The legendary star was the first artist to be "snubbed" at the Grammys. He went on to become one of the show's all-time champs.
Controversy over winners and losers has been part of the Grammy experience since the very first presentations, which took place on May 4, 1959—60 years ago tomorrow (Saturday). The biggest controversy that year had to do with a disappointing showing by Frank Sinatra, who was coming off one of the biggest years of his long career. He had two No. 1 albums on the Billboard 200 in 1958—Come Fly with Me and Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely.
Sinatra was the year's top Grammy nominee, with six noms, including two for album of the year (the aforementioned albums) and two for best vocal performance, male (Come Fly with Me and "Witchcraft"). The star wound up winning just one award—and it wasn't even for his singing. It was for best album cover for his art direction of Only the Lonely.
Sinatra attended the event, which was held in the Grand Ballroom of the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif.—now best known for hosting the Golden Globes every year. Other attendees included Sinatra's fellow Rat Pack members Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin, as well as fellow nominees Henry Mancini and Peggy Lee. Comedian Mort Sahl served as MC.