Frankie Laine….born Francesco Paolo LoVecchio on March 30, 1913 to February 6, 2007….was an Italian American singer, songwriter, and actor whose career nearly spanned 75 years….from his first concerts in 1930 with a marathon dance company….to his final performance of “That’s My Desire” in 2005….who was often billed as “America’s Number One Song Stylist”….with his other nicknames being “Mr. Rhythm”, “Old Leather Lungs” and “Mr. Steel Tonsils“. Frankie Laine’s hits included “That’s My Desire“….“That Lucky Old Sun“….“Mule Train“….”Jezebel”….“I Believe“….“Hey Joe!“….“The Kid’s Last Fight”….”Rawhide” …. “Lord, You Gave Me a Mountain“….“High Noon”….and“Cool Water”….with the last two seen being performed on this video herewith.
Frankie Laine sang well-known theme songs for many movie Western soundtracks….including 3:10 To Yuma….Gunfight at the O.K. Corral….and Blazing Saddles….albeit these recordings were not charted as a country & western. Laine sang an eclectic variety of song styles and genres….which stretched from big band crooning to pop, western-themed songs, gospel, rock, folk, jazz, and blues. He did not sing the soundtrack song for High Noon, which was sung by Tex Ritter, but his own version….with somewhat altered lyrics, omitting the name of the antagonist, Frank Miller….was the one that became a bigger hit…. nor did he sing the theme to another show he is commonly associated with Champion the Wonder Horse (sung by Mike Stewart)….but released his own, subsequently more popular, version.
Laine’s enduring popularity was illustrated in June 2011….when a TV-advertised compilation of his called Hits reached # 16 on the British chart. The accomplishment was achieved nearly 60 years after his debut on the UK chart….which was a mere 64 years after his first major U.S. hit….and four years after his death…..and for this and many other reasons….we at ImaSportsphile are overjoyed to have this Frankie Laine “nugget of gold” in our treasure chest of vintage memories.