Hello all, we are now in March, 2012... 'RizMum' blog sure is getting slower now, but as promised I will try my best to keep on going... and its been awhile now since my last post (T_T) and to update this took me almost a year, anyhow, this will be my final year so you guys know how it is when the big "E" comes. So guys, see you in my next post and keep on SHREDDING!!!! And as always please feel free to drop a suggestion/ideas via e-mail, Thanks

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Michael Franks

Name: Michael Franks
Born: 18th September, 1944 (La Jolla, California, USA)

Profile: He is an American smooth jazz singer and songwriter. Franks has recorded with a Who's Who of artists, such as Patti Austin, Brenda Russell, Art Garfunkel, and David Sanborn. His songs have been recorded by "The Manhattan Transfer", Patti Labelle, Carmen McRae, Diana Krall, Shirley Bassey and "The Carpenters".

History: Although no one in Franks family played music, his parents loved swing music and his early influences included Nat King Cole and Johnny Mercer. At age 14, he bought his first guitar (a Japanese Marco Polo for $29.95 with six private lessons included - the only music education that he received).

At University High in Irvine, Franks discovered the poetry of Theodore Roethke with his off-rhymes and hidden meter. In high school, he began singing folk-rock, accompanying himself on guitar. Studying English at UCLA he discovered Dave Brubeck, Patti Page, Stan Getz, João Gilberto, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Miles Davis, and he never studied music in college.

During this time he started writing songs, starting with the anti-war musical Anthems in E-flat starring Mark Hamill. He also composed music for the films 'Count Your Bullets', 'Cockfighter', and 'Zandy's Bride'. Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee recorded 3 of Franks' songs, including 'White Boy Lost in the Blues', on their album 'Sonny & Brownie'. Michael played guitar, banjo and mandolin on the album and joined them in touring.

In 1973, Franks recorded an eponymous album (later reissued as 'Previously Unavailable'), which included the minor hit 'Can't Seem to Shake this Rock 'n Roll'. In 1976, he released his second album 'The Art of Tea', beginning a long relationship with WB Music, the album featured Joe Sample, Larry Carlton and Wilton Felder (The Crusaders) and included the hit song 'Popsicle Toes'.

Franks' third album, 'Sleeping Gypsy', which includes the song 'The Lady Wants to Know', was partially recorded in Brazil. Around this time, percussionist Ray Armando first gave Franks what would become a signature instrument - a cabasa - to play on stage for songs he didn't play guitar on. His 1978 album, 'Burchfield Nines', which includes the song 'When the Cookie Jar is Empty', reflects Franks move to New York City and features more of an East Coast sound. Since then, he has recorded more than 15 albums.

His best known works include 'When I Give My Love To You', 'Popsicle Toes', 'Monkey See', 'Monkey Do', 'Tiger in the Rain', 'Rainy Night in Tokyo', and 'Tell Me All About It'. His biggest hit came in 1983 with 'When Sly Calls (Don't Touch That Phone)', from the album 'Passionfruit'. Radio hits include 'Your Secret's Safe With Me' from the 1985 album 'Skin Dive', and 'Island Life' from 1987's 'The Camera Never Lies'.

Influences: Peggy Lee, Nat King Cole, Ira Gershwin, Irving Berlin and Johnny Mercer

Axology: Unknown

Signature song(s): Can't Seem to Shake this Rock 'n Roll - Michael Franks (Previously Unavailable, 1973)

Link(s): (Official website)

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