From the Archives: Frank Sinatra at the Hollywood Bowl

Aug. 14, 1943: Frank Sinatra performing at the Hollywood Bowl.
(Los Angeles Times)

On Aug. 14, 1943, Frank Sinatra performed at the Hollywood Bowl before a sold-out crowd of 10,000. The opening act by the Los Angeles Philharmonic included selections “Bumble Bee” and “Night on Bald Mountain” from the Disney movie “Fantasia.”

Then at 10 p.m., Sinatra appeared onstage. His selections included “Dancing in the Dark,” You’ll Never Know” and “The Song Is You.”

Los Angeles Times writer Marvin Miles explains what happened:

From the moon-bathed tiers of venerable Hollywood Bowl, last night came the inconceivable – hysterical screams, pleading, sighs, whistles, endearments, gasps, agonized cries ….


Sinatra was singing!


At last!

“You’ll never know just how much I miss you,” the magic voice whispered. “You’ll never know just how much I care …”

Frankie was sending, but solid, for 10,000 slick chicks who almost mobbed his automobile after the performance.

Tenderly caressing the mike, the down-beat dandy cooed softly – and oh, so intimately – to the breathless babies in bobby socks .….


Some listened dreamily with eyes closed; some squirmed, others were completely ecstatic, entranced; still others were demonstrative, ringing [sic] their hands and moaning softly in obvious bids for attention.

But all had one emotion in common – their feverish devotion to the little juke box johnnie, best expressed in the screams and cries and whistles that welled up from the amphitheater when Frankie finished each number….

All in all it was a big night, best expressed by one breathless babe. “He sends me – and he leaves me there.”


The accompanying photo gallery includes images of Sinatra onstage that were not published the next day. The Times did print the closeup of Sinatra singing backstage.

What’s missing are images of the bobby-socks crowd. A couple of crowd pictures appeared in print after Sinatra’s concert. Neither the photographs nor the negatives have been located.

These images were scanned from original 4-inch-by-5-inch negatives. The photographer is unknown.

This post originally was published on July 29, 2011.