Franke and the Knockouts

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Frankie and the Knockouts
Origin New Jersey, USA
Genres Pop rock
Years active 1980 - 1986
Labels Millennium Records, MCA Records
Associated acts Bon Jovi

Franke and the Knockouts was a short-lived band, formed in New Jersey, USA and fronted by singer/songwriter Franke Previte.

Franke and the Knockouts were signed by Millennium Records in 1981 and had three U.S. Top 40 singles and two Top 50 albums. The group's biggest hit, "Sweetheart", was written by Previte along with Knockouts guitarist Billy Elworthy, peaking at #10 in the U.S. in June 1981. They also wrote and released the original versions of Eric Carmen's 1987 hit single "Hungry Eyes" as well as the song "(I've Had) The Time of My Life", (both of which were featured in the 1987 film Dirty Dancing), and it would also earn Previte an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

After Millennium folded, the band switched to MCA Records in 1984. They released an album, which wasn't as successful as their other two. The group disbanded in 1986.


  • Franke Previte - lead vocals (1980-1986)
  • Leigh Foxx - bass (1980-1986)
  • Billy Elworthy - lead and rhythm guitars (1980-1984)
  • Claude LeHenaff - drums (1980-1982)
  • Blake Levinsohn - keyboards (1980-1982)
  • Tommy Ayers - keyboards, backing vocals (1981-1986; session musician on self-titled debut, officially joined the band after the album was released)
  • Tico Torres - drums (1982-84)
  • Bobby Messano - lead & rhythm guitars, backing vocals (1984-1986)
Session Players
  • Charlie Dominici - backing vocals (1981-1982; session musician on self-titled debut)
  • Al Wotton: drums on Below the Belt (1982) album
  • John DeNicola: bass on several demos (including a bonus track on Makin' the Point (1984) album)
    • DeNicola also co-wrote (with Previte) "Hungry Eyes" and "(I've Had) the Time of My Life", the original versions of which were recorded during his tenure with the band but went unreleased, until they both later appeared on The Sweetheart Collection



  • 1981 - Franke and the Knockouts (#31)
  • 1982 - Below the Belt (#48)
  • 1984 - Makin' the Point


  • 1999 - The Sweetheart Collection


Year Song US Billboard Hot 100 US Cash Box Top 100 US Mainstream Rock Canadian RPM
1981 "Sweetheart" 10 13 27 18
"You're My Girl" 27 29
1982 "Without You (Not Another Lonely Night)" 24 22 45
1984 "Outrageous"

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