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Frank Sinatra's first big break came when he and a local trio who called themselves the Three Flashes auditioned separately for an appearance on ''Major Bowes and His Original Amateur Hour, ''a popular radio show broadcast nationwide on NBC from the stage of the Capitol Theater in New York. "They won and I won," said Frank, "and when I was accepted, the old man said, 'They're going to be on the show a week from Sunday. Why don't we put you on together and we'll call it the Hoboken Four."' The brash 19-year-old declared on the air, "I'm Frank, Major. We're looking for jobs. How about it? Everyone that's ever heard us, liked us. We think we're pretty good." They sang the Mills Brothers song "Shine"-and racked up the biggest vote in the history of the show, with 40,000 people calling in. Bowes was so impressed that he brought them back several weeks in a row.

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