Christmastime always brings about special feelings about my friend Frankie Laine for this Iowa boy. After all, it was late November (1985) when I first met Frankie in person in San Diego. Therefore, not only does the misty and cold Iowa drizzle, the wet smell of fallen leaves, and the frosty air, remind me of my elation upon my return to Iowa after meeting my idol, but so too does the magic of the upcoming Christmas season.
I was content and happy that I finally was able to meet with Frankie Laine. It was magical. Frankie made it happen. Not many other stars would allow someone to travel to meet personally with them. Frankie did. It was a wonderful experience for me. It changed my life and outlook on life for the absolute best.
Not only was I able to meet and chat with Frankie, but he allowed me to spend the entire day with him! I also brought back pictures, autographed records, and an audio interview I had conducted with this great singer.
Merry Christmas to Frankie Laine and his millions of fans! He was very special, and Christmastime—to me—reflects his magical legacy, spirit, and warmth.
To quote the title of Frankie’s 1950 Christmas recording “Merry Christmas Everywhere.”
Frankie’s style of singing appealed to millions of people. However, he was a favorite singer of one of the most famous people in the world—Howard Hughes. Strangely enough, Frankie was also a favorite singer of one of the most notorious and infamous individuals—Charles Manson.
I thought it would be nice to feature quotations I had personally received by famous people—Frankie’s peers and friends. I requested, and received, the following quotations in 2004 for my book Reaching for a Star.
Sadly, all have left us to appear on that big starlit stage in the sky. Lucy Marlow is the only one still living.
“I’ve enjoyed listening to Frankie Laine sing throughout the years.
His good, strong voice could sing any type of song, regardless of
whether it was a gentle, heartfelt ballad, a soulful blues number,
or an up-tempo, rousing one. No matter what he sang, it was with
gusto! He always had a great voice, one that has endured over the
years.”—Teresa Brewer, famed singer, recording artist
“Frankie is ‘Mr. Rhythm.’ It was a joy singing with him.”
—Connie Haines, famed singer, recording artist, featured on
The Frankie Laine Show on television
“Frankie Laine is an original. When you hear a Frankie Laine
recording, it can only be him. No one else has that sound! I had the
pleasure of performing with him at the San Remo Song Festival in
Italy and watched the master at work. He brought the audience to
their feet with his Italian song the Laine way! Very few careers will
encompass the breadth of Frankie Laine! Bravo!”
—Gene Pitney, famed singer, recording artist, songwriter
“It was always a pleasure to work with Frankie. Besides being a
very nice gentleman, he was always well prepared and ready to go
—Jo Stafford, famed singer, recording artist, recorded several duets with
“I became a fan of Frankie Laine in junior high school upon hearing his
rendition of ‘That’s My Desire.’ Little did I know that, in ten short years, he
would allow me to star with him in the Blake Edwards Columbia movie He
Laughed Last. He was generous to a fault!”
—Lucy Marlow, former movie and television actress, starred with Frankie Laine
in the Columbia movies Bring Your Smile Along and He Laughed Last