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Franie Laine

Frankie Laine was born in Chicago on 30 March 1913. At 17, during the Depression, he left home to compete in marathon dance contests. Eventually, Frankie and his partner, Ruth Smith, set the all-time marathon dance endurance record, for which they earned $1,000.

After years of performing as an unknown singer in jazz clubs, Frankie was discovered by Hoagie Charmichael at Billy Berg's club in Cleveland. This led to a job at Hollywood's Vine Street Club and a recording contract with Mercury records.

From his first record, "That's My Desire" in 1946, Frankie's popularity skyrocketted - foreshadowing the rises of Johnny Ray and Elvis Presley a few years later. At the time, Frankie's singing style was unique; he was the first to be described as a "blue-eyed soul" singer.

Frankie re-entered the Top Ten in 1948 with Shine. The following year, he had two huge Number One hits with That Lucky Old Sun and Mule Train, with Cry of the Wild Goose following suit in 1950.

In June 1950, Frankie married Nan Grey. They had two children form Nan's previous marriage.

Frankie's hits led to a new contract with Columbia Records, where his recordings were arranged and orchestrated by Mitch Miller. Frankie consistently produced Top Ten hits throughout the early and mid-1950s. He had even more chart success in England, where I Believe was the Number One record for 18 weeks in 1953. This was followed by Hey Joe and Answer Me, which both also reached Number One - giving Frankie the top spot for more half the year.

Hit records were followed by starring roles in movies and television appearances, leading to his own television show in the mid-1950s. He recorded the theme songs for several major movies and TV series, including Blowing Wild, Rawhide, High Noon and Blazing Saddles.

From the late 1950s. he turned to lavish cabaret tours and increasingly to inspirational and religious songs. Frankie retired in the mid-1980s.

Frankie had heart surgery in 1985 and his wife, Nan, died in July 1993 on her 72nd birthday. In 1999, Frankie married Marcia Ann Kline.

Frankie Laine

Frankie Laine's Hit Singles

Movies Starring Frankie Laine

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