Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Thursday, March 30, 2017


Frankie Laine (1913-2007) would have been 104 today, March 30.  Although perhaps best known today for his western songs, Laine's repertoire covered the gamut, from musicals to pop standards, from calypso to gospel, and from operetta to romance; it seemed as if there was nothing he couldn't do.  While at Columbia records alone, Laine had 39 hit records.  He performed with many of the great popular singers of his time:  Patti Page, Doris Day, Jo Stafford, The Four Lads,and Johnnie Ray, while hosting such talents as Ella Fitzgerald, Georgia Gibbs, Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, Shirley MacLaine, Teresa Brewer, and Jack Teagarden.

Laine grew up in Chicago's Little Italy, where his father was once Al Capone's barber.  His wide range of musical interests became evident when his early influences were the very diverse Enrico Caruso and Bessie Smith.  His outspoken opinions on equality had many persons confused as to his race.  Her was a close friend to Nat King Cole and was one of Cole's pall bearers.  He joined Black singers in giving a concert to Martin Luther King's supporters during the Selma to Montgomery march.  He was noted for his charity work, especially with the homeless, the Salvation Army, and Meals on Wheels, and donated much of his time to these and other charities.

His last song, "Taps/My Buddy," was recorded shortly after the September 11 attacks and was dedicated to the firefighters of New York; all profits from that recording are donated in perpetuity to the NYFD.

"That's My Desire"

"That Lucky Old Sun"

"Cool Water"

"Mule Train"

"Gunfight at the O.K. Corral:

"There Must Be a Reason"

"The Cry of the Wild Goose"

"The 3:10 to Yuma"

"North to Alaska"

"Answer Me, My Love"

"The Wayward Wind"


"The Kid's Last Fight"


"Ghost Riders in the Sky"

"Stars Fell on Alabama"

"Carry Me Back to Old Virginny"

"Robin Hood/Champion the Wonder Horse"

"I Believe"

and there are so many more...

1 comment:

  1. Laine is too-little remembered, indeed, and as sort of a latter-day Jolson when he is...