updated 07/27/1992 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 07/27/1992 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Sinatra set kids on fire the way no singer ever had before. He came on as one of them, fresh out of Hoboken, N.J. There was no macho swagger—yet. (That came later, along with the hints of mob connections, spectacularly public infidelities and the deeper vocal artistry.) For now, he was boyish, vulnerable and so alarmingly skinny (5'10", 137 lbs.) that the girls scarcely knew which he needed more, love or a square meal.
Sinatra was a ballad singer, smooth and dreamy. He spun visions of romance and sentiment that soothed the wartime jitters. "There was great loneliness, and I was the boy in every corner drugstore—the boy who'd gone off, drafted, to war," said Sinatra, who was 4-F due to a punctured eardrum.
Yet this boy also had something more—pure sex appeal. "I love all those girls the same as they love me," said Sinatra. And for as long as each song lasted, he made them believe it.