The late Robert Mitchum remains best known for his heavy-lidded, laconic
presence as a classic antihero in films noir from the '40s and '50s, but Mitchum
also showcased singing chops by handling his own singing (instead of relying on
the then-common practice of ... morevocal doubles) in such flicks as "River of No Return" and "The Night of the Hunter." He signed a
contract with Capitol Records in 1957, releasing an album of well-researched
calypso. And, a year later, he beat the Boss to "Thunder Road" when he recorded the
title song to the movie, in which he starred as a moonshiner. Springsteen
himself is said to have taken the title after seeing the movie poster.