Frankie Laine (born Francesco Paolo LoVecchio; March 30, 1913 – February 6, 2007) was an American singer, songwriter and actor….whose career spanned nearly 75 years….from his first concerts in 1930 with a marathon dance company to his final performance of “That’s My Desire” in 2005. Often billed as “America’s # 1 Song Stylist”….with other nicknames including “Mr. Rhythm”, “Old Leather Lungs” and “Mr. Steel Tonsils”….whose hits included “That’s My Desire”, “That Lucky Old Sun”, “Mule Train”, “Jezebel”, “High Noon”, “I Believe”, “Hey Joe!”, “The Kid’s Last Fight”, “Cool Water”, “Rawhide” and “Lord, You Gave Me a Mountain”.
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 his recordings were not charted as a country & western…..as 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 didn’t sing the soundtrack song for High Noon….which was actually sung by Tex Ritter….but his own version….which was with somewhat altered lyrics by 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….which was sung by Mike Stewart….and once again Frankie released his own, subsequently more popular, version.
Laine’s enduring popularity was illustrated in June 2011….when a TV-advertised compilation called Hits reached # 16 on the British chart. The accomplishment was achieved nearly 60 years after his debut on the UK chart….being a mere 64 years after his first major U.S. hit….and four years after his death….and that is what we call impressive here at ImaSportsphile….and why this video is another “nugget of gold” in our treasure chest of vintage memories.