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Czuri, Frank (8th September 1948-Present)

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 Pella, 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 soul.

In 2003, The Igniters re-united for one show and captured the magic on CD, after almost forty years, their first release.  They decided to officially reform in 2010 and have performed together at many different venues and festivals.  Also in 2010 he was presented with the Penn Hills Arts, Music and Entertainment (PHAME) Award for his lifelong work in the music industry.

Alongside his work with The Igniters he became a member of  The Skyliners in 2013.

The Silencers recordings
Sidewalk Romeo (Angel of Mercy)
(Frank Czuri/Michael John Harbadin/Warren King/ Dennis Takos)

Here he is with the Igniters performing “I Shall Be Released”…

Sources:

  1. https://www.frankczuri.com/
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Czuri
  3. http://www.julietoye.com/frankczuri.html
  4. http://www.puregoldmusic.com/templates/Czuri.aspx
  5. http://www.bestrocknrollband.com/id5.html
  6. http://www.pittsburghpostgazette.com/ae/20030822igniters0822p5.asp
  7. https://www.discogs.com/artist/1033602-Frankie-Czuri
  8. http://www.allmusic.com/artist/frank-czuri-mn0001187514