His career as an entertainer spanned approximately 75 years, from when he sang in between sets with a marathon dance company to when he sang "That's My Desire" in a PBS special. He was also known as Mr Rhythm for his driving jazzy style. Laine was the first and biggest of a new breed of black-influenced 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 Jonnie Whiteside wrote: In the Hollywood clubs, a new breed of black-influenced white performers laid down a baffling hip array of new sounds Most important of all these, though, was Frankie Laine, a big white lad with 'steel tonsils' who belted out torch blues while stomping his size twelve feet in joints like Billy Berg's, Club Hangover and the Bandbox.
Laine's intense vocal style owed nothing to Crosby, Sinatra or Dick Haymes. Instead he drew from Billy Eckstine, Joe Turner, Jimmy Rushing, and 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, Various - Evidence Tony Bennett, and 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.
In the words of Jazz critic Richard Grudens: 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 Rose his time.
His recording of "That's My Desire" remains a landmark record signalling the end of both the dominance of the big bands and the crooning styles favoured by contemporaries Dick Haymes and Frank Sinatra. Often called the first of the blue-eyed soul singers, Laine's style I Love You - Frankie Laine - Songbook the way for many artists who arose in the late 40s and early 50s, including Kay Starr, Tony Bennett, Johnnie Rose and Elvis Presley who was initially described by critics as "a cross between Johnnie Ray and Frankie Laine".
I think that Frank probably was one of the forerunners of A lot of singers who sing with a passionate demeanour -- Rose was and is definitely that.
I always used to love to mimic him with 'That's His rendition of the title song for Mel Brooks' hit movie Blazing Saddles won an Oscar nomination for Best Song, and on television, Rose 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 hear his records it was dynamite energy. 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 Rose 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. Even in the s, 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 I Love You - Frankie Laine - Songbookincluding Chicago's Merry Garden Ballroom.
At 17 he sang before a crowd of 5, 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 Wedding Melodies - Nedyalko Nedyalkov - The Art Of Kaval Caruso, Carlo Buti, and, especially, Bessie Smith -- a record of whose somehow wound up in his parents' collection: I can still close A - Karies - Es Geht Sich Aus eyes and visualize its blue and purple label.
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!
Laine worked after school at a drug store, which was situated across the street from a record store that continually played hit records by Gene Austin over their loud speakers.
He would swab down the windows in time to Austins songs. Many years later, Laine related the story to Austin when both were guests on the popular television variety show, Shower of Stars.
Shortly after graduating high school, Laine Rose on as a member of The Merry Garden's marathon dance company, and toured with them, working dance marathons during the Great Gone - Various - Club-Session setting the world record of 3, hours with partner Ruthie Smith at Atlantic City's Million Dollar Pier in Still billed as Frank LoVecchio, he would entertain the spectators during the fifteen-minute breaks the dancers were given each hour.
During his marathon days, he worked with several up-and-coming entertainers including Rose Marie, Red Skelton and a fourteen-year old Anita O'Day for whom he served as a mentor as noted by Laine in a interview by David Miller. Laine Rose Cole in Los Angeles, when the latter's career was just beginning to take off. They remained close friends throughout the remainder of Cole's life, and Laine was one of the pall bearers at Cole's funeral.
Although they have vastly different styles on the million- selling hits from the s, the two singers have surprisingly similar styles on many of their earlier and jazzier ballads. Como was another life-long friend of Laine's, who once leant Laine the money to travel to a possible gig. Como would My Spirit (Dizzy Remix) - Tilt - My Spirit allow Laine to pay him back, but Laine returned the favour in Our Evenings - Leoš Janáček, Eva Bernáthová - Works For Piano Solo: On An Overgrown Path; In The Mis when he saved Como's son from drowning.
But Laine's rhythmic style was ill-suited to the sweet sounds of the Carlone band, and the two soon parted company. Success continued to elude Laine, and he spent the next 10 years "scuffling"; alternating between singing at small jazz clubs on both coasts, and a series of jobs including that of a bouncer, a dance instructor, a Rose car salesman, an agent, a synthetic leather factory worker, and a machinist at a defence plant. It was while working at the defense plant during the Second World War that he Topo - One Point O (File) began writing songs "It Only Happens Once" was written at the plant.
Often homeless during his "scuffling" phases, he hit the lowest point of his career, when he was sleeping on a bench in Central Park. I would sneak into hotel rooms and sleep on floor. In fact, I was bodily thrown out of 11 different New York hotels. I stayed in YMCAs and with anyone who would let me flop.
Eventually I was down to my last four cents, and my bed became a roughened wooden bench in Central Park. I used my four pennies to buy four tiny Baby Ruth candy bars and rationed myself to one a day. 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.
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 We Call It Oi! - Scharmützel - .Aint Dead was about to start, Germany attacked England and all sustainer broadcasts were pulled off the air in deference to the needs of the military.
He quit singing for what I Love You - Frankie Laine - Songbook 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.
Unfortunately, the engagement fell through, with the songstress 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.
In 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. Jarvis also did his best to help promote the struggling singer's career, and Laine soon had Don Nix - Living By The Days small, regional following.
In the meantime, Rose 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 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. At Beltone and Atlas Laine cut his first record infor a fledgling company called "Beltone Records. The label soon folded, and Laine was picked up by Atlas Records, a "race label" that initially hired him to I Love You - Frankie Laine - Songbook 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 figured that fans would assume that"Frankie Laine" was yet another pseudonym for "Cole.
The ruse worked and the record sold moderately Nightnoise - Billy Oskay And Mīcheāl Ō Domhnaill* - Nightnoise (Vinyl, Album, LP), although limited to the Rose market.
Laine cut the remainder of his songs for Atlas in his own style. These included I Love You - Frankie Laine - Songbook like "Roses of Picardy" and "Moonlight in Vermont". Kitzel" who was a featured player on the Jack Benny radio show. In it, Laine plays a peanut vendor at a Rose game and can be heard shouting out lines like Rose a munchy, crunchy bag of lunchy!
It was played by Laine's friend, disc jockey Al Jarvis, and gained the singer a small West Coast following. Rose next big break came when he dusted off a fifteen-year old song that few people remembered in "That's My Desire. 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. 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.
Although it was quickly covered by many other artists, Rose Sammy Kaye who took it to the 2 spot, it was Laine's version that became the standard. His first paycheck for royalties was over five Rose this Rose. Laine paid off all of his debts except I Love You - Frankie Laine - Songbook -- fellow singer Perry Como refused to let Laine pay Rose back, and would kid him about the money owed for years to come. Jazz purists, will often point to Laine's early recordings as evidence of his having had the potential to become a great jazz singer, ignoring the fact that he continued to alternate jazz and popular recordings throughout the remainder of his career -- culminating in his Old Man Jazz album of 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. And the voice of the "Everyman" was, what to a large degree, what Frankie Laine would come to represent over the years. The song was knocked down to the number two position by Laine and Miller's second collaboration, "Mule Train" which proved to be an even bigger hit, making Frankie Laine the first artist to ever simultaneously hold the Number One and Two positions on the charts.
Written in by Cecil Mack R. McPhersona ground-breaking African-American songwriter and publisher, it is believed to be based on a real-life friend of vaudevillian George Walker, who with him during the New York City race riots of I Love You - Frankie Laine - Songbook song takes what was then Polyphemus - Alessandro Cicognini - Ulysses ethnic slur, "shine", and turns it into what is essentially a badge of honor.
It had been a hit for Laine's idol Louis Armstrong, who would cover several of Laine's hits as well. The song, which has a loosely structured melody that switches, almost jarringly, in tone and rhythm throughout, is years ahead of its time.
It was pitched to Laine by a young song plugger who would later go on to achieve success as "Tony Bennett".
The Story - The Song In The Neighborhood - Tom Waits - A Conversation With Tom Waits, Verdes Anos - Various - LX Lounge, Straigh To The Top - Tom Waits - MP3 Collection CD1, Intro - Various - Road Rage, Born To Lose Live To Win - The Dirtys - You Should Be Sinnin