Frankie Laine, born Francesco Paolo LoVecchio (March 30, 1913 – February 6, 2007), was one of the most successful American singers of the twentieth century. Often billed as America's Number One Song Stylist, his other nicknames include Mr. Rhythm, Old Leather Lungs, and Old Man Jazz. His hits included "That's My Desire", "That Lucky Old Sun," "Mule Train", "Cry of the Wild Goose", "Jezebel," "High Noon", "I Believe", "Hey Joe!", "The Kid's Last Fight", "Cool Water", "Moonlight Gambler", "Love is a Golden Ring", "Rawhide", and "Lord, You Gave Me a Mountain". His career as an entertainer spanned approximately 75 years, from 1930 (when he sang in between sets with a marathon dance company) to 2005 (when he sang That's My Desire in a PBS special).
Frankie Laine was born Francesco Paolo LoVecchio on March 30, 1913 to Giovanni and Cresenzia LoVecchio (nee Salerno). His parents had emigrated from Monreale, Sicily to Chicago's "Little Italy", where his father worked at one time as the personal barber for gangster Al Capone. His family appears to have had several Mafia connections, and young Francesco was living with his grandfather when the latter was hit by some members of a rival faction.
The eldest of eight children, he got his first taste of singing as a member of the choir in the Church of the Immaculate Conception's elementary school. He next attended Lane Technical High School, where he helped to develop his lung power and breath control by joining the track and field and basketball teams. He realized he wanted to be a singer when he cut school to see Al Jolson's current talking picture, "The Singing Fool." Jolson would later visit Laine when both were filming pictures in 1949, and around this same time Jolson remarked that the talented Laine was going to put them all (all the other singers) out of business.
Even in the 1920s, his vocal abilities were remarkable enough to get him noticed by a slightly older "in crowd" at his school, who began inviting him to parties and to local dance clubs, including Chicago's Merry Garden Ballroom. At 17 he sang before a crowd of 5,000 at The Merry Garden Ballroom to such enthusiastic applause that he ended up performing five encores on his first night. But success as a singer was another 17 years away.
Some of his other early influences during this period included Enrico Caruso, Carlo Buti, and, especially, Bessie Smith -- a record of whose somehow wound up in his parents' collection:
I can still close my eyes and visualize its blue and purple label. It was a Bessie Smith recording of 'The Bleeding Hearted Blues,' with 'Midnight Blues' on the other side. The first time I laid the needle down on that record I felt cold chills and an indescribable excitement. It was my first exposure to jazz and the blues, although I had no idea at the time what to call those magical sounds. I just knew I had to hear more of them! -- Frankie Laine
He changed his professional name to "Frankie Laine" in 1938, upon receiving a job singing for the New York City radio station WINS. The program director, Jack Coombs, thought that "LoVecchio" was "too foreign sounding, and too much of a mouthful for the studio announcers," so he Americanized it to "Lane." Frankie added the "i" to avoid confusion with a girl singer at the station who went by the name of "Frances Lane." It was at this time that Laine got unknown songbird Helen O'Connell her job with the Jimmy Dorsey band. WINS, deciding that they no longer needed a jazz singer, dropped him. With the help of bandleader Jean Goldkette, he got a job with a sustainer (non-sponsored) radio show at NBC. Just as he was about to start, Germany attacked England and all sustainer broadcasts were pulled off the air in deference to the needs of the military.
Laine next found employment in a munitions plant, at what was then a whopping salary of $150.00 a week. He quit singing for what was perhaps the fifth or sixth time of his already long (albeit unsuccessful) career. While working at the plant, he met a trio of girl singers, and became engaged to the lead singer. The group had been noticed by Johnny Mercer's Capitol Records, and convinced Laine to head out to Hollywood with them as their agent.
In 1943 he moved out to California where he sang in the background of several Hollywood films including The Harvey Girls, and dubbed the singing voice for an actor in the Danny Kaye comedy The Kid From Brooklyn. It was in Los Angeles in 1944 that he met and befriended disc jockey Al Jarvis and composer/pianist Carl Fischer who was to be his songwriting partner, musical director and piano accompanist until his death in 1954. Their songwriting collaborations included "I'd Give My Life," "Baby, Just For Me," "What Could Be Sweeter?," "Forever More," and the jazz standard "We'll Be Together Again."
Unfortunately, the engagement fell through, with the songstess breaking up with the loyal singer-manager when success for her seemed just around the corner. When Al Jarvis later found out how the girl group had mistreated his friend, he pulled their records from his show, effectively breaking their career.
When the war ended, Laine soon found himself "scuffling" again, and was eventually given a place to stay by Jarvis, who allowed the singer the use of his apartment. Jarvis also did his best to help promote the struggling singer's career, and Laine soon had a small, regional following. In the meantime, Laine would make the rounds of the bigger jazz clubs, hoping that the featured band would call him up to perform a number with them. It wasn't until the end of 1946 when Hoagy Carmichael heard him singing at Billy Berg's club in Los Angeles that success finally arrived. Not knowing that Carmichael was in the audience, Laine sang the Carmichael-penned standard "Rockin' Chair" when Slim Gaillard called him up to the stage to sing. This eventually led to a contract with the newly established Mercury records. Laine and Carmichael would later collaborate on a song, "Put Yourself in My Place, Baby".
Laine cut his first record in 1944, for a fledgling company called "Beltone Records." The sides were "In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning," (an uptempo number that's not to be confused with the moody Frank Sinatra of the same name) and a wartime propaganda tune entitled "Brother, That's Liberty." The records failed to make much of an impression, although "Wee Small Hours" is brilliantly executed and shows that the classic Laine style was already fairly mature at this time. The label soon folded, and Laine was picked up by Atlas Records, a "race label" that initially hired him to imitate his friend Nat "King" Cole. Cole would occasionally "moonlight" for other labels, under pseudonyms, while under contract to "Capitol," and as he had previously recorded some sides for Atlas, they figure that fans would assume that "Frankie Laine" was yet another pseudonym for "Cole."
Laine cut his first two numbers for Atlas in the King mode, backed by r&b artist Johnny Moore's group, The Three Blazers which featured Charles Brown and Cole's guitarist (from "The King Cole Trio"), Oscar Moore. The ruse worked and the record sold moderately well, although limited to the "race" market. Laine cut the remainder of his songs for Atlas in his own style. These included standards like "Roses in Picardy" and "Moonlight in Vermont."
It was also at this time that he recorded a single for Mercury Records: "Pickle in the Middle with the Mustard on Top" and "I May Be Wrong (But I Think You're Wonderful)." He appears only as a character actor on the first side, which features the comedic sing of Artie Auerbach (a.k.a., "Mr. Kitzel" who was a featured player on the Jack Benny radio show. In it, Laine plays a peanut vendor at a ball game and can be heard shouting out lines like "It's a munchy, crunchy bag of lunchy!" The flip side features Laine, and is a jazzy version of an old standard done in the singer's early, signature style (i.e., as a rhythm number). It was played by Laine's friend, disc jockey Al Jarvis, and gained the singer a small West Coast following.
At Beltone and Atlas
Even after Carmichael's discovering him, Laine still was considered to be only an intermission act at Billy Berg's. His next big break came when he dusted off a fifteen-year old song that few people remembered in 1946: "That's My Desire." Laine had picked up the song from songstress June Hart a half a dozen years earlier, when he sang at the College Inn in Cleveland. He introduced "Desire" as a "new" song -- meaning new to his repertoire at Berg's -- but the audience mistook it for a new song that had just been written. He ended up singing it five times that night. After that, Frankie Laine quickly became the star attraction at Berg's, and the record company executives took note.
Laine soon had patrons lining up around the block to hear him sing Desire. Among them was R&B artist Hadda Brooks, known for her boogie woogie piano playing. She went to listen to him every night, and eventually cut her own version of the song, which became a big-hit on the "harlem" charts. "I liked the way he did it" Brooks recalls, "he sings with soul, he sings the way he feels." His first paycheck for royalties was over five times this amount. Laine paid off all of his debts except one -- fellow singer Perry Como refused to let Laine pay him back, and would kid him about the money owed for years to come. A series of hit singles quickly followed, including "Black and Blue," "Mam'selle," "Two Loves Have I," "Shine," "On the Sunny Side of the Street," "Monday Again," and many others.
"That's My Desire"
Frankie Laine's name was synonymous with jazz in the late 40s
Laine began recording for Columbia Records in 1951, where he immediately scored a double-sided hit with the single "Jezebel"/"Rose, Rose, I Love You," confirming his reputation as the premiere hitmaker of the early 50s. Other Laine hits from this period include "High Noon (Do Not Forsake Me)," "Jealousy (Jalousie)," "The Girl in the Woods," "When You're in Love," "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans" (with Jo Stafford), "Your Cheatin' Heart," "Granada," "Hey Joe!," "The Kid's Last Fight," "Cool Water," "Some Day," "A Woman in Love," "Love is a Golden Ring" (with The Easy Riders), and "Moonlight Gambler."
One of the signature songs of the early 50s, "Jezebel" takes the "loreli" motif to its ultimate end, with Laine shouting "Jezebel!" (read "Whore!") at the woman has destroyed him. In Laine's words, the song uses "flamenco rhythms to whip up an atmosphere of sexual frustration and hatred while a guy berated the woman who'd done him wrong."
"I Believe" marked yet another direction for Laine's music: that of the spiritual. A devout Roman Catholic from childhood, Laine would continue to record songs of faith and inspiration throughout his career; beginning with his rocking gospel album with the Four Lads, which, along with the hit song "Rain, Rain, Rain," included classic renditions of such soul-stirring songs as "Remember Me," "Didn't He Moan," "I Feel Like My Time Ain't Long," and "I Hear the Angels Singing." Other Laine spirituals would include "My Friend," "In the Beginning," "Make Me a Child Again," "My God and I," and "Hey! Hey! Jesus."
1953 was also the year that Laine recorded his first long playing album that was released, domestically, solely as an album (prior to this his albums had been compiled from previously released singles). The album was titled "Mr. Rhythm," as Laine was often referred to at that time, and featured many jazz-flavored, rhythm numbers similar in style to the work he'd been doing at Mercury. The album's songlist was made up of "Great American Songbook" standards, each of which could lay a strong claim for being the "definitive" version. The tracks were "Some Day, Sweetheart," "A Hundred Years from Today," "Laughing at Life," "Lullaby in Rhythm," "Willow, Weep for Me," "My Ohio Home," "Judy" and "After You've Gone." The final number features a rare vocal duet with his accompanist/musical director, Carl Fischer. Paul Weston's orchestra provided the music.
Released as a 10" in 1953, and a 12" in 1954, this album features the talents of both Mr. Laine, Jo Stafford and bandleader Paul Weston, a Tommy Dorsey alumnus who lead one of the top bands of the 1950s -- and just happened to be married to Jo Stafford. An album of New Orleans styled tunes was probably Weston's idea, as he was heavily into the New Orleans sound at the time. The album was a mix of both solo recordings and duets by the two stars, and of new and previously released material including Stafford's hits single, "Make Love to Me," "Shrimp Boats," and "Jambalaya." Laine and Stafford duetted on "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans," "Floatin' Down to Cotton Town," and "Basin Street Blues"; and Laine soloed on "New Orleans" (not to be confused with "New Orleans" a.k.a. "The House of the Rising Sun" which Laine later recorded), "Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans," and "When It's Sleepy Time Down South," along with a pair of cuts taken from his "Mr. Rhythm" album.
Portrait of New Orleans
No album was ever more appropriately named. This one featured not only exhilarating jazz vocals by Laine, who seems to be thoroughly enjoying himself, but classic jazz licks on trumpet by a former featured player in the Count Basie orchestra, Wilbur "Buck" Clayton, and trombonists J.J. Johnson and Kai Windling, and piano by Andre Previn. The tracks included several songs that had long been a standard part of the Laine repertoire over the years: "Sposin'," "Baby, Baby, All the Time," and "Roses of Picardy" along with great jazz standards like "Stars Fell on Alabama," "That Old Feeling," and "Taking a Chance on Love." The album proved to be popular with both jazz and popular music fans, and was often cited by Laine as his personal favorite as well. An improvised tone is apparent throughout, with Laine at one point reminiscing with one of the musicians about the days they performed together at Billy Berg's.
The Four Lads (Bernie Toorish, Jimmy Arnold, Frank Busseri and Connie Codarini) had started out as a Canadian-based gospel group, who first gained fame as the backup singer on Johnnie Ray's early chart-bussters ("Cry," "The Little White Cloud that Cried," but had since begun to garther a following on their own with songs like "The Mocking Bird," and "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)." Several of their collaborations with Laine out-rock even their famed Johnnie Ray numbers. The album produced one big hit, "Rain! Rain! Rain1," but tracks like "Remember Me,", "I Feel That My Time Ain't Long," and "Didn't He Moan." These are soul-stirring gospel-revivalist songs of faith, and clearly illustrate the complicated interrelationships between pop, country & western and blues/rhythm and blues which would eventually morph into rock 'n' roll. The last four tracks were recorded at a slightly later session (after rock 'n' roll had just begun to make its presence felt), and could easily be looked at as rock 'n' roll songs with religious themes.
Frankie Laine and the Four Lads
One of Laine's most popular albums, this album reset several of his former hits in a driving, brassy orchestration by Paul Weston and his orchestra, calculated to serve as a classic pop variant of/forerunner to rock 'n' roll. A couple of the remakes ("That Lucky Old Sun," and "We'll Be Together Again,") have since gone on to become the best known (and consequently best remembered) versions of the songs (supplanting the original hit versions). Other songs on this album include: "Rockin' Chair," "By the River Sainte Marie," "Black and Blue," "Blue Turning Grey Over You," "Shine," and "West End Blues." The album's title is less a reference to rock and roll (although Columbia executives surely did nothing to discourage it), as a reference to the Duke Ellington song of that same name. Unlike Mitch Miller, Laine liked the new musical form known as "rock 'n' roll," and was anxious to try his hand at it. And, although they were never hits, due more to his age than to the quality of the recordings themselves, they remain some of the most fascinating rock performances of the decade.
French composer/arranger Michel Legrand teamed up with Laine to record a pair of albums in 1958. The first album, "Foreign Affair," was built around the concept of recording the tracks in different languages: English, French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. Unfortunately the international air of the albums didn't carry over to the fans who, regardless of country, only wanted records in their own language. Legrand's arrangements were well-suited to Laine's stylings, and the songs still come across regardless of any language barriers. The album did produce a pair of international hits: "La Paloma" in Argentina, and "Nao tem solucao" in Brazil. Other tracks included "Mona Lisa," "Mam'selle," "Torna a Sorriento," "Besame Mucho," and "Autumn Leaves."
Laine and Legrand teamed up for a second album of jazz standards, appropriately titled "Reunion in Rhythm," with the vocals limiting themselves to English (and an occasional segue into French). The resulting album proved to be much more popular with fans. Laine sang the complete lyrics (including the rarely reprised introductions) to such favorites as "Blue Moon," "Lover, Come Back to Me," "Marie," "September in the Rain," "Dream a Little Dream of Me" "I Would Do Most Anything for You," "Too Marvelous for Words," and "I Forget the Time." Legrand's arrangements are ear-catching and original, and perfectly complement Laine's equally inventive, high-octane vocals.
With Michel Legrand
Laine wrote the lyrics for the title song on another 1958 album, "Torchin'," which was also his first recorded in stereo. He was backed by trombonist Frank Comstock's orchestra, on a dozen classic torch songs including: "A Cottage for Sale," "I Cover the Waterfront," "You've Changed," "These Foolish Things," "I Got it Bad (And That Ain't Good," "It's the Talk of the Town," and "Body and Soul." As with his Legrand album, he sings the entire lyric for each song, and delivers them with just the perfect mix of impassioned torch singing (a form of belting) and delicate emotion. It is rewarding to compare Laine's style on these numbers to that of Frank Sinatra, whose suicidal-torch albums from this period are slow, and almost dirge-like by comparison.
A second collaboration with Comstock, also recorded in 1958, left off the torchin' and focused on intimacy. Conceived as a love letter to his second wife, actress Nan Grey (who appears on the cover with him), "You Are My Love" is easily Laine's most romantic work. His voice was once described (by a British disk jockey) as having "the virility of a goat and the delicacy of a flower petal," and both of these elements are well showcased here (particularly the delicate nuances). His recording of the wedding standard, "Because," exemplifies the singer's delicate mode at its most exquisite. He opens the song a cappella, after which a classical, acoustic guitar joins him, with the full orchestra gradually fading in and out before the guitar only climax. Also among the love ballads on this album are heartfelt versions of: "I Married an Angel," "To My Wife," "Try a Little Tenderness," "Side by Side," and a stirringly beautiful version of "The Touch of Your Lips," which elevates sensual love to the realm of the Divine.
With Frank Comstock
Recorded in 1959, "Balladeer," is a folk-blues album that was (and still remains) years ahead of its time. Laine had helped pioneer the folk music movement a full ten years earlier with his hit folk-pop records penned by Terry Gilkyson and others, and it was only fitting that he release a hard folk album now that the movement was becoming more popular. Orchestrated and arranged by Fred Katz (who'd brought Laine the innovative "Satan Wears a Satin Gown"), this album has a truly timeless feel to it. Laine and Katz collaborated on some of the new material, along with Lucy Drucker (who apparently inspired the "Lucy D" in one of the songs). Other songs are by folk, country and blues artists like Brownie McGhee, James A. Bland, Huddie "Leadbelly" Ledbetter, and Hungarian composer Rudolf Friml. The closing track, "And Doesn't She Roll" (co-written by Laine), with its rhythmic counter-chorus in the background foretells Paul Simon's celebrated "Graceland" album two decades later.
Included are powerful renditions of "Rocks and Gravel," "Careless Love," "Sixteen Tons," "The Jelly Coal Man," "On a Monday," "Lucy D" (a chilling, original melody that sounds like the later Simon and Garfunkel hit, "Scarborough Fair," but depicts the murder of a beautiful young woman by her unrequited lover), "Carry Me Back To Old Virginney," "Stack of Blues," "Old Blue," "Cherry Red," and "New Orleans" (better known as "The House of the Rising Sun," which would become a hit for the British rock group, "The Animals," a few years later.
He billed as "Johnny Williams," then. Just starting out, he would serve as Laine's arranger-conductor on his last four albums at Columbia: "Hell Bent for Leather," "Deuces Wild," "Call of the Wild," and "Wanderlust." As John Williams, he would later go on to be one of the most influential motion picture composers of the late 20th century, providing the scores for such blockbusters as Jaws, Star Wars,, Superman, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Schindler's List. He recently said the following words about Laine:
Frankie Laine was somebody that everybody knew. He was a kind of a household word like Frank Sinatra or Bobby Darin or Peggy Lee or Ella Fitzgerald -- Frankie Laine was one of the great popular singers and stylists of that time. ... And his style ... he was one of those artists who had such a unique stamp -- nobody sounded like he did. You could hear two notes and you knew who it was and you were right on the beam with it right away. And of course that defines a successful popular artist, at least at that time. These people were all uniquely individual and Frank was on the front rank of those people in his appeal to the public and his success and certainly in his identifiability. -- John Williams. "De Glory Road," from his "Wanderlust" album of 1963 was one of Laine's personal favorites.
With John Towner Williams
This classic album of western classics by Laine established him as "a cowboy singer" for many young fans who grew up in the 1960s. The album's title is taken from a line in the popular t.v. theme song Laine recorded for the popular Clint Eastwood western, "Rawhide," which, naturally appears on the album. The track include stereo remakes of several of his biggest western/great outdoors hits: "The Cry of the Wild Goose," "Mule Train," "Gunfight at O.K. Corral," and "3:10 to Yuma," as well as new material, including the classic western rocker, "Wanted Man," and one of his most rousing musical narratives, "Bowie Knife." The remakes aren't quite as good as the originals, but they're close enough -- and the new material is simply phenomenal.
Hell Bent For Leather
Laine's next album continued both the westren theme (at least on several of the numbers), while following up (somewhat belatedly) on his last big hit single, "Moonlight Gambler" (a stereo remake of which appears on the album). Most of the songs have a gambling theme, although the opening track hasn't got so much as a deck of cards in it. Instead, "The Hard Way" is a rip-roaring story about a hard-luck case who gets blown to bits by a cannon ball while fight in the Civil War (for the Confederacy, of course), only to wind up eternally shoveling coal in Hell. The second track, Stephen Foster's "Camptown Races," is far and away the definitive version of this song (beating out even the version by the great Al Jolson). Under Laine's sure hand, the song sounds neither like a museum piece nor an antiquated novelty tune. It's brimming with a timeless energy that fully captures the excitement that the original song must have had. When Laine blasts out lines like "Runnin' a race with a shootin' star," you believe it! Other songs on this album include: "Luck Be a Lady" (from the hit musical "Guys and Dolls"), which Laine performed in an off-Broadway, touring company version of; "Get Rich Quick;" the wonderfully politically incorrect "Horses and Women" (which Laine may have supplied the lyrics to); "Deuces Wild," which Laine did provide the lyrics to; and "Dead Man's Hand."
This album continued to play up Chicago-born Frankie Laine's western image with songs like "On the Trail," and what has got to be the definitive version of "Tumbling Tumbleweeds," written by one of the founding members of The Sons of the Pioneers," Bob Nolan. But the majority of its tracks focus more on "the great outdoors," with titles like: "The Song of the Open Road," "North to Alaska" (which probably had John Wayne kicking himself in the head for having Johnny Horton sing this title song over the credits of his film); "Beyond the Blue Horizon, "Rolling Stone" (not to be confused with the Bob Dylan song of the same title); and "The New Frontier," which appears to show Laine's support of President, John F. Kennedy. The arrangements on many of these songs have an almost classical feel to them, reflecting the classical training of Johnny Williams, who would go on to conduct the Boston Pops for many years.
Call Of The Wild
"Wanderlust" was Laine's final album with Columbia Records. It featured a collection of songs only arguably, at best, in keeping with its title theme; but many rank among the singer's richest tracks. "De Glory Road" is one of both Laine's and his fans personal favorites. His vocal gymnastics on this one are certainly of a gold medal calibre. Other great songs on this album are what for many is the definitive version of "Riders in the Sky" and one of his all-time greatest cuts, a swinging version of Sigmund Romberg's Serenade, from the operetta, "The Student Prince"; although Laine's joyously finger snapping version has nothing of the operetta in it. Also included on this album is a version of "I Let Her Go" which is even better than the singer's original hit version of it from 1953; an infectious (and uncensored) version of a song that figured prominently in his nightclub act, "On the Road to Mandalay," based on the poem by Rudyard Kipling; and a classic version of "Wagon Wheels" which he'd been singing (though not recording) as far back as his days with the Merry Garden Ballroom marathon dance company in the early 1930s.
Laine's albums from this period represented some of the best recordings of his long and illustrious career, but they were not competing well on the teen-oriented market of the early rock 'n' roll generation. Laine had met with Columbia officials to renew his contract on the day that John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The meeting was canceled, and neither Laine nor Columbia pressed to reschedule it.
In 1963 Frankie Laine left Columbia for Capitol Records, but his two years there only produced one album and a handful of singles (mostly of an inspirational nature). He continued performing regularly at this time, including a South African tour.
After switching to ABC Records in the late 1960s, he found himself right back at the top of the charts again, beginning with the first song he'd recorded there, "I'll Take Care of Your Cares." Written as a waltz in the mid-1920s, "Cares" had become the unofficial theme song of the Las Vegas call girls but was virtually unknown outside of the strip. Laine recorded a swinging version that made it to number 39 on the national and to number 2 on the adult contemporary charts. A string of hits followed including "Making Memories," "You Wanted Someone to Play With," "Laura, What's He Got that I Ain't Got," "To Each His Own" "Born to be with You," "I Found You," and "Lord, You Gave Me A Mountain" (which was written for him by country legend Marty Robbins. The last song was a number one hit on the adult contemporary charts (#24 national), and proved that Laine was as big a hit-maker as ever. His last single to hit the Billboard Hot 100 chart (Peaking at #86 national) was the forceful reminder that "Dammit Isn't God's Last Name".
Seeking greater artistic freedom, Laine left ABC for the much smaller Amos Records, where he cut two albums in a modern, rock-influenced vein. The first album contained contemporary versions of his greatest hits, such as "Your Cheatin' Heart," "That Lucky Old Sun," "I Believe," "Jezebel," "Shine," and "Moonlight Gambler." The new arrangements worked surprisingly well and many of the cuts can stand alongside of the originals. Unfortunately for Laine, Amos, which was soon to fold from lack of funds, couldn't adequately promote them at the time. However they are still available through CD re-releases. After Amos folded, Laine started his own label, Score Records, which is still producing albums today.
At Capitol, ABC, and Beyond
Beginning in the late 1940s, Frankie Laine starred in over a half dozen backstage musicals, often playing himself; several of these were written and directed by a young Blake Edwards. The films were: "Make Believe Ballroom" - Columbia, 1949; "When You're Smiling" - Columbia, 1950; "Sunny Side Of The Street" - Columbia, 1951; "Rainbow 'Round My Shoulder" - Columbia, 1952; "Bring Your Smile Along" - Columbia, 1955; "He Laughed Last" - Columbia, 1956; and "Meet Me In Las Vegas" - MGM, 1956. The last, a big budget MGM musical starring Cyd Charisse features Laine performing "Hell Hath No Fury" and provides us with a glimpse of what his 1950s Las Vegas nightclub act must have been like.
His films were very popular in the United Kingdom, but failed to establish him as a movie star in the United States. State side, Laine gained more popularity in the new medium of television.
On television he hosted three variety shows: The Frankie Laine Hour in 1950, The Frankie Laine Show"(with Connie Haines) 1954-5, and "Frankie Laine Time" in 1955-6. The Last was a summer replacement for The Arthur Godfrey Show and featured such high-powered guest stars as Ella Fitzgerald, Johnnie Ray, Georgia Gibbs, The Four Lads, Cab Calloway, Patti Page, Eddie Heywood, Duke Ellington, Boris Karloff, Patti Andrews, Joni James, Shirley MacLaine, Gene Krupa, Teresa Brewer, Jack Teagarden and Polly Bergen.
He had a different sound, you know and he had such emotion and heart. And of course you recognized Frankie, just like Sinatra had that sound that you'd always recognize. That's what made for hit records, as well as being a great singer. But you have to have a real special sound that never changes. He could do it all ... but again, you always knew that it was Frankie Laine. -- Connie Haines
He was a frequent guest star on various other shows of the time including Shower of Stars, The Steve Allen Show, The Toast of the Town, What's My Line?, This is Your Life, Bachelor Father, The Sinatra Show, The Walter Winchell Show, The Perry Como Show, The Gary Moore Show, Masquerade Party, The Mike Douglas Show, and American Bandstand.
In the 1960s, he continued appearing on variety shows like Laugh-In, but took on several serious guest-starring roles in shows like Rawhide, Burke's Law, and Perry Mason. His theme song for Rawhide proved to be popular and helped to make the show, starring a young, unknown actor named Clint Eastwood a hit. Other TV series' for which Laine sang the theme song included "Gunslinger," and "Rango." In 1976, Frankie recorded the Beatles song, "Maxwell's Silver Hammer" for the ill advised documentary All This and World War II.
Frankie Laine performed at three Academy Awards ceremonies: 1950 ("Mule Train"), 1960 ("The Hanging Tree"), and 1975 ("Blazing Saddles"). Only last two of these ceremonies were televised. In 1981 he performed a medley of his hits on "American Bandstand's 30th Anniversary Special," where he received a standing ovation from the many celebrities present. Later appearances include "Nashville Now," 1989 and "My Music," 2006.
Film and Television
Along with opening the door for many R&B performers, Laine played a significant role in the civil rights movements of the 1950s and '60s. When Nat King Cole's television show was unable to get a sponsor, Laine crossed the color line, becoming the first white artist to appear as a guest (foregoing his usual salary of $10,000.00 as Cole's show only paid scale). Many other top white singers followed suit, including Tony Bennett and Rosemary Clooney, but Cole's show still couldn't get enough sponsors to continue.
In the following decade, Frankie Laine joined several African American artists who gave a free concert for Martin Luther King's supporters during their Selma to Montgomery marches on Washington DC.
Laine, who had a strong appreciation of African-American music, went so far as to record at least two songs that have being black as their subject matter, "Shine" and Fats Waller's "Black and Blue". Both were recorded early in his career at Mercury, and helped to contribute to the initial confusion among fans about his race.
Laine was also active in many charities as well, including Meals on Wheels and The Salvation Army. Among his charitable works were a series of local benefit concerts and his having organized a nationwide drive to provide "Shoes for the Homeless." He donated a large portion of his time and talent to many San Diego charities and homeless shelters, as well as the Salvation Army and St. Vincent de Paul Village. He was also an emeritus member of the board of directors for the Mercy Hospital Foundation.
His career slowed down a little in the 1980s due to triple and quadruple heart bypasses, but he nevertheless continued cutting albums including Wheels Of A Dream (1998), Old Man Jazz (2002) and The Nashville Connection (2004).
In 1986, he recorded an album, Round Up with Eric Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, which made it to the classical charts. Laine was reportedly pleased and amused, Then, a decade later on March 30, 2003, Frankie celebrated his 90th birthday, and several of his old pals, Herb Jeffries, Patti Page and Kay Starr were welcomed to Laine's birthday bash in San Diego, as each of them gave a helping hand in him blowing out the candles.
After a brief marriage in the 1940s, Laine married actress Nan Grey (June 1950 - July 1993) and adopted her daughters from a previous marriage, Pam and Jan. Their forty-three year union lasted until her death. Following a three-year engagement to Anita Craighead, which also ended in his partner's death, the 86-year old singer married Marcia Ann Kline in June 1999. This last pairing would last for the remainder of his life.
In 2005 he appeared in the PBS My Music special despite a recent stroke. He performed the song that started it all for him, That's My Desire, and received a standing ovation from the warmly appreciative audience. It proved to be his swansong to the world of popular music.
Laine died of heart failure on February 6, 2007, at Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego, California, at 93. In a prepared statement Laine's family said, "He will be forever remembered for the beautiful music he brought into this world, his wit and sense of humor, along with the love he shared with so many." A memorial mass for the late singer, who was a Roman Catholic, was held on Monday, February 12, at the Immaculata parish church on the campus of the University of San Diego. The following day, his ashes, along with those of his former wife, Nan Grey, were scattered over the Pacific Ocean.
While Laine's influence on popular music, rock and roll and soul is rarely acknowledged by rock historians, his early crossover success as a singer of "race music," helped pave the way for other white artist who sang in the black style, like Kay Starr, Johnnie Ray and Elvis Presley; but helped to increase public acceptance for African-American artists as well. Artists inspired and/or influenced by Laine include Ray Charles, Bobby Darin, Lou Rawls, The Kalin Twins, The Beatles, Tom Jones, James Brown, Billy Fury, and many others.
of "Basin Street Blues" by Laine and Jo Stafford Hit singles
(Complete, with recording dates)
(1944) That's Liberty, In The Wee Small Hours
(1945) Baby Baby All The Time, Heartaches, I'm Confessin', Coquette, Melancholy Madeline (with Johnny Moore's Three Blazers), Maureen (with Johnny Moore's Three Blazers, Someday Sweetheart
(1946) Ain't That Just Like A Woman, Black And Blue, Blue Turning Grey Over You, By The River Sainte Marie, I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me, I May Be Wrong, It Ain't Gonne Be Like That, Moonlight In Vermont, Oh! Lady Be Good, On The Sunny Side Of The Street, Pickle In The Middle (Artie Auerbach vocal, as "Mister Kitzel" -- Frankie can be heard in the background as a peanut vendor), Roses Of Picardy, September In The Rain, Sometimes I'm Happy, Sposin', Texas And Pacific, That's My Desire, West End Blues, Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams, You Can Depend On Me, You've Changed
(1947) Ah But It Happens, All Of Me, Baby Don't Be Mad At Me, But Beautiful, By The Light Of The Stars, Cherie I Love You, The Day Isn't Long Enough, Hold Me, I Haven't The Heart, Here Comes the Night (recording lost), Inspiration Point, It Only Happens Once, I've Only Myself To Blame, Kiss Me Again, Mam'selle, May I Never Love Again, Nevertheless, Old Fashioned Love, Our Dream, Put 'Em In A Box, Put Yourself In My Place Baby, Shine, Singing The Blues, Stay As Sweet As You Are, A Sunday Kind Of Love, Thanks For You, That Ain't Right, Till We Meet Again, Two Loves Have I, We'll Be Together Again, When You're Smiling, Who Cares What People Say, With All My Heart, Yes My Dear
(1948) Come Love With Me, Don't Have To Tell Nobody, I Wish You Were Jealous Of Me, I'm Looking Over A Four-Leaf Clover, Monday Again, Rosetta, Tara Talara Tala, What Could Be Sweeter?, You're All I Want For Christmas
(1949) At The End Of The Road, Baby I Need You, Baby Just For Me, Bebop Spoken Here, Carry Me Back To Old Virginney, Don't Cry Little Children, Don't Do Something to Someone Else, Exactly Like You, Georgia On My Mind, Give Me A Kiss For Tomorrow, God Bless The Child, I Get Sentimental Over Nothing, Mule Train, My One My Only My All, Now That I Need You, Rockin' Chair, Satan Wears A Satin Gown, Swamp Girl, Sweet Talk, That Lucky Old Sun, You're Just The Kind, You're Wonderful
(1950 Black Lace, The Cry Of The Wild Goose, The Day Isn't Long Enough, Dear Dear Dear, Dream a Little Dream of Me, I Love You For That (with Patti Page), I Was Dancing With Someone, If I Were A Bell, If I Were You Baby (with Patti Page), I'm Gonna Live Till I Die, I'm in the Mood for Love, The Jalopy Song, A Man Gets Awfully Lonesome, May The Good Lord Bless And Keep You, Merry Christmas Everywhere, Music Maestro Please, Sleepy Ol' River, Stars And Stripes Forever, Thanks For Your Kisses, What Am I Gonna Do This Christmas?
(1951) Ain't Misbehavin', Flamenco, Gambella (The Gamblin' Lady) (with Jo Stafford), The Gang That Sang Heart Of My Heart, Get Happy, The Girl In The Wood, Hey Good Lookin' (with Jo Stafford), I Would Do Most Anything For You, In The Cool Cool Cool Of The Evening, The Isle Of Capri, Jealousy (Jalousie), Jezebel, Love Is Such A Cheat, Metro Polka, Necessary Evil, One For My Baby, Pretty-Eyed Baby (with Jo Stafford), Rose, Rose, I Love You, She Reminds Me Of You, Song Of The Islands, South Of The Border, That's Good! That's Bad! (with Jo Stafford), That's How Rhythm Was Born, That's The One For Me (with Jo Stafford), To Be Worthty Of You, Tomorrow Mountain, What Could Be Sweeter?, When It's Sleepy Time Down South, Wonderful Wasn't It?, Yes My Dear, You Left Me Out In The Rain
(1952) Chow Willy (with Jo Stafford), Christmas Roses (with Jo Stafford), The Gandy Dancer's Ball, Hambone (with Jo Stafford), High Noon (Do Not Forsake Me), How Lovely Cooks The Meat (with Doris Day), I'd Give My Life, I'm Just A Poor Bachelor, Let's Have A Party (with Jo Stafford), The Mermaid, My Ohio Home, Piece A-Puddin' (with Jo Stafford), Ramblin' Man, The Rock Of Gibraltar, The Ruby And The Pearl, Settin' The Woods On Fire (with Jo Stafford), She's Funny That Way, Snow In Lovers Lane, Sugarbush (with Doris Day), Swan Song, Snow In Lovers Lane, That's How It Goes, There's A Rainbow 'Round My Shoulder, Tonight You Belong To Me, When You're In Love
(1953) Ace In The Hole, After You've Gone (vocal duet with Carl Fischer), Answer Me My Love, Answer Me O' Lord, Basin Street Blues (with Jo Stafford), Blowing Wild (The Ballad Of Black Gold), A Bushel And A Peck (with Jo Stafford), Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans, Drill Ye Tarriers, Floatin' Down To Cotton Town (with Jo Stafford), Goin' Like Wildfire (with Jo Stafford), Granada, Hey Joe!, A Hundred Years From Today, I Believe, I Let Her Go, Judy, The Kid's Last Fight, Laughing At Life, Let's Go Fishin' (with Jimmy Boyd), The Little Boy And The Old Man (with Jimmy Boyd), Long Distance Love, Lorelei, The Lord Don't Treat His Chillun That Way, Lullaby In Rhythm, New Orleans, Old Shoes, Poor Little Piggy Bank (with Jimmy Boyd), Rollin' Down The Line (with Jo Stafford), Sittin' In The Sun (Countin' My Money), Some Day, Some Day Sweetheart, Te Amo, Tell Me A Story (with Jimmy Boyd), There Must Be A Reason, Way Down Yonder In New Orleans (with Jo Stafford), Where The Winds Blow, Willow Weep For Me, Your Cheatin' Heart
(1954) Ain't It A Pity And A Shame (with The Four Lads), Back Where I Belong (with Jo Stafford), God's Gonna Take The Saints To Heaven (with The Four Lads), High Society (with Jo Stafford), I Can't Give You Anything But Love, I Feel Like My Time Ain't Long (with The Four Lads), I'd Give My Life, In The Beginning, Juba-Juba-Jubalee (with The Four Lads), Keepin' Out Of Mischief Now, Let Me Be Ready Lord (with The Four Lads), My Friend, Out Of Nowhere, Rain Rain Rain (with The Four Lads), Wa-Hoo! (with The Four Lads), What Would I Do? (with The Four Lads), You Are Too Beautiful, Your Heart - My Heart
(1955) Baby Baby All The Time (with Buck Clayton), Bring Your Smile Along, Bubbles, Champion The Wonder Horse, Cool Water, Didn't He Moan (with The Four Lads), Hawk-Eye, Hummingbird, I Heard The Angels Singing (with The Four Lads), If Spring Never Comes, If You Were Mine (with Buck Clayton), Make Me A Child Again, Mama Mia, Moby Dick, Mona Lisa, My Little One, Never Come Sunday, Remember Me (with The Four Lads), Robin Hood, Roses Of Picardy (with Buck Clayton), Sixteen Tons, Sposin' (with Buck Clayton), Stars Fell On Alabama (with Buck Clayton), Strange Lady In Town, Taking A Chance On Love (with Buck Clayton), The Tarrier Song, That Old Feeling (with Buck Clayton), The Thief, Tick Ticky Tick (I'M Gonna Tell On You), Until The Real Thing Comes Along (with Buck Clayton), Walking The Night Away, Where Can I Go (with The Four Lads), A Woman in Love, You Can Depend On Me (with Buck Clayton), Your Love
(1956) A Capital Ship, Don't Cry, Good Evening Friends (with Johnnie Ray), Hell Hath No Fury, Lonely Man, Lotus Land, Love Is A Golden Ring (with The Easy Riders), Make Me A Child Again, Moonlight Gambler, The Most Happy Fella, On The Road To Mandalay, Only If We Love, There's Not A Moment To Spare, Up Above My Head (I Hear Music In The Air) (with Johnnie Ray), Without Him
(1957) Addormentarmi Cosi (with Michel Legrand), All Of These And More, Annabel Lee, Autumn Leaves (with Michel Legrand), Besame Mucho (with Michel Legrand), (What Did I Do To Be So) Black And Blue, Blue Turning Grey Over You, By The River Sainte Marie, East Is East, Give Me A Kiss For Tomorrow, The Greater Sin, Gunfight At OK Corral, Jezebel, La Paloma (with Michel Legrand), Laura (with Michel Legrand), The Lonesome Road, Mam'selle (with Michel Legrand), My Gal And A Prayer, Nao Tem Solucao (with Michel Legrand), On The Sunny Side Of The Street, Quiereme Mucho (Yours) (with Michel Legrand), Rockin' Chair, Shine, Si Tu Partais (with Michel Legrand), That Ain't Right, That Lucky Old Sun, That's My Desire, The 3:10 to Yuma, Too Young (with Michel Legrand), Torna A Sorrento (with Michel Legrand), Uh-Huh Oh Yeah, We'll Be Together Again, West End Blues, You Know How It Is
(1958) Baby Just For Me (with Michel Legrand), Because, Blue Moon (with Michel Legrand), Body And Soul, Choombala Bey, A Cottage For Sale, Dream a Little Dream of Me (with Michel Legrand), El Diablo, Forever More, Here Lies Love, I Cover The Waterfront, I Forget The Time (with Michel Legrand), I Get Along Without You Very Well, I Got It Bad (And That Ain't Good), I Have To Cry, I Married An Angel, I Would Do Anything For You (with Michel Legrand), I'll Get By, I'm Confessin' (That I Love You) (with Michel Legrand), In My Wildest Dreams, It Only Happens Once, It's The Talk Of The Town, Journey's End, A Kiss Can Change The World, The Love Of Loves (with Michel Legrand), Lover Come Back To Me (with Michel Legrand), Lovin' Up A Storm, Magnificent Obsession, Marie (with Michel Legrand), Midnight On A Rainy Monday, Mona Lisa (with Michel Legrand), My Kind Of Woman, My Little Love, Rawhide, Second Honeymoon, September In The Rain (with Michel Legrand), Side By Side, That's My Desire, These Foolish Things (Remind Me Of You), To My Wife, Too Marvelous For Words (with Michel Legrand), Torchin', The Touch Of Your Lips, Try A Little Tenderness, The Valley Of A Hundred Hills, We Just Couldn't Say Goodbye, When I Speak Your Name, You Are My Love, You're Just The Kind (with Michel Legrand), You've Changed
(1959) And Doesn't She Roll, Careless Love, Cherry Red, Jelly Coal Man, Kisses That Shake The World, Lucy D, New Orleans, Old Blue, Old Virginny, On A Monday, Rockin' Mother, Rocks And Gravel, Sixteen Tons, Stack Of Blues
(1960) Along The Navajo Trail, Bowie Knife, City Boy, Cool Water, Cry Of The Wild Goose, Et Voila, God Bless This House, Gunfight At The O.K. Corral, The Hanging Tree, Here She Comes Now, High Noon, Mule Train, Rawhide, Sampson, Seven Women, St. James Infirmary, The 3:10 to Yuma, Wanted Man, You're All I Want For Christmas
(1961) Ace In The Hole, Camptown Races, Cow-Cow Boogie, Dead Man's Hand, Deuces Wild, Gamblin' Woman, Get Rich Quick, The Green Leaves Of Summer, Gunslinger, The Hard Way, Horses And Women, Luck Be A Lady, The Man Who Broke The Bank At Monte Carlo, Miss Satan, Moonlight Gambler, Ride Through The Night, The Roving Gambler, Wheel Of Fortune
(1962) Beyond The Blue Horizon, Call Of The Wild, If I Love Again, The Girl In The Wood, De Glory Road, The High Road, I Let Her Go, I'm Gonna Live 'Til I Die, Live Along With Me (Get With It), Love Is Where You Find It, Misirlou, The Moment Of Truth, The New Frontier, North To Alaska, On The Road To Mandalay, On The Trail, Riders In The Sky, Rolling Stone, Serenade, Song Of The Open Road, Swamp Girl, Tumbling Tumbleweeds, Wagon Wheels, The Wayfaring Stranger, A Wedded Man, We'll Be Together Again, What Kind Of Fool Am I?
(1963) Die Welt War Niemals So Schon, Don't Make Me Baby Blue, Hey There Mountain (unissued/lost), Ich Lass Dich Gehn, I'm Gonna Be Strong, No La Hagas Sufrir, No Sabras Mi Dolor, Non Farla Piangere, Prairie Belle, Saro Forte, Take Her, Up Among The Stars
(1964) Che Me Ne Importa...A Me, For Your Love I'd Wait A Lifetime, A Girl, Go On With Your Dancing, Halfway, House Of Laughter, Lonely Days Of Winter, Tangolita
(1965) Answer Me, Come Sunday, He, The Green Leaves Of Summer, Heartaches Can Be Fun, He'll Guide My Way, I Believe, May The Good Lord Bless And Keep You, My Friend, O Bless This House, Seven Days Of Love, The Sound Of Silence, Teach Me To Pray, Two Loves Have I
(1966) Johnny Willow, The Meaning Of It All, Pray And He Will Answer You, What Do You Know
(1967) Ev'ry Street's A Boulevard, Give Me Your Kisses I'll Give You My Heart, The Gypsy, Heartless One, I Heard You Cry Last Night, I Wish You Were Jealous Of Me, If I Didn't Care, I'll Take Care Of Your Cares, I'm Free, Laura (What's He Got That I Ain't Got), Making Memories, Maybe, The Moment Of Truth, The Real Meaning Of Love, Sometimes I Just Can't Stand You, Somewhere There's Someone, There's Not A Moment To Spare, What Do You Do With An Old Song, You - No One But You, You Taught Me How To Love You Now Teach Me To Forget, You Wanted Someone To Play With, You're Breaking My Heart
(1968) By the Time I Get to Phoenix, Cold Cold Heart, Forsaking All Others, Gentle On My Mind, The Green Green Grass Of Home, Halfway, Honey, I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire, I Found You, I Need You, I Wish I Had Someone Like You, I'm Happy To Hear You're Sorry, It Didn't Mean A Thing To Me, I've Got A Right To Cry, Laughing On The Outside Crying On The Inside, Little Green Apples, Please Forgive Me, Pretty Little Princess, Silver Kisses And Golden Love, Take Me Back, To Each His Own, The Wayward Wind, What A Wonderful World, Where Does Love Go, You Always Hurt The One You Love
(1969) Allegra, Born To Be With You, Dammit Isn't God's Last Name, Don't Make Promises, Fresh Out Of Tears, A Place In The Shade, The Secret Of Happiness, Sing An Italian Song, The Story Of My Life, Walk On Out Of My Life, You Gave Me A Mountain
(1970) Rockin' remakes of: Don't Make My Baby Blue, I Believe, Jealousy, Jezebel, Moonlight Gambler, On The Sunny Side Of The Street, Shine, That Lucky Old Sun, That's My Desire, Your Cheatin' Heart
(1971) A Brand New Day, Don't Blame The Child, California Bloodlines, Going To Newport, Mr. Bojangles, My God And I, Po' Folks, Proud Mary, Put Your Hand In The Hand, Talk About The Good Times
(1972) Can You Hear Me Lord, My Own True Love, Time To Ride
(1974) Blazing Saddles
(1976) Maxwell's Silver Hammer, Talk To Me About The Hard Times
(1977) Cool Water, The Cry Of The Wild Goose, Georgia On My Mind, High Noon, I Believe, Jealousy, Jezebel, The Kid's Last Fight, Memories In Gold, Moonlight Gambler, Mule Train, On The Sunny Side Of The Street, Rawhide, Shine, That Lucky Old Sun, That's My Desire, We'll Be Together Again, A Woman in Love, You Gave Me A Mountain, Your Cheatin' Heart
(1978) End Of Session Blues, Evergreen, Forgetting Someone, I Don't Feel Like Singing Anymore, If I Never Sing Another Song, It's Gonna Happen, Hey! Hey! Jesus, Life Is Beautiful, The Only Thing That Matters, Nan, Nobody But You, Send In The Clowns, Sunday Morning Coming Down
(1982) Answer Me, By The Time I Get To Pheonix, Cool Water, Cry Of The Wild Goose, Don't Blame The Child, Don't Fence Me In, Evergreen, Forgetting Someone, Gentle On My Mind, Going Up To Newport, Granada, High Noon, Honey, Hummingbird, I Believe, If I Never Sing Another Song, Jealousy, Jezebel, Little Green Apples, Lord You Gave Me A Mountain, Love Rustler, Moonlight Gambler, Mr. Bojangles, Mule Train, My Way, Nan, Nobody But You, The Only Thing That Matters, Rain Rain Rain, Rawhide, Rose Rose I Love You, Sixteen Tons, Strange Lady In Town, Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down, Texas, There Must Be A Reason, Wheel Of Fortune, A Woman in Love
(1984) Take Me Back To L.A., We'll Be Together Again
(1985) The Girl I Love, How Do You Keep The Music Playing?, Fever, The Lady Digs Jazz, Makin' Whoopee, San Diego Lovely Lady By The Sea, Solitude, Strike Up The Band For San Diego, This Can't Be Love/Them There Eyes, Time You Old Gypsy Man, What Am I Here For?
(1986) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song, The Green Green Grass Of Home, I Believe In You, Jambalaya, Let Me Learn To Dream Of You, Old Dogs Children And Watermelon Wine, One More Time, Over, She Never Could Dance, When Will I Be Loved
(1987) Gunfight At The O.K. Corral (with Erich Kunzel and The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra), High Noon (with Erich Kunzel and The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra), Old Boston, Old Chicago, Old St. Louis, Merry Christmas Without You, Rawhide (with Erich Kunzel and The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra)
(1988) Better To Have Loved, Butterfly, Fallen Angel, Fever, Fly Away, I'd Do It Over Again, Just A Dreamer, Rose Ellen, Still There's You
(1991) Don't Cry Cry Baby, Old Enough To Be Your Father
(1998) Back In The Game, The Best Of Each Other, Come Back To Me, A Day At A Time, The Good Old Days, Giving Back, How Sweet It Is, I Like To Travel, It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over, Moonglow, Nature Boy, Scarlet Ribbons, Song Of India, Soon I'll Be Following You, Taking Care Of My Soul, That's All, That's How I'd Like To Be Remembered, They Call The Wind Maria, This Time The Dream's On Me, How Do You Keep The Music Playing, Until Now, Wheels Of A Dream, You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine, Young At Heart
(2001) The Story of Taps, Taps/My Buddy
(2002) After Me, The Best Of Love, Dandelion Wine, From Time To Time, The Greatest Thing That Almost Happened, Heavy Breathing, Here's To The Losers, I Don't Remember, Keep Goin' Back To Joe's, More Love, Old Man Jazz, Too Late Smart, Too Soon Old Too Late Smart, When Joanna Loved Me, When Sunny Gets Blue
(2004) Contagious, Contagious (live version), Every Time She Cries, Father Time, A Heart Lies Still, I Go Flyin', If I Could See Into Your Heart, I'll Be Thinking Of You, Jake, Pity The One, She Never Could Dance, Shelter From The Storm, Stars In The Bars
It Ain't Gonna Be Like That (with Mel Tormé)
It Only Happens Once (words and music by Laine)
Put Yourself In My Place (with Hoagy Carmichael)
We'll Be Together Again (with Carl Fischer)
Our Dream (words and music)
I Haven't The Heart (with Matt Dennis)
I'd Give My Life (with Carl Fischer)
What Could Be Sweeter? (with Carl Fischer)
Baby, Just For Me (with Carl Fischer)
Satan Wears A Satin Gown (with Jacques Wilson and Fred Katz)
Don't Cry Little Children (with Norman Wallace)
When You're In Love (with Carl Fischer)
Only If We Love (with Al Lerner)
Torchin (with Al Lerner)
The Love Of The Roses (with Carl Fischer)
Magnificent Obsession (with Fred Karger)
Forever More (with Carl Fischer)
You Are My Love (with Carl Fischer)
My Little Love (with Carl Eugster)
And Doesn't She Roll (with Jack Wilson and Fred Katz)
God Bless This House (with Jack Wilson and Fred Katz)
Deuces Wild (with Mike Oatman and Ray Barr)
Cow-Cow Boogie (with Don Raye, Gene DePaul and Benny Carter)
The High Road (with Margaret Bristol and Leo Kempinski)
The Moment of Truth (with Nell Western and Fred Katz)
What Am I Here For? (with Duke Ellington)
Allegra (with Matt Dennis)
End Of Session Blues
Nan Lyrics by Laine
Make Believe Ballroom - Columbia, 1949.
When You're Smiling - Columbia, 1950.
Sunny Side Of The Street - Columbia, 1951.
Rainbow 'Round My Shoulder - Columbia, 1952.
Bring Your Smile Along - Columbia, 1955.
He Laughed Last - Columbia, 1956.
Meet Me In Las Vegas - MGM, 1956. As Actor
Blowing Wild - Warner, 1953.
Man Without A Star - Universal, 1955.
Strange Lady In Town - Warner, 1955.
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral - Paramount, 1957.
3:10 to Yuma - Columbia, 1957.
Bullwhip - Republic, 1958.
Blazing Saddles - Warner/Crossbow, 1974. Sang the Title Song
The Last Picture Show - sang "Rose, Rose, I Love You," Columbia, 1971.
All This and World War II - sang "Maxwell's Silver Hammer," Deluxe, 1976.
House Calls - sang "On the Sunny Side of the Street," Universal, 1978.
Lemon Popsicle - sang "My Little One," 1978.
Going Steady - sang "My Little One," 1980.
Raging Bull - sang "That's My Desire," United Artists, 1980.
Whore - sang "The Love of Loves," 1991.
Chopper - sang "Don't Fence Me In," 2000. Included in the Soundtrack
The Frankie Laine Hour - 1950.
The Frankie Laine Show - 1954-5.
Frankie Laine Time - 1955-6.
Rawhide 1959-66 (sang the theme song)
Gunslinger 1961 (sang the theme song)
Rango 1967 (sang the theme song)
The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo 1979-81 (sang the theme song for the first season) Television
Perry Mason - CBS, 1959.
Rawhide - CBS, 1960.
Bachelor Father - ABC, 1961.
Burke's Law - ABC, 1963. Guest star appearances
"That Lucky Old Son," co-authored with Joseph F. Laredo, Pathfinder Publishing, 1993.
"The Best Damn Trumpet Player: Memories of the Big Band Era and Beyond" by Richard Grudens, Celebrity Profiles Publishing Co. (June 1, 1996). Includes a Foreword by Frankie Laine as well as a chapter (by Grudens) on his music.'
"A three volume set of table-sized Frankie Laine biographies, 'That Lucky Old Sun,' 'I Believe,' 'Rawhide'" by Todd Everett, accompany the Laine CD box-set collections put out by Bear Family Records.
"Reaching for a Star," by Craig Cronbaugh, AuthorHouse Publishing, 2005. Includes biographical information on Frankie Laine as well as detailing the author's meetings with him. Video documentary
List of best-selling music artists
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