A Surprise Acquisition
Frankie Laine has always been an inspiration to me. Of course, mainly because of his musical legacy. As a collector, however, I’ve come to appreciate the entire scope of Frankie’s career over the years. His movie roles, film soundtrack vocals, concerts on video, copies of television roles and guest spots, and countless other career achievements he has enjoyed have kept me entranced and active as a collector of “all things Laine.”
It’s not surprising that I have made friends with fellow Laine collectors and enthusiasts over the years. This has been one of my greatest Laine treasures.
A few years ago, Jimmy Marino bestowed upon me the very revered moniker of “honorary member” of Team Frankie Laine. Jimmy, who heads up Team Frankie Laine, was Frankie’s manager and videographer for many years. I had worked with Jimmy during the creation of Frankie’s documentary Frankie Laine: An American Dreamer, which was Jimmy’s production. In 2015, Jimmy asked me whether I would be interested in writing the monthly blogs now stored on these Team Frankie Laine webpages. This will be my final blog. I have truly been blessed to be part of such a worthy fellowship, and I hope to continue to carry on with doing what I can to promote Frankie Laine’s wonderful musical legacy to as many people as I can.
I have a Laine Library where I store my Laine collection. Subsequently, Jimmy and the rest of Team Frankie Laine thought I would be a responsible beneficiary of a stockpile of Laine CDs and DVDs. As a matter of fact, Jimmy sent me—courtesy of Team Frankie Laine—about 1,300 unopened discs. I was entrusted with this treasure-trove and was instructed to use my judgement as to whether to keep them in my library, or do with them whatever I thought best. What a great gift of love, trust, and an important musical legacy! There were a dozen different titles, two of which were DVDs (including Frankie’s documentary).
I didn’t need to think too long about what I would do with the many boxes of Laine musical treasures Jimmy had sent me. The amount of merchandise was almost overwhelming! Quickly, I remembered how Frankie was involved in several worthy charities over the years. He would help children, those in need, and senior citizens within worthy organizations.
For three years, I had conducted special Frankie Laine presentations in a class-like setting for senior citizens and baby boomers in and around the Des Moines area in Iowa. My presentation, Remembering Frankie Laine, featured displayed mementos from my Laine Library as well as featured audio and video Laine performances.
It seemed like a natural fit to donate these discs—the Laine legacy—to seniors around Iowa.
Surprisingly, it was not an easy task to locate someone to help distribute my Laine bounty. Fortunately, I work in state government, so I had contacts with various aging resource agencies. I quickly surmised that it would be impractical for me to try to distribute the discs to area nursing homes, Meals on Wheels organizations, and Senior centers. I needed agency leaders to take equal quantities of the discs and filter the gifts to various subdivisions for distribution to these very deserving senior music lovers.
After a number of sent emails, some replied, others did not, I settled on five separate agency spokespersons. The departments I chose are the Iowa Department of Public Health, Aging Resources of Iowa, LeadingAge Iowa, and Easter Seals of Iowa. Under the auspices of the Iowa Department of Public Health, there were two more agents representing New Horizons and northwest Iowa nursing homes.
In June, after carefully sorting out equal quantities split five ways and placing each allotment into two boxes, my wife, Marlene, and I met with each agency spokesperson for distribution from the back of my P.T. Cruiser in the parking lot next to the Iowa State Capitol where I work.
Since early summer, the discs have slowly made it into the grateful hands of wonderful music lovers across central Iowa. One of the distributors, working through the Iowa Department of Public Heath, was 2017 Mrs. Iowa America, Jill Brees Barr.
Keep the Music Playing
I’ve been informed that Easter Seals of Iowa will soon have a Frankie Laine dance party—with music courtesy of some of the Laine discs!
Making these citizens feel special is wonderful! There are no words to express how I feel. Sharing Frankie Laine’s legacy of music with them is quite special. I had been given a wonderful gift of love and musical abundance from my friends at Team Frankie Laine, and I have returned this love and musical Laine legacy to so many people who will always remember Frankie Laine!
NOTE: I would like to thank Jimmy Marino and the rest of Team Frankie Laine for giving me the opportunity to write monthly blogs for this magnificent Frankie Laine site since October 2015. I sincerely hope that I have brought readers enjoyment. It has been my pleasure to share recollections and thoughts about Frankie Laine, a true legend of song. —Craig Cronbaugh
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