Saturday, 19 November 2016
Music/Wedding Vows/Happy Anniversary/ In The Mornin'/ Rainy Sundays/What I Did For Love/ Jezabel/Do I Love You/Da Do Da Dum Dum Dum/European Flowers/You're Breaking My Heart Cos You're Leaving/Happy
Frankie was born in the Melbourne suburb of Black Rock and began singing to amuse his fellow servicemen. By the mid-fifties he had become a regular featured vocalist at the Ziegfeld Palais Ball Room in Melbourne. Frankie worked there with Max Bostock and his Rockets. He also recorded a series of rock’n’roll EPs on the Dance Land label. Then, in 1959, Frankie was snapped up by W&G Records. In 1961 he found his niche with ‘Yabba Yabba Doo’, which entered the charts in December. This was followed by what probably became his signature tune, ‘Have You Ever Been To See King’s Cross?’ The song achieved national acclaim for Frankie and made a mockery of the short-sighted Melbourne/Sydney rivalry of the period. After all, a Melbourne singer performing a song about an area of Sydney in 1962 was strange. In 1970 he began recording for the Fable label and produced his biggest selling single, ‘Gimme Dat Ding’, followed by ‘Ball Bearing Bird’. Frankie had also become an accomplished actor appearing in dramas such as Matlock Police, Homicide and the ABC’s production of Dynasty. In 1975 he switched to M7 Records and released an album called A Generation Of Children’s Hits. Frankie certainly made his mark with clever novelty material. Songs that followed included ‘Hector The Trash Collector’ and ‘50,000,000 Blowflies Can’t Be Wrong.
The mid 80s saw Frankie take a new tact, releasing his first country abum with `Australian Born, Australian Bred’ which included `Hope Your Chooks Turn Into Emus and Peck Your Dunny Down’ – a hit on both the pop and country charts around the country. The show business stalwart, who in the past decade has worked diligently on improving his vocal talents which span from baritone to tenor, believes his efforts were rewarded with the 1992 MO Award nomination for Male Vocalist of the Year. “I changed from Versatile Variety Performer in 1976 to Male Vocalist in 1992 – which shows people are paying more attention to that side of my work.”