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Old Music. Ancient Music. Various Items. Accessories for protection and cleaning. Transport packaging. Brush and Cleaners. Although it was quickly covered by many other artists, including Sammy Kaye who took it to the No. Laine paid off all of his debts except one—fellow singer Perry Como refused to let Laine pay him back, Thats Good, and would kid him about the money owed for years to come.
The loan to Laine during the time when both men were still struggling singers was one of the few secrets Como kept from his wife, Roselle, who learned of it many years later. He was also known as Mr. Rhythm for his driving jazzy style. Laine was the first and biggest of a new breed of singers who rose to prominence in the post—World War II era.
This new, raw, emotionally charged style seemed at the time to signal the end of the previous era's singing styles and was, indeed, a harbinger of the rock 'n' roll music that was to come. As music historian Jonny Whiteside wrote:. In the Hollywood clubs, a new breed of performers laid down a baffling hip array of new Thats Good important of all these, though, was Frankie Laine, a big lad with 'steel tonsils' who belted out torch blues while stomping his size twelve foot in joints like Billy Berg'sClub Hangover and the Bandbox…Laine's intense vocal style owed nothing to CrosbySinatraor Dick Haymes.
Instead he drew from Billy EckstineBig Joe TurnerJimmy Rushingand with it Laine had sown the seeds from which an entire new perception and audience would grow… Frank Sinatra represented perhaps the highest flowering of a quarter century tradition of crooning but suddenly found himself an anachronism.
First Frankie Laine, then Tony Bennettand now Johnnie Raydubbed 'the Belters' and 'the Exciters,' came along with a brash vibrancy and vulgar beat that made the old bandstand routine which Frank meticulously perfected seem almost invalid.
Frank's style was very innovative, which was why he had such difficulty with early acceptance. He would bend notes and sing about the chordal context of a note rather than to sing the note directly, and he stressed each rhythmic downbeat, which was different from the smooth balladeer of his time.
His recording of " That's My Desire " remains a landmark record signaling the end of both the dominance of the big bands and the crooning styles favored by contemporary Dick Haymes and others. I think that Frank probably was one of the forerunner of…blues, of…rock 'n' roll. A lot of singers who sing with a passionate demeanor—Frank was and is definitely that. I always used to love to mimic him with 'That's…my…desire.
Throughout the s, Laine enjoyed a second career singing the title songs over the opening credits of Hollywood films and television shows, including Gunfight at the O. Corralto YumaBullwhipand Rawhide. His rendition of the title song for Mel Brooks 's hit movie Blazing Saddles won an Oscar nomination for Best Song, and on television, Laine's featured recording of " Rawhide " for the series of the same name became a popular theme song.
You can't categorize him. He's one of those singers that's not in one track. And yet and still I think that his records had more excitement and life into it. And I think that was his big selling point, that he was so full of energy. You know when you hear his records it was dynamite energy. Laine was a jazz singer in the late s. Laine and Miller became a formidable hit-making team whose first collaboration, " That Lucky Old Sun ", became the number one song in the country three weeks after its release.
It was also Laine's fifth Gold record. The song was knocked down to the number two position by Laine and Miller's second collaboration, " Mule Train ", which proved an even bigger hit, making Laine the first artist to hold the Number One and Two positions simultaneously. The collaboration producing a run of top forty hits that lasted into the early years of the rock and roll era.
McPhersona ground-breaking African-American songwriter and publisher, was believed to be based on a real-life friend of vaudevillian George Walker, who was with him during the New York City race riots of The song takes what was then an ethnic slur, "shine", and turns it into what is essentially a badge of honor. It had been a hit for Laine's idol Louis Armstrongwho would cover several of Laine's hits as well. The song, which has a loosely structured melody that switches in tone and rhythm throughout, was pitched to Laine by a young song pluggerTony Benedetto, who would later go on to achieve success as Tony Bennett.
Laine recognized the younger singer's talent, and gave him encouragement. In this decidedly gothic tale of a ghostly female spirit who inhabits a metaphorical "swamp", the femme fatale attempts to lure the singer to his death, calling "Come to the deep where your sleep is without a dream. The coloratura contrasts well with Laine's rough, masculine voice, and disembodied female voices would continue to appear in the background of many of his records, to great effect.
Gilkyson would write many more songs for Laine over the next decade, and he and The Easy Riders would back him on the hit single, "Love Is a Golden Ring". Laine's influence on today's music can be clearly evidenced in his rendition of the Hoagy Carmichael standard, "Georgia on My Mind.
He was my kind of guy. He was very dramatic in his singing…and you must remember that in those days there were no videos so you had to depend on the image that the record made in the listener's ears. And that's why many fine artists were not good record sellers. For instance, Lena Horne. Fabulous artist but she never sold many records till that last album of hers. But she would always sell out the house no matter where she was. And there were others who sold a lot of records but couldn't get to first base in personal appearances, but Frankie had it both.
Laine's contract at Mercury would be up for renewal the following year, and Miller soon brought Laine to Columbia as well.
Laine's contract with Columbia was the most lucrative in the industry until RCA bought Elvis Presley's contract five years later. One of the signature songs of the early s, "Jezebel" takes the "Lorelei" motif to its end, with Laine shouting "Jezebel! 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.
It had been sung by cowboy star Tex Ritter in the film, but it was Laine's recording that became the big hit. From this point on, Laine would sing the theme songs over the opening credits of many Hollywood and television westerns, becoming so identified with these title songs that Mel Brooks would hire him to sing the theme song for his classic cult film western spoof Blazing Saddles. At this time, Laine had become more popular in the United Kingdom than in the US, as many of his hit records in the UK were only minor hits in his native country.
It was also there that he broke attendance records when appearing at the Palladiumand where he launched his first successful television series with songstress Connie Haines.
Mitch Miller teamed Laine with many of Mercury and Columbia's biggest artists. Laine scored a total of 39 hit records on the charts while at Columbia,  and it is many of his songs from this period that are most readily associated with him. His Greatest Hits album, released inhas been a perennial best seller that has never gone out of print. His vocal style could range anywhere from shouting out lines to rhythm numbers to romantic ballads.
Both in collaboration with Jo Stafford and as a solo artist, Laine was one of the earliest, and most frequent, Columbia artists to bring country numbers into the mainstream.
Late in his career, Laine would go on to record two straight country albums "A Country Laine" and "The Nashville Connection" that would fully demonstrate his ability to inflect multiple levels of emotional nuances into a line or word. Many of his pop-country hits from the early s featured the steel guitar playing of Speedy West who played a custom built, 3-neck, 4-pedal model.
His duets with Doris Day were folk-pop adaptations of traditional South African folk songs, translated by folk singer Josef Marais. Marais would also provide Laine and Jo Stafford with a similar translation of a song which Stafford seems to have particularly disliked called " Chow Willy ". In he set two more records this time on the UK charts : weeks at No 1 for a song " I Believe ", which held the number one spot for 18 weeksand weeks at No 1 for an artist in a single year 27 weekswhen "Hey Joe!
In spite of the popularity of rock and roll artists such as Elvis Presley and The Beatles, fifty-plus years later, both of Laine's records still hold. By the end of the decade, he remained far ahead of Elvis Presley as the most successful artist on the British charts. See the "Chart of All Time" for details. InLaine 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 known at that time, and featured many jazz-flavored, rhythm numbers similar in style to his work on the Mercury label. The album's songlist was made up of " Great American Songbook " standards. Paul Weston 's orchestra provided the music.
Released as a 10" inand a 12" in Thats Bad - Frankie Laine - High Noon (CD), this album features the talents of Laine, Jo Stafford and bandleader Paul Weston, a Tommy Dorsey alumnus who led one of the top bands of the s, and was the husband of Stafford. The album was a mix of 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.
Rhythm" album. This album featured not only jazz vocals by Laine, but jazz licks on trumpet by a former featured player in the Count Basie orchestra, Buck Claytonand trombonists J. The album proved popular with jazz and popular music fans, and was often cited by Laine as his personal favorite. 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 album produced one hit, "Rain! The last four tracks were recorded during a later session. 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.
Two Thats Good the remakes "That Lucky Old Sun" and " We'll Be Together Again " have gone on to become the best-known versions of the songs supplanting the original hit versions. The album's title is less a reference to rock and roll than 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. The first, A Foreign Affairwas built around the concept of recording the tracks in different languages: EnglishFrenchSpanishand Portuguese.
Laine and Thats Bad - Frankie Laine - High Noon (CD) teamed up for a second album of jazz standards, titled Reunion in Rhythmwith the vocals limiting themselves to English and an occasional segue into French. Laine wrote the lyrics for the title song on another album, Torchin 'which was also his first recorded in stereo.
As with his Legrand album, he sings the entire lyric for each song. A second collaboration with Comstock, also recorded infocused on intimacy. Conceived as a love letter to his second wife, actress Nan Grey who appears on the cover with himYou 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 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 cappellaafter which a classical, acoustic guitar joins him, with the full orchestra gradually fading in and out before the guitar only climax. Recorded in"Balladeer" was a folk-blues album. Laine had helped pioneer the folk music movement a full ten years earlier with his hit folk-pop records penned by Terry Gilkyson et al.
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. The closing track, "And Doesn't She Roll" co-written by Lainewith its rhythmic counter-chorus in the background foretells Paul Simon 's Graceland album two decades later. Williams 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. This album of western classics by Laine established him as "a cowboy singer" for many young fans who grew up in the s. Corral", and " The to Yuma ", as well as new material, including the western rocker, "Wanted Man", and a musical narrative, "Bowie Knife". Laine's next album continued with the western theme on several of the numberswhile following up on his last hit single, "Moonlight Gambler" a stereo remake of which appears on the album.
Most of the tracks of this album feature a gambling theme. The arrangements on many of these songs have an almost classical feel to them, reflecting the classical training of John Williams, who would go on to conduct the Boston Pops for many years. Wanderlust was Laine's final album with Columbia Records. Also included on this album is a version of "I Let Her Go"; an 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 s.
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 Laine left Columbia for Capitol Recordsbut 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. Written as a waltz in the mids, "Cares" had become the unofficial theme song of the Las Vegas call girlsbut was virtually unknown outside of the Strip.
Laine recorded a swinging version that made it to number 39 on the national and number 2 on the adult contemporary charts. The last song was a number one hit on the adult contemporary chart 24 nationaland proved that Laine was as big a hit-maker as ever. His last single to hit the Billboard Hot chart peaking at No. Seeking greater artistic freedom, Laine left ABC for the much smaller Amos Recordswhere he cut two albums in a modern, rock-influenced vein.
It is one of Frankie Laine's personal favorites. Amos, which was soon to fold from lack of funds, could not adequately promote them at the time. However, they are still available through CD re-releases.
After Amos folded, Laine started his own label, Score Recordswhich is still producing albums today. Beginning in the late s, Laine starred in over a half dozen backstage musicals, often playing himself; several of these were written and directed by a young Blake Edwards. Laine's films were very Thats Good in the United Kingdom, but this success failed to establish him as a movie star in the United States.
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.
He was the mystery guest on the April 12, episode of What's My Line. In the s, Laine continued appearing on variety shows such as Laugh-Inbut took on several serious guest-starring roles in shows like Rawhideand Burke's Law. His theme song for Rawhide proved to be popular and helped make the show, which starred Eric Fleming and launched the career of Clint Eastwooda hit. Only last two of these ceremonies were televised. Inhe performed a medley of his hits on American Bandstand ' s 30th Anniversary Special", where he received a standing ovation.
Later appearances include Nashville Nowand My Music Many other top white singers followed suit, including Tony Bennett and Rosemary Clooneybut Cole's show still could not get enough sponsors to continue. In the following decade, 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, D.
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. 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.
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