Sinatra! The Song Is You is the first full-length work to document the musical life of Frank Sinatra.
Drawing upon recent interviews with Sinatra collaborators, arrangers, and musicians — as well as previously unpublished conversations with "The Voice" himself — author Will Friedwald chronicles this five-decade career, tracing the evolution of his vocal style from such early influences as Harry James (the bandleader who in the late thirties "discovered" Sinatra in New Jersey's Rustic Cabin), Tommy Dorsey, and Axel Stordahl, with whom Sinatra recorded his first string of solo hits.
With the orchestrations of Nelson Riddle in the fifties came a more hard-swinging, uptempo Sinatra; the creation of his own label, Reprise Records, in the sixties gave him the venue to experiment with such unexpected forms as soft rock and psychedelia.
Friedwald argues that Sinatra's recordings in the two decades following his 1971 to 1973 retirement weren't as prolific or as consistent as his earlier work, despite a startling comeback that culminated in the 1990s with the platinum-selling Duets discs.