For the Love of Frankie

Whenever the subject of my Frankie Laine collection comes up, I have always explained that my Laine collecting is an avocation. Frankie’s music has had such a huge impact on me that I became fascinated by the man as an artist. Therefore, I wanted to collect everything associated with his career.

I was a young teenager when I purchased my first Frankie Laine item. It was the Columbia “Greatest Hits” album. I have been collecting Laine items since then.

I was so enamored by Frankie Laine, that I knew I wanted to meet him. Shaking Frankie’s hand was my goal. At age 29, in November 1985, I got to fulfill my goal. Not only did I get to shake his hand, but Frankie also allowed me to spend the entire day with him.

As a full-time drummer in a band, I was living in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, in 1985. One evening, a young reporter for the Marion Sentinel (Marion, Iowa) arrived at the nightclub to hear us play. He somehow knew that I had met Frankie Laine. He was eager to report this and asked whether I would do an interview for an article in his newspaper. This feature became my first public declaration that I was, indeed, a Laine admirer. The article was based upon my bus trip to visit Frankie in San Diego.

The Sentinel article hit the newsstands on December 12, 1985, with a well-meaning although slightly misguiding headline (with the first letter in each word capitalized): “2,000-Plus-Mile Bus Trip To Visit Idol, Frankie Laine, Was Nothing For Craig!” For twenty-five cents a copy, readers could share my Frankie Laine adventure.

Just before I began writing my Frankie Laine blogs here in October 2015, I had finished a three-year presentation that I called Remembering Frankie Laine. In a classroom-like setting, within various venues, I brought items from my collection, recorded Laine selections, video, and memorabilia to share with music-loving senior citizens.

As I was reminiscing recently about the productions I have either produced myself, or been part of concerning Frankie Laine, I thought it might make an interesting blog entry to list these. I have documented every aspect of my Frankie Laine collection, including the things I have been associated with.

I have listed each entry as it appears within my Frankie Laine Library Catalog. I have enjoyed being part of the Laine story. I revel in sharing his music. The music of Frankie Laine is so wonderful, that I have always endeavored to make sure it has remained in the public spotlight. I have fun doing this. It is important. I continue to help make sure Frankie’s music lives on. He is a true legend of song. I do it for the love of Frankie.


  • Swingin’ Down The Lane – Hosted by David Miller – National Public Radio – May 1998 (David Miller Interviewed Frankie Laine on 5/7/98 In San Diego, California. This Program Was Initiated by Craig Cronbaugh – David Miller Mentions Craig Cronbaugh on the Program.) (Audio Cassette)
  • Jan Mickelson Interviews Frankie Laine WHO Radio – May 8, 1998 (Call-in By Craig Cronbaugh from the Iowa State Capitol) (Audio Cassette and CD)
  • The Laine Project KROS Radio and KMAQ Radio – October 14, 1998 – Written, Produced, Directed, and Hosted by Craig Cronbaugh. Recorded at KROS Radio Studio – Clinton, Iowa –10/14/98 – Engineer: Don Schneider – Digitally Re-mastered by Tony Schmitt – Triad Studios, Des Moines, Iowa. (2-CD Set)
  • Saturday Morning Jazz With Ford Roberts KRNT Radio – April 1, 2000 (Frankie Laine Program Initiated by Craig Cronbaugh. Craig Cronbaugh Interviews Frankie Laine) (Audio Cassette and CD)
  • Swingin’ Down the Lane with David Miller – Air Date: 1/16/07 (Frankie’s Music and Craig’s Book – Craig Interviewed via Telephone) Frankie Laine Revisited – Program # 1274 (CD)
  • Swingin’ Down the Lane with David Miller – Air Date: 3/27/07 (Tribute to Frankie’s Music – David Miller mentions the Craig Cronbaugh interview show and Craig’s Book) In Memoriam: Laine, Tilton, Byrne, O’Day – Program # 1284 (CD)


  • Memory Laine – Iowa Public Television – Living In Iowa – Craig Cronbaugh Frankie Laine Collection – May 1999. Originally Aired in May 7 & 9, 1999 – (Re-Broadcast in May 2002, and October 2002) (VHS and DVD)
  • Memory Laine – Iowa Public Television – Living In Iowa – Excerpt Aired As Part Of The 20th Anniversary Retrospective of Collector Shows – December 9, 1999 (VHS)
  • Des Moines Now – September 2005 – Craig Cronbaugh Talks About His Book Reaching for a Star KFPX – TV 39 (PAX Affiliate) (DVD)
  • KCCI News Channel 8 at Noon – June 12, 2006 – “Live Broadcast” Craig Cronbaugh Interviewed by Mollie Cooney Regarding Craig’s Book: Reaching for a Star – DVD (Regular Interview and “Behind the Scenes” in the Television Studio)

Newspapers, Magazines, Notations, and Books

  • The Marion Sentinel: 2000–Plus–Mile Bus Trip To Visit Idol, Frankie Laine, Was Nothing For Craig!: By Bob Lana – December 12, 1985
  • The Victor Echo: Fans Celebrate With Frankie Laine: By Craig Cronbaugh – Wednesday, April 7, 1993
  • The Involvement Magazine: My special friend – Frankie Laine: By Craig Cronbaugh – Marengo Publishing Corporation/Kirkwood Community College – August 1995
  • Craig Cronbaugh Mentioned in the FLSOA Newsletter – October 1995
  • Laine Lines #92 – (FLIAS): My special friend Frankie Laine: By Craig Cronbaugh – England – December 1995
  • Craig Cronbaugh Mentioned in Laine Lines #93 – (FLIAS) – England – March 1996
  • Craig Cronbaugh Mentioned in Laine Lines #94 – (FLIAS) – England – June 1996
  • The North English Record: My special friend – Frankie Laine: By Craig Cronbaugh – March 6, 1997
  • Pioneer-Republican: My special friend – Frankie Laine : By Craig Cronbaugh – March 6, 1997
  • The Journal Tribune: My special friend – Frankie Laine : By Craig Cronbaugh – March 6, 1997
  • Internet Website Publication: My special friend – Frankie Laine : By Craig Cronbaugh –Published in April 1998 on Swingin’ Down The Lane:
  • Script for The Laine Project: Written by Craig Cronbaugh – 1998
  • The Clinton Herald: Interview With Craig Cronbaugh – Frankie Laine Coming To Clinton: By Lori Alless – Saturday, October 24, 1998
  • The Quad City Times: Interview With Craig Cronbaugh – Blues Legend Talks Personally On Local Radio: By Julie Belschner – Thursday, October 22, 1998
  • KROS Radio Letter Regarding The Laine Project – Don Schneider 1998
  • KMAQ Radio Letter Regarding The Laine Project – Leighton Hepker 1998
  • Swingin’ With Frankie Laine: By Craig Cronbaugh – Published in the FLSOA Newsletter – August 1998
  • The Involvement Magazine: IPTV swings down memory ‘Laine’ with Craig Cronbaugh: By Jane Bigbee – May 1999
  • The North English Record – IPTV swings down memory ‘Laine’ with Craig Cronbaugh – By Jane Bigbee Wednesday, May 5, 1999
  • The Brooklyn Chronicle – Photo and Caption on Iowa Public Television Special Memory Laine – Wednesday, May 5, 1999
  • Craig Cronbaugh Mentioned in the FLSOA Newsletter – (FLIAS) – England – September 2000
  • Cronbaugh/Laine Chronicle – By Craig Cronbaugh – Published in the FLSOA Newsletter  – (FLIAS) – England – December 2000
  • Craig Cronbaugh Fan Profile: By Craig Cronbaugh – Published in the FLSOA Newsletter – (FLIAS) – England – March 2001
  • Script for I Am a Singer – Frankie Laine Documentary – Compiled and Written by Craig Cronbaugh – 3 First-Draft Copies: Craig Cronbaugh/James Marino/Frankie Laine – 2001
  • Frankie Laine Biography Proposal – My Friend Frankie: The Story of Frankie Laine: Written by Craig Cronbaugh – July 2001
  • National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Inc. – Letter Nominating Frankie Laine to Be Awarded the 2002 Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award: Written by Craig Cronbaugh – July 16, 2001
  • By Craig Cronbaugh: Reaching for a Star: A Memoir of My Life, My Music, and My Friendship with Famed Singer Frankie Laine – 2005 (Hardbound and Paperback) AuthorHouse (All Files on CD ROM) (Hardbound Version of Original Manuscript Draft)
  • Arts Council adds artists to Web site Newspaper Article in The Des Moines Register in Business Briefcase – March 22, 2006
  • Former NpIC editor pens new book ‘Reaching for a Star’ Newspaper Article in The Pioneer-Republican – March 30, 2006
  • Former NER editor pens book Newspaper Article in The North English Record – April 6, 2006
  • Iowans Chronicle Their Dreams, Nightmares – Book NotesThe Iowan magazine July/August 2006 – By Jill Brimeyer – Page 7
  • From fan to friend – By Dave Rasdal – Newspaper Article in The Cedar Rapids Gazette – August 11, 2006
  • Laine Lines # 139 – Craig Cronbaugh mentioned in “Tony’s Topics” on page 5 – (FLIAS) – England – 2009
  • Reaching for a Star and Craig Cronbaugh listed on Page 413 – Column Two in The Oxford Companion to the American Musical: Theatre, Film, and Television
  • Reaching for a Star listed in the Craig Cronbaugh biography update in the Summer 2009 Issue of: Inside College of Humanities and Fine Arts – University of Northern Iowa
  • Craig Cronbaugh mentioned in Laine Lines # 144, Page 2 – (FLIAS) – England – 2010
  • Craig Cronbaugh and Reaching for a Star documented on page 89 in Biographies section in the booklet Frankie Laine Celebration Scrapbook Volume 2 by Terry Withington, FLIAS—England
  • Craig Cronbaugh mentioned in Laine Lines # 157, Page 3 – (FLIAS) – England – 2015
  • All Blogs Written by Craig Cronbaugh As An Honorary Member on the Board of “Team Frankie Laine” In California, on The Website: (Blog Booklet Hardcopy)
  • Craig Cronbaugh mentioned in Laine Lines # 160, Page 9 – (FLIAS) – England – 2015
  • Craig Cronbaugh mentioned in Laine Lines # 167, Page 3 – (FLIAS) – England – 2017

FLSOA = Frankie Laine Society of America

FLIAS = Frankie Laine International Appreciation Society



About the Author:

Craig Cronbaugh, Director of the Legislative Information Office with the Legislative Services Agency at the Iowa State Capitol. As famed singer Frankie Laine’s special friend and a collector of Laine’s recordings and career memorabilia, Craig has written articles; has written, produced, directed, and hosted a distinctive radio program; and has appeared on Iowa statewide television regarding his Frankie Laine avocation. Craig has been highlighted briefly and has been given a research screen credit in the 2003 internationally distributed documentary Frankie Laine: An American Dreamer. Craig’s book, a memoir, Reaching for a Star, featuring his friendship with Laine, was published in 2005.