Thursday, October 03, 2013

Frank D'Rone R.I.P.

The wonderful singer/guitarist Frank D'Rone has just died. Here's a career overview/obit by Howard Reich that appeared in the Chicago Tribune a few hours ago. D'Rone came along, perhaps, just a tad too late, circa 1960, to "make  it" on the national scene. The winds of generational music change were already beginning to dust up. But, even extra-demographically, most folks in the Chicago area remain familiar with D'Rone and he could still pull 'em in there. In fact, he performed at a private affair here in L.A. five or six years ago and packed the place (Catalina's).

D'Rone was fairly close to being the first  "name" performer I ever saw perform "live" after I moved to NYC while still mere protoplasm in Buster Brown shoes. He was appearing at the ultra-hip club, The Living Room, in the Murray Hill area.  I was not legally old enough to get into clubs, but somehow I pulled it off. (Fake moustache?) I went with my friend Bill Black. Ironically, Black, somewhat of a singer's singer and a generation older than I, was not familiar with him. But Bill was knocked out by what he heard. (And a little child shall lead them.)  Just D'Rone accompanying himself on guitar. His most recent album, Double Exposure, was fairly much as good as any of the D'Rone classics from the late '50s-early '60s. My condolences to his family and (many) friends.

Here's a great mid-period D'Rone track.

1 comment:

pmjazz said...

Thanks for posting, Bill. Chicago is left sadder and quieter with his passing. He leaves an irreplaceable void. How lucky for me when I moved here that my new-found musical inspiration was also an exceptional human being. His acceptance of me onto the scene meant the world to me.