Frankie News

We received one reply to our July news. I want to thank Tony Dodgson for his thoughtful ideas and opinions. We are taking his suggestions to heart and we’ll see what we can do. I’m hoping we can get more of you Frankie Laine fans to read our news page and give us your ideas and suggestions. This is a huge undertaking and we could use all the help we can get. If you didn’t read our July news page, I’m readmitting our July message for your approval.

“The news of the day is a request for your help. We have a dream for our next Frankie Laine adventure. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could create a life size bronze  statue of Frankie Laine and have it placed on Shelter Island. There are some great locations on Shelter Island that can be seen from Frankie’s patio. We would like to form The Frankie Laine Foundation which would fund such a dream. The “Foundation” would also fund some of the charities that Frankie contributed to during his legendary career. This would be a huge undertaking, and we could use as much help as possible. I’m not sure how many Frankie Laine fans actually read our news page, so I’m interested in the response from this call for help.

My plan of attack will be: First I must communicate our idea to the City of San Diego, and The San Diego Port commission. Second, find a sculptor who can help us create the life size figure. Thirdly, produce a realistic budget for the “Foundation”, the City expenses for the site, and finally the Bronze Sculpture. The contributions to the various charities will come over a period of time. I realize how big an undertaking this is, however, if you’re going to dream, then dream high. Frankie Laine deserves no less for his contributions to our lives. Frankie Laine really needs to be honored with his own statue, and we must be the ones who get this done.

I look forward to hearing from any of you fans that can share this dream with us. Your contributions, your contacts, your suggestions, your ideas are all welcomed. I realize that many of Frankie’s fans are up there in age, so maybe you can contribute in the name of your parents, or grandparents.

Thank you so much for your consideration. Let’s make this happen ( email me at  jfmb@cox.net  or call 760 943 9911  ). Keep the faith and keep playing Frankie Laine’s music.”

SO PLEASE HELP US IF YOU CAN !!!!!

Regards,
Jimmy Marino
Team Frankie Laine

FLIAS

(Frankie Laine International Appreciation Society) Silsden Cottage, London Road Chalfont St. Giles, Bucks, HP8 4ND

Chairman: Rosemary Carden

Treasurer/Membership: Tony Cooper 18 Napier Crescent, Seamer, Scarborough North Yorkshire Y012 4HY

Hits

Frankie

  • Hits That’s My Desire (1947)
  • Mam’selle (1947)
  • Two Loves Have I (1947)
  • On The Sunny Side of the Street (1947)
  • Shine (1948)
  • We’ll Be Together Again (1948)
  • That Lucky Old Sun (1949)
  • Mule Train (1949)
  • Georgia On My Mind (1949)
  • Cry of the Wild Goose (1950)
  • Swamp Girl (1950)
  • Jezebel (1951)
  • High Noon (1952)
  • I Believe (1953)
  • Your Cheating Heart (1953)
  • The Kid’s Last Fight (1954)
  • Granada (1954)
  • Cool Water (1955)
  • Jealousy (1955)
  • A Woman In Love (1955)
  • Moonlight Gambler (1956)
  • Rawhide (1958) Please Forgive Me (1968)
  • You Gave Me a Mountain (1969)
  • Blazing Saddles (1974)
  • Take Me Back to L.A. (1984)
  • Jambalaya (1986)
  • Song of India (1997)

Statement from the family of Frankie Laine

We are saddened to announce the passing of Frankie Laine, musician, father, husband and friend. He died at 9:15 this morning from cardiovascular disease at age 93 in San Diego, surrounded by his loved ones.

Frankie led a long, exuberant life and contributed greatly to many causes near to his heart. He donated 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.

Born Francesco Paolo LoVecchio on March 30, 1913, he was one of the most successful American singers of the twentieth century. He charted more than 70 records – 21 of them gold – and achieved worldwide sales of more than 250 million discs. 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.

Frankie is survived by his wife Marcia; brother Phillip LoVecchio of Chicago, Illinois; daughter Pamela Donner and grandsons Joshua and David Donner of Sherman Oaks, California; and daughter and son-in-law Dr. and Mrs. Irwin Steiger of Coeur D’Alene, Idaho.

We ask that you respect our privacy during this time. We thank you for caring about the life of Frankie Laine, a remarkable human being and musician who has left an indelible mark on the world.

Career Highlights

In the world of popular music, yesterday’s idol is very often tomorrow’s forgotten name. Only a handful of performers have ever demonstrated the lasting appeal it takes to weather the onslaught of fads and changing trends over the years, and Frankie Laine was a classic example. His impeccable musicianship and taste kept him an international favorite for six decades.

Ever since his recording of “That’s My Desire” burst onto the scene like a musical firework in 1947, praise poured in from all corners, from young and old alike, for this gifted and versatile artist. 21 Gold Records later, Frankie Laine can truly be counted a musical legend.

The Oldies are Still Great

World of Frankie Laine LP Laine’s magical appeal, however, far transcended mere nostalgia. His recording of “You Gave Me a Mountain,” a song written especially for Laine by his good friend, Marty Robbins, went gold in the early 1970’s, a time by which many of his contemporaries had long since quieted down. Laine continued to record exciting new material while maintaining a healthy respect for the songs, like “Mule Train,” “That Lucky Old Sun,” “I Believe,” and “Jezebel,” which all his longtime admirers know by heart. Many of these tunes were collected into an album entitled “The World of Frankie Laine,” that topped the charts in England in 1982. Since then, this album has been issued in 43 different countries.

Chicago Origins

Not too shabby for a humble Sicilian kid, born to immigrant parents in the heart of Chicago’s Little Italy on March 30, 1913. Laine first sang in public as part of the choir at the Church of the Immaculate Conception. His love of music led him to Chicago’s Merry Garden Ballroom, where friends frequently urged him up onto the bandstand to perform a number or two.

At the age of 17, Laine left home to try his luck as a marathon dancer. This fad of the depression years was a tough way of keeping body and soul together, but Laine stuck with it and eventually he and a partner, Ruth Smith, met the all-time marathon dance record in Atlantic City, New Jersey. They danced for a total of 3,501 hours over 145 consecutive days, and split a grand prize of $1,000 for their efforts.

Road to Hollywood

When Frankie decided to make his living with his voice instead of his feet, the road to success proved long and hard. It led him up and down the Eastern Seaboard, back to Chicago, to Cleveland and then eventually to Billy Berg’s jazz club on Vine Street in Hollywood, where in 1946, Hoagy Carmichael heard the young unknown performing a favorite Carmichael composition, “Rocking Chair.” This chance encounter led to a steady job at Billy Berg’s, which in turn resulted in a recording contract with Mercury Records. On his first session he recorded a forgotten 1931 ballad entitled, “That’s My Desire,” and from that point on, there was just no stopping Frankie Laine.

Laine, along with Nat Cole, who preceded him by a year, marked the ascendance of the popular singer over the Big Bands, and his phenomenal success set the pattern for Johnny Ray, Tony Bennett, Elvis Presley, Tom Jones and the other musical idols who have followed. His style was thrillingly new to the audiences of the late 1940’s, based as it was on his deep love of jazz and the blues.

Radio, TV & Movies

The hit records were followed by starring roles in several motion pictures, guest appearances on numerous major radio and television shows, and his own television variety program on CBS in the mid-1950’s. With a 1953 Warner Brother’s production, “Blowing Wild,” Laine started something different: he became the first and most successful of the singers to be identified with title songs. To date he has performed the title songs for seven motion pictures, most recently in 1974, Mel Brooks Western farce, “Blazing Saddles.” On television, Laine’s featured recording of “Rawhide” has become one of the most popular theme songs of all time.

Knocking ’em Dead in Britain

Command Performance LP Frankie’s popularity quickly spread across the Atlantic, and in 1953 his stirring rendition of “I Believe” topped the British charts and stayed at number one for eighteen weeks, an unbeaten performance that even The Beatles never matched. Laine’s renown continued to grow as he went to England for a record breaking engagement at the London Palladium followed by a tour of much of the rest of Europe. In later years, he added South America, Australia and the Orient to his itinerary, while continuing his unparalleled love affair with British audiences.

A Little of the Personal

His companion on these jaunts was the lovely Nan Grey, a former Universal starlet, whom Laine married on June 15, 1950. They had two children from Mrs. Laine’s previous marriage, and three grandsons. Nan passed away, suddenly, on her 72nd birthday, July 25, 1993, leaving a void that will never be filled.

In 1985, Laine was temporarily laid low by quadruple bypass surgery. Good wishes poured in from all over the world, and Laine assured his fans that he had no intention of ever retiring. Indeed, after a brief rest, his distinctive voice soon returned, as virile and powerful as ever. A trip to Nashville resulted in his first real country album, playfully entitled, “A Country Laine.” In 1987 Laine released a compact disc of Western musical Americana which he recorded with Eric Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. Entitled, “Roundup,” Frankie couldn’t help but chuckle when it shot up Billboard’s classical CD rankings. “The last place I ever expected to find myself,” he noted, “was on the classical music charts!”

After recovering from a second bypass surgery in 1990, Laine began work on his autobiography which he mischievously called “That Lucky Old Son”. The book was published in 1993 and met with great success. Copies of the book and much of Frankie Laine’s music may be ordered direct from this web site.

Accolades

On June 12, 1996, Laine was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 27th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame awards ceremony at the New York Sheraton. Laine, making his first New York appearance in more than 20 years, provided the night’s emotional high point. He gave a performance to remember of “Cry of the Wild Goose” – his voice warm, robust and thrilling. With verve, he moved on to “That’s My Desire,” the haunting “We’ll Be Together Again” (which he co-wrote), and the dramatic “Jezebel,” bringing the audience to its feet several times. Eight of Frankie’s hit songs, including “That’s My Desire,” “We’ll Be Together Again,” and “Jezebel,” can be sampled right here on this web site if your computer has the equipment.

Touchwood Records contacted Frankie Laine after he received the Lifetime Achievement Award and has since repackaged his 1992 “Memories in Gold” album which features contemporary remakes of most of his gold-selling recordings. They called the album “Portrait of a Legend.”

Fabulous Frankie CD Reader’s Digest released in May 1997 a 3-CD-boxed set of his music. Laine said at the time, “It looks like it will be a pretty big thing.” He was told that it should have been labeled Vol. One, since there was so much more material that could justifiably have been released in the same fashion.

Wheels of a Dream CD Touchwood Records, under their After 9 label, released Laine’s new album in early 1998. It was his first all new studio recording in over 20 years. The album is titled, “Wheels of a Dream” (a major song from the smash musical, “Ragtime”). Along with the title song, among the others herein are “Song of India,” “Until Now,” “This Time the Dream’s On Me,” “That’s All,” and “You’ll Never Find Another Love.” It was a powerhouse, riveting and exciting, proving that Laine’s voice only became deeper and more beautiful over the years.

In June 1999 Frankie married Marcia Ann Kline, a companion who worked in the Defense Industry in San Diego, almost within sight of Frankie’s hilltop house.

Frankie Laine had a career, and a life, to be envied.