If you needed a singer to crack the whip, Frankie Laine was your man.
Laine, who moved 'em on, and headed 'em up in the theme songs for Rawhide, Blazing Saddles and even The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo, died Tuesday at a San Diego hospital. He was 93.
The singer was admitted to Mercy Hospital last weekend for hip-replacement surgery, the Los Angeles Times reported. His death was attributed to heart failure, the Associated Press said.
Laine collected 21 gold-record hits from the big-band 1940s to the post-psychedelic 1970s.
As a performer, Laine's big-as-the-great-outdoors voice helped provide the soundtrack for the TV and movie round-up. In addition to the title cuts from TV's Rawhide and Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles, Laine recorded the theme from High Noon, also known as "Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darlin' " (It is Tex Ritter's version that is heard in the 1952 movie.)
In 1979, Laine could be heard booming the praises of another cowboy of sorts in the BJ and the Bear spinoff, The Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo.
Born Mar. 30, 1913, in Chicago, Laine first distinguished himself in dance marathons, the weeks-on-end contests being one way to stay a step ahead of the Depression.
In 1946, per the biography on his official Website, Laine, the singer, was discovered by Hoagy Carmichael, the composer. The first hit, "That's My Desire," followed in 1947.
Before "Rawhide" and "Blazing Saddles," Laine cracked the whip in 1949's "Mule Train," and crooned his way to a hit with Carmichael's "Georgia on My Mind."
During his heyday, Laine occasionally acted, once appearing on an episode of Rawhide, the 1959-66 Western that gave Clint Eastwood his first steady job.
Said Eastwood of the singer in the documentary, Frankie Laine: An American Dreamer: "You knew who Frankie Laine was the moment he came on."