EDWARD FRANK

Born Edward Frazier Frank, 14 June 1932, New Orleans, Louisiana
Died 13 February 1997, New Orleans, Louisiana

>From its beginning in January 2002, Born To Be With You has featured a lot of session men, especially from New Orleans, Los Angeles, Nashville and New York City. They are the unsung heroes of rock 'n' roll, who never received any credits on album sleeves or record labels, at least not in the fifties and sixties. One of them was pianist Edward Frank (or Edward Franks, as Jeff Hannusch calls him with iron consistency in his book "I Hear You Knockin'"). Frank was a schooled musician, who played piano, organ and several other instruments and who could arrange and compose as well. His busiest time as a New Orleans session man was the second half of the fifties. From the early fifties onward, Frank would occasionally tour with Dave Bartholomew's band, but in the studio Bartholomew would prefer to work with pianist Salvador Doucette. After the latter's temporary retirement from music in 1956, Edward Frank became a full-time member of Cosimo Matassa's famed studio band, playing on hundreds of record sessions for Imperial, Specialty, Ace, Aladdin and other labels. Of course Fats Domino, Little Richard and Huey 'Piano' Smith played piano on their own New Orleans recordings, and Allen Toussaint and James Booker were starting to make a name for themselves, but apart from them, if you hear a New Orleans recording from the 1956-60 period, there's a good chance that you are hearing Edward Frank. "Ooh-Wow" by Roy Montrell (Specialty 583) has always been a great favourite of mine, not in the least for the fantastic piano work, supplied by Mr. Frank. Another Edward Frank contribution that I never get tired of is the intro to Lloyd Price's "Woe Ho Ho" (Specialty 571). Frank lived in New Orleans all his life, active in music until the end, though he never recorded under his own name. In 1994 he was one of the six famous musicians brought together for the "Crescent City Gold" CD (on HIgh Street Records), the others being Allen Toussaint, Mac Rebennack, Earl Palmer, Alvin Tyler and Lee Allen (the last two now deceased).

 
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