Keyboardist and singer-songwriter who started his own groups at the age
of ten, while attending grade school in Penn Hills, Pennsylvania.
Remnants of those
bands morphed into The Igniters, an R&B outfit that recorded one 45, in
the ‘60s, backing Charlie Appel on a tune
called “High Flying Wine”.
They are reputed to be the second white group signed by Atlantic
Records, after The Rascals.
With the recording
contract came a price: They had
to change the name of the band to Jimmy Mack and the Music Factory, then
Friends. The name changes did
not help them register a hit, or lift them from obscurity. In 1970, Friends disbanded.
Frank went on to
greener pastures with The Jaggerz, and appeared
on their 1975 release, Come Again. It was a short-lived tenure, and
Frank wound up fronting Diamond Reo, another Pittsburgh band, and recorded
three albums with them.
They broke up in 1979
and Frank, along with guitarist Warren King, recruited Roy Buchanan, Ron
“Byrd” Foster, Mike Pela, and Dennis Takos, to form The Silencers. They released two albums,
1980’s Rock ‘n’
Roll Enforcers, and 1981’s Romantic,
neither of which spawned a major hit.
The Silencers went
quiet in 1984 and a year later, Frank joined Pure Gold, an R&B group
that continues to perform today.
They are the “house band” for all of those PBS specials
that showcase legends of doo-wop, rhythm & blues, rock & roll, and
In 2003, The Igniters
re-united for one show and captured the magic on CD, after almost forty
years, their first release.
The Silencers recordings
Sidewalk Romeo (Angel of Mercy)
(Frank Czuri/Michael John Harbadin/Warren