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Published Tuesday, March 30, 2010 @ 7:41 AM EDT
Mar 30 2010


While not a country western singer, the legendary Frankie Laine (3/30/1913-2/6/2007) is probably best remembered for his memorable renditions of movie and tv western themes, including Gunfight at the OK Corral, 3:10 to Yuma, Bullwhip, Rawhide and, of course, Blazing Saddles, Mel Brooks' 1974 landmark absurdist comedy.

Brooks, who wrote the lyrics to John Morris' rousing main title theme, advertised in the trades for "a Frankie Laine-type" vocalist. Laine visited Brooks' office a few days later and offered his services.

Brooks didn't tell the singer that Blazing Saddles was an off-the-wall parody. "Frankie sang his heart out," Brooks said, "and we didn't have the heart to tell him it was a spoof. We just said 'oh, great! He never heard the whip cracks; we put those in later. We got so lucky with his serious interpretation of the song."

Lucky, indeed; Laine performed the song, which was nominated for an Academy Award, at the Oscars ceremony in April, 1975. (It lost to "We May Never Love Like This Again" from The Towering Inferno. Go figure.


Categories: Music


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