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Frankie Laine, 93; Sang Theme of TV's 'Rawhide'
Within the week, at Carmichael's urging, Mr. Laine began recording for Mercury Records and came under the guidance of pop music director Mitch Miller. Mr. Laine's version of "That's My Desire" sold more than 1 million copies, a figure soon topped by "Mule Train." He followed with 1 million sellers such as "That Lucky Old Sun," "Shine" and "On the Sunny Side of the Street."
He was initially deeply reluctant to record "Mule Train," the first of his cowboy songs, saying he would lose fans who embraced his pop ballads. He went on, as Miller had insisted, to win far more newer fans. His cover of the "High Noon" theme, sung in the 1952 movie by Tex Ritter, also became a best-selling recording.
In later years, Mr. Laine recorded and performed jazz and blues and stretched into other areas. One album, "Foreign Affair" (1958), was made with French jazz pianist and composer Michel Legrand.
"Michel was the one who first showed me what was going on with our [music] in Europe," Mr. Laine told a San Diego reporter in 2005. "He said, 'Oh, yah, Frankie Laine, big star.' I said, 'You're kidding?' . . . So I went ahead and made an album [with him] in French and Spanish, Italian and English. It was a big bomb because the Spaniards didn't want to hear the French and the French didn't want to hear the Spaniards."
In more recent years, he wrote a memoir ("That Lucky Old Son") and continued playing to large audiences, notably in 1999 when he opened at the Orleans club in Las Vegas.
Mr. Laine also composed songs and had his greatest success in the late 1940s, when he and his longtime pianist Carl Fischer co-wrote the pop ballad "We'll Be Together Again."
Mr. Laine was married to film and television actress Nan Grey from 1950 until her death in 1993.
Survivors include his wife, Marcia Ann Kline, whom he married in 1999; two stepdaughters; a brother; and two grandchildren.