Frank Sinatra Auditions
Frank Sinatra (b. 1915)
Application for Major Bowes'
Annotated form, 1935
Motion Picture, Broadcasting
In 1935, the first year of radio network broadcasts of Major
Bowes' Amateur Hour, more than thirty thousand acts auditioned
for the talent contest program. One of the successful acts was the
"Hoboken Four." The vocal quartet auditioned as "Frank Sinatra and
the 3 Flashes," but was renamed, purportedly by Major Bowes himself.
The act won the competition of the September 8, 1935, broadcast
and joined one of Major Bowes's traveling vaudeville units. Sinatra
soon left the tour to strike out on his own.
The Library holds a copy of nearly every radio and television network
broadcast of the Amateur Hour program, which ran until
1970, and every successful application form for contestants on the
Other Amateur Hour performers represented in the collection
who went on to achieve stardom include Robert Merrill, Regina Resnik,
Beverly Sills, Gladys Knight, Pat Boone, Jack Carter, Dorothy Collins,
and Ann-Margret. Many believe that Maria Callas appeared on the
radio program, but research has not substantiated this rumor.