A year later, in 1930, he moved in with his older sister, in New York's Hell's Kitchen. After being expelled from Haaran High School, he left his sister and traveled throughout the country on railroad cars, taking a number of jobs including ditch-digging for the Civilian Conservation Corps and professional boxing.
He experienced numerous adventures during his years as one of the Depression era's "wild boys of the road." At age 14 in Savannah, Georgia, he was arrested for vagrancy and put on a local chain gang. By Mitchum's own account, he escaped and returned to his family in Delaware. It was during this time, while recovering from injuries that nearly lost him a leg, that he met the woman he would marry, a teenaged Dorothy Spence. He soon went back on the road, eventually riding the rails to California.
One of the lesser-known aspects of Mitchum's career was his forays into music, both as singer and composer. Mitchum's voice was often used instead of that of a professional singer when his characters sang in his films. Notable productions featuring Mitchum's own singing voice included Rachel and the Stranger, River of No Return and The Night of the Hunter.
After hearing traditional calypso music and meeting artists such as Mighty Sparrow and Lord Invader while filming Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison in the Caribbean island of Tobago, he recorded Calypso — is like so ... in March 1957. On the album, released through Capitol Records, he emulated the calypso sound and style, even adopting the style's unique pronunciations and slang.
A year later he recorded a song he had written for the film Thunder Road, titled "The Ballad of Thunder Road". The country-style song became a modest hit for Mitchum, reaching No. 69 on the Billboard Pop Singles Chart. The song was included as a bonus track on a successful reissue of Calypso... and helped market the film to a wider audience. Read More