel so much on Sinatra's death. There's no song to match this one. It's something everyone dreams of. Thank you Frank Sinatra for giving us the right to dream.
Amira Mushtaq Khan, Pakistan

I am very upset about the death of Frank Sinatra, because he was the only one of the "older" generation of singers that I had much time for and his death will create a hole that no one will ever replace.
Evonne Okafor, London, England

Frank Sinatra... I love your songs. You are one of the greatest singers on earth. I knew your songs from my parents, and fell in love with them. Surely, you lead your life YOUR WAY ! Farewell ...
Alma Purba, Jakarta, Indonesia

I felt a sense of loss this morning, when I watched the news, on all the networks, of the passing of Frank Sinatra. But my sense of loss will always be tempered by the facts revealed in Kitty Kelley's book "His Way" (published in 1986), against which there were never any lawsuits filed. Regards,
Claude Cole, Salinas, CA

Born in 1970, I discovered Frank Sinatra in my teens, and in him I found a friend who seemed to understand everything I went through, the highs and the lows. Others will pay tribute, more eloquently than I can, to his voice, his artistry and professionalism. All I can say is that his recordings of songs such as One For My Baby, All The Way, That's Life and Where Do You Go define periods in my life; and through the rest of my life his music will continue to influence me, comfort me and inspire me. May he rest in peace.
Gavin Regnart, England

I know that my enjoyment of life would have been considerably less, were it not for Mr Sinatra. My heart goes out to family during this difficult phase. Obviously Sinatra can claim to be the greatest entertainer this century, who doubts that!
Dr Ian Windsor

I speak as someone who recently discovered and had only just begun to appreciate, his music. But Sinatra had an amazing ability to talk us through each of his songs; his voice was a unique instrument that was simultaneously musical and conversational. I hope I share the thoughts of very very many when I say that we are sadder for having lost him, but better for having known and loved both him and his fantastic talent.
Chris Head

Just as the 19th century ended with the passing of Queen Victoria in 1901, today the 20th century ended. See ya Frank.
John Foster-Hill

For me at 45, he was the continuity, the thread that stitched through my life pulling the pieces together. As early as I can remember I can recall his voice echoing through our house and he has been a part of every significant event in my life since. Although his voice had passed its best in recent years, the charisma of the man added a magic to the listening experience. I saw him at the Albert Hall during his last tour of the UK and the level of affection and loyalty displayed to him was incredible. The pleasure that he has brought me over the years is immeasurable. When we recently found that my wife was pregnant it prompted me to play, 'Soliloquy', which summed up the emotion of the moment. For me, only Sinatra can make the words come to life, because he had the ups and downs and he poured his experience in through every note. I will miss him. Regards,
Chris Rolison, UK

We all have icons in our lives - he was one of mine. I don't know why - he was just incomparable and unique and coloured my formative years along with a few others.
David Powner, UK

Linda Bower, UK

It is very very sad moment for us as we have lost one of the best singers in the world. We will not forget his spectacular perfomance image. Our condolences to his family and relatives.

He can never be replaced. What will we sing now at the end of every disco?
Piers Fawkes, UK

Being too young to be a fan of Frank, he was very much a presence in our household when I was young because my Dad was a big fan and sounded just like him when he sang his songs. Condolences to his family he will be greatly missed.
Shaun Watson, UK

My favourite song is "My Way". When I heard that he was not well, I was hoping that it was not true, because the news was not so clear, many times we heard that Frank Sinatra was alright. It's certainly a very big loss for almost everybody in the whole universe. There will never be a 2nd Frank Sinatra.
Regards from: Martine der Stek

God be with you, Frank.
Lawrence Cullen

BBC News
The BBC's Nick Higham reports on tributes to Sinatra from around the world (2' 24")
Links to more Sinatra stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Sinatra stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | World | UK | England | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales |
UK Politics | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology |
Health | Education | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |