Happy Birthday, Frankie!
As far as all of us friends and fans of the late great Frankie Laine are concerned, March has become synonymous with the Laine birthday (March 30). Many of us can joyfully recall with a smile the great “Birthday Bash” events held in San Diego in honor of Frankie’s birthday. Of course, Frankie was part of these festivities, and it was a thrill to “party” with our beloved singer.
I had attended three of the four birthday celebrations, held later in Frankie’s life. I treasure these as a highlight of my existence. Not only was one able to hobnob with Frankie during these events, but each of us was also able to chat with long distance pals including fellow Laine friends, enthusiasts, and collectors. These were wonderful gatherings. Friends had arrived from all over the United States to help Frankie celebrate. A large number of these special friends had even journeyed from abroad to partake in the festivities.
I am especially grateful that I attended Frankie’s 80th Birthday celebration with my daughter, Latisha. It was a joy to introduce Tishie to Frankie and his beautiful wife, Nan. What a wonderful way for a father and daughter to spend time together.
Happy birthday, Frankie! We will never forget you!
Frankie’s Unique Popularity
In 2001, when Jimmy Marino (Team Frankie Laine) was beginning work on his wonderful Frankie Laine documentary, I was asked by Jimmy to assist. I was excited to be part of such a great and wonderful endeavor that I knew would be around for the ages.
It was during this time that I discovered that Frankie really enjoyed a diverse following of fans. All of the celebrities I had spoken with had high praise for, not only Frankie’s stylistic, wonderful singing, but also for Frankie Laine on a personal level.
I always knew that Frankie appealed to a varied audience. He was able to portray songs from several music genres. He had the vocal skill of interpreting a song, keeping true to the nature of the composition. Indeed, he sang jazz, pop, ballads, cowboy songs, working-class tunes, fun ditties, blues, and country and was amazingly authentic on each.
While attempting to locate celebrities Frankie had once worked with for Jimmy to interview for the documentary, I had the honor to speak to actress Terry Moore on the phone. I can recall having three or four different phone conversations with the 1950s starlet.
During one of my calls to Ms. Moore, she informed me that Frankie Laine had been the favorite singer of the late Howard Hughes. It is Hollywood legend that Terry Moore and Howard Hughes had once been married.
I thought that this revelation was very cool, indeed! It was wonderful to know that Howard Hughes, a world-wide icon, greatly enjoyed Frankie’s music!
If you will, please consider this: I recently read the biography, Manson, by author Jeff Guinn. The book relates the life and times of the infamous Charles Manson. It seems that during his late teenage years, one of Manson’s favorite singers was Frankie Laine. The book reports that Manson also liked Frank Sinatra and Perry Como, but not as much as he liked Frankie. Interesting . . .
I prefer to revel in the fact so many people the world over love Frankie’s music! There are so many fans still out there.
With the demise of great popular music in today’s society (my opinion), it is the supreme fortune of music lovers everywhere to be able to enjoy recordings left to us by the likes of Frankie Laine!
God Bless you Frankie!