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From the Archives: Frank Sinatra’s in town

Aug. 11, 1943: Frank Sinatra retreats to a ladder for refuge as autograph hounds besiege him following his arrival by train in Pasadena.
Aug. 11, 1943: Frank Sinatra retreats to a ladder for refuge as autograph hounds besiege him following his arrival by train in Pasadena. Sinatra was in town for a performance at the Hollywood Bowl and for work on an RKO movie. This photo appeared in the Aug. 12, 1943, Los Angeles Times.
(Los Angeles Times)

In 1941, singer Frank Sinatra’s popularity soared, especially with teenage girls. On Aug. 11, 1943, “Sinatramania” arrived in Los Angeles.

Sinatra came to Southern California for a performance at the Hollywood Bowl and an appearance in an RKO movie.

Aug. 11, 1943: Frank Sinatra arrives by train in Pasadena.
Aug. 11, 1943: Frank Sinatra arrives by train in Pasadena.
(Los Angeles Times)
Aug. 11, 1943:  Frank Sinatra with unidentified friends arrives by train in Pasadena.
Aug. 11, 1943: Frank Sinatra with unidentified friends arrives by train in Pasadena. This photo was not published, but The Times reported on Aug. 12, 1943, that RKO Pictures had provided starlets to pose with Sinatra at the train station.
(Los Angeles Times)
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In a non-bylined story, the Los Angeles Times reported the next morning:

Dear Boss:

Swoon:

To reiterate, I repeat: “Swoon!”

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Sinatra’s in town.

There he is, boss, standing on the steps of the Santa Fe Chief without so much as wiggling his ears, yet at least 2,000 of his frenzied feminine followers is swooning, squealing, giggling, scratching, screeching, clawing and stomping on reporters’ corns all over the Pasadena station.

I am gaudy with goosepimples as I hesitate to contemplate what would of happened if Frankie would of lowered his eyelids, opened his epiglottis and bust out with “Night and Day” or Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonatra.” I bet the Chief would of been derailed.

Twenty of Pasadena’s finest is popping their suspender buttons trying to keep the horde of ecstatic teenage swooners from stampeding.

“Sinatra beats Glenn Miller,” puffed one officer. “When Glenn comes in a couple of years ago, I only lose one button.”

::

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

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This post originally was published on July 28, 2011.

Aug. 11, 1943: Fans waiting to see Frank Sinatra.
Aug. 11, 1943: Fans waiting to see Frank Sinatra.
(Los Angeles Times)
Aug. 11, 1943: Fans take to dancing while waiting for Frank Sinatra’s train to arrive in Pasadena.
Aug. 11, 1943: Fans take to dancing while waiting for Frank Sinatra’s train to arrive in Pasadena.
(Los Angeles Times)
Aug. 11, 1943: Surging fans, held back by police, wait to see Frank Sinatra.
Aug. 11, 1943: Surging fans, held back by police, wait to see Frank Sinatra.
(Los Angeles Times)


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