Chicago

Tunes on Tuesday

Frankie Lane - The Real True Meaning of Love.jpg

Who is the first person you think of when you hear the name Frankie?  Avalon? Sinatra? Valli? If you were thinking Laine, then you are very much in luck, because he's the Frankie we're going for on this journey through Tunes on Tuesday. Francesco Paolo LoVecchio was born to newly-emigrated Sicilian Italians in Chicago in 1913. His dad, Giovanni, once had the pleasure of cutting the hair of none other than Al Capone, one of many gangsters with which the LoVecchio family had relations (Frankie's grandfather's life was cut short thanks to some of these relations). If ever there was a musician who suffered for his art, it was the younger LoVecchio. His magical voice was first discovered when he sang in an elementary school choir; however, success did not come to him right away.  In fact, it took decades of struggle, toil and trouble. For a time, Frankie's troubles were such that he was living on a park bench in New York City's Central Park.  But then he got a small time gig where the famous Hoagy Carmichael just happened to be in the audience and his fortunes began to change.

One recording deal morphed into a number of them.  Then, he changed his name from LoVecchio to Laine, and he jumped onto the fast track to success. During a career that spanned eight decades, Laine sang with the big bands, he crooned, he sang pop songs, western, gospel, rock, folk, jazz and blues.  By the time Laine died in 2007 at the age of 93, he had earned for himself the nickname of "America's Number One Vocal Stylist."  If you want to listen to one of Frankie's songs, scroll down and listen to his version of "The Real True Meaning of Love."  But if you want to connect with the man, come on over to the American Treasure Tour and enjoy his 45 r.p.m. record strategically hanging from a column in our Music Room.  

Cyrus McCormick

QUESTION:  Along with receiving patents for developing the farming reaper, what other major invention did Cyrus McCormick receive credit for?
A)  The Cotton Gin
B)  The Phonograph
C)  Interchngeable parts
D)  All of the Above
E)  None of the Above
ANSWER BELOW

We return today to our lithographs displayed in the Toy Box and one for a man whose impact on the world was substantial, but who's name is rarely recognized. Cyrus McCormick. His patents for and production of mechanical reapers in the nineteenth century substantially increased grain output and improved farming technology. Of course, he did not do this in a vacuum. His father Robert developed a reaper in the 1820's that he tinkered with for years but never quite perfected. When Cyrus took the project over in 1831, he not only improved upon it, but patented and produced it. He sold one machines to a neighbor who, impressed with the notable improvements it made on his farm productivity, told his friends about it. Then they told their friends, and a business was made.  The McCormick Harvesting Machine Company was in business.

Before long, Cyrus' brothers Leander and William joined him in expanding the family industry.  They moved from the family farm in Virginia to the then-small outpost community on Lake Michigan of Chicago, Illinois in 1847, where they built a factory for reaper production and reached a wider customer base in the heartland of American agriculture.  Cyrus excelled at production and, with his brilliant marketing and distribution practices, became one of the most successful businessmen of his age. He did not invent the horse-drawn McCormick mechanical reaper that became a necessity on every farm in the country.  He did use his substantial skills to provide his clients with the reaper, which made him one of the nineteenth century's most powerful entrepreneurs, and that is what led to Cyrus McCormick's inclusion in the American Treasure Tour's wall of lithographs.

ANSWER:  E)  None of the Above.  Eli Whitney got credit for A) and C), Thomas Edison got B)