Friday, December 28, 2012

Franke and the Knockouts - Sweatheart

Franke (no i) and the Knockouts were a New Jersey band, founded in 1980 by Franke (also no i) Previte.  Between 1981 and 1982, the band had 3 (!) top 40 singles, with "Sweatheart" as the highest charting hit, at #10.  [Since I know that it will come up, the two other hits were 1981's "You're My Girl," which reached  #27 and "Without You" from 1982, which peaked at #24.]

While the band's first two LPs both broke the top 50, their third album did not chart, and the band broke up in 1986.  End of story, right?  Well, not quite ...

After the breakup, Franke Previte was looking for a recording contract when an old friend contacted him.  Jimmy Ienner, former president of Millennium Records was producing the soundtrack for a movie and wanted Previte's help for the final number.  Previte co-wrote a song for the film, and had another song that was used, as well (although both songs were performed by other artists).  The film was called Dirty Dancing (some readers may have heard of it) and the soundtrack became a hit (18 weeks as the #1 album in the U.S. in 1987).  We posted more on this story on the "Hungry Eyes" entry, which includes the original and cover versions of the song.

And that, my friends, is how Franke and the Knockouts are connected to Dirty Dancing.  Unfortunately, Previte did not have another big hit, but a 2010 Reuters article indicates that he remains active in the industry (mostly helping young songwriters) and is living comfortably off the royalties (which are generating a mid-six figure annual revenue).  Nice to have a happy ending at ERV.

Cool trivia fact:  Tico Torres, who went on to fame and fortune as the drummer in Bon Jovi, played drums on Franke and the Knockouts third album, 1984's, Makin' the Point.


  1. Thank You
    For Singing That Song
    In My Head
    In The Shower
    Just Waking Up In A Daze
    Love It
    Long Live Your Site

    1. Thanks, Sam, we try to pick good ones. Appreciate your support, as always.