Francesco Paolo LoVecchio was born on March 30, 1913 in Chicago. Influenced by famed tenor Enrico Caruso Frankie Laine began singing as a teenager but it was not until 1946 that his big break finally arrived when he was signed to a recording contract by Mercury Records.
With an unmistakable voice and style, his first gold record, “That’s My Desire” established Frankie Laine as a star. It was followed by “Mam’sell,” “Shine,” “On The Sunny Side of the Street,” “That Lucky Old Sun,” “Mule Train,” ”Dream A Little Dream of Me,” “All of Me,” “Nevertheless,” “The Cry of the Wild Goose” and “Music Maestro Please” before Frankie followed Mercury’s A&R director, Mitch Miller to Columbia Records.
In 1951 Frankie Laine continued to top the charts with his very first Columbia recording, “Jezebel” backed with “Rose, Rose, I Love You,” followed by “Jealousy,” “High Noon,” “I Believe”, “Your Cheatin’ Heart,” “Tell Me A Story,” “Hey Joe,” “Grenada,” “Moonlight Gambler,” “Love Is A Golden Ring” and after moving to ABC Records, “You Gave Me A Mountain” in 1969.
In 30 years, Frankie landed a total of 70 times on the Hit Parade with his Greatest Hits album released in 1957 a perennial best seller that continues to sell fifty years later. With more than 20 gold records to his credit, he sold more than 100 million recordings during his career.
Always exceedingly popular in the UK, he broke attendance records at the London Palladium in 1952 and gave a Command Performance for Queen Elizabeth II in 1954.
Frankie Laine performed at three Academy Awards ceremonies. In 1950 singing best song nominee, “Mule Train,” in 1960 “The Hanging Tree,” and 1975 performing “Blazing Saddles.”
Frankie Laine lived in semi-retirement in the Point Loma area of San Diego, California until his death of heart failure at 93 years of age on February 6, 2007.
In 1996, he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 27th Annual Songwriters’ Hall of Fame awards ceremony at the New York Sheraton. On his 80th birthday, the United States Congress declared him to be a national treasure. He was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and in 2008, inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.