He was born and raised in New Brunswick, New Jersey to Franke Previte, Sr., an opera singer.
He was with the New Jersey rock quintet Franke and the Knockouts as the singer and songwriter. Previously he had sung with the Oxford Watch Band and the heavy metal band Bull Angus. Franke and the Knockouts were signed by Millennium Records in 1981 and had three U.S. Top 40 singles and two Top 50 albums. Franke and the Knockouts' biggest single, "Sweetheart", was written by Previte and Knockout guitarist Billy Elworthy and became a Top 10 hit in 1981. The group's other two Top 40 hits were "You're My Girl" and "Without You (Not Another Lonely Night)". The band switched to Music Corporation of America in 1984, but they split up around 1986. Franke Previte co-wrote music for the hit soundtrack to the 1987 movie Dirty Dancing.
That same year Previte also received a Golden Globe and a Grammy nomination. Also the song "(I've Had) The Time of My Life" won the ASCAP song of the year award. And recently the song was chosen as ASCAP's top 20 songs ever written, landing at number 15. Franke also was chosen as one of America's top 25 songwriters to represent the USA in a songwriter summit in the USSR. Today Franke helps raise money for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network charity in Patrick Swayze's honor. He continues to raise money for the charity with his new band, The Brotherhood. Franks says "If you're a songwriter then you're in the Brotherhood."