Apologies to Gene Kelly.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Singin’ in the Rain.”

Singing in the rain.

If the rain is persisting, there is nothing I like better than to go with the flow. I get the gang round and set into a liquid lunch.  Gin and tonic, accompanied by chicken and water melon salad,  followed by Italian water ice.  Eau de vie to finish.

If singing is required, and it always is after Gin, Frankie Laine’s  ‘Cool, Clear Water’  is raucous and easy to belt out.  Bob Dylan’s ‘Spirit on the Water’ is only for the cognoscenti.

Since this is my party, we will concentrate on Frankie Laine.  What a nice guy, and what a fascinating career!  He was a kid living with his grandfather when his grandfather got shot dead by gangsters.  Now that is a bad start in life!

He had four or five career failures – World War two got in the way.  He was at one time sleeping on a bench in Central Park.  He said he got bodily thrown out of various New York hotels.  He would creep into empty rooms and sleep on the floor.

He finally made it to the big time with his rendition of ‘That’s My Desire’.  The day before the recording he owed more than seven thousand dollars.  Then his career really took off, and he paid off all his debts, except one.  His friend, Perry Como would not accept the money.  Como kidded him for years about the debt.

He was a supporter of the Civil Rights movement, and generously supported the Salvation Army among a lot of other good causes.  He was a good friend to Nat King Cole.  He boosted Cole’s career in those bad old days, by appearing as a guest on his show, not done before by a white entertainer.  Other stars followed suit, but not many.  Frankie Laine was a pall bearer at Nat King Cole’s funeral.

He had no delusions of grandeur and performed until well into his eighties for the fun of it.  His story about his first hair piece goes down well at  my parties.  He did a bad job of gluing it on.  In Chicago, the Windy City, it got whipped off his head and rolled down the road like Tumbleweed.  By the time he retrieved it, it had been run over several times.  It looked rather pathetic.

His first marriage lasted forty three years, until his wife’s death.  At aged eighty six he married again, a commitment that only ended at his own demise.

His ashes, along with those of his first wife were scattered over the Pacific Ocean.  Now, since we were talking about water, that is a significant stretch of the wet stuff.

The party’s over now.  I wish he could have been there in person.

Let’s raise a glass to Frankie Laine before we wander off home.  Of course, we’ll be singing in the rain!

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LaLa Land by Malabar Cash is an ebook  for Kindle: available on Amazon.  Enjoy!

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