On this Day in Music History: January 26, 1940

On this Day in Music History: January 26, 1940

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On this day Music History in 1940, Frank Sinatra made his first public appearance with the Tommy Dorsey Band at the Coronado Theater in Rockford, IL. Prior to launching one of the most successful solo careers of the 20th century, Sinatra sang with Dorsey during the Big Band era of Swing, recording over forty hits like “Polka Dots and Moonbeams,” and “Imagination.” Sinatra had signed a contract with Dorsey for $125 a week, and sang with the band through 1942, until he decided to go solo. However, a tough legal battle ensued over Sinatra’s contract with Dorsey, which had given Dorsey 43% of Sinatra’s lifetime earnings in the entertainment industry. Dorsey eventually let Sinatra out of his contract, thanks to a thousand dollar bribe and a loaded gun from one of Sinatra’s rumored mobster connections.


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