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Gari, Frank (1 April 1944 – Present)

Singer-songwriter and one-time teen-pop sensation who had a number of top-thirty hits back in the day.

In 1959, he released “Lil’ Girl” backed with “Your Only Love”.  A couple of years later, he cracked the Billboard top thirty three times:  “Lullaby of Love” went to #23, “Princess” to #30, and “Utopia” to #27 and #174 for the entire year of 1961.  In 1962, he released “Ain’t That Fun” backed with “She Make Me Wanna Dance”.  A year later, Jimmy Hannan and the Bee Gees recorded the Frank Gari-Roger McGuinn composition, “Beach Ball”.  Gari, McGuinn, and Bobby Darin had recorded the song previously as the City Surfers.  A number of other Frank Gari solo singles are now available on anthologies:  ” Be My Girl” appears on Teen Town USA…Volume 17; “The Last Bus Left At Midnight” was bound for Hideaway Heaven…Volume 3; “There’s Lots More Where This Came From” appears on Teenage Time…Volume 2; and “You Better Keep Runnin'” is on Hideaway Heaven…Volume 4.  Frank’s early teeny-bopper work also appears on the appropriately titled Hard to Find 45’s on CD, Vol. 7:  60’s Classics and Hey!  Look What I Found, Vol. 6.

In 1978, Frank changed tack and concentrated on composing and sometimes singing TV theme songs for news shows, such as “Hello News” which originated in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on WISN-TV, and eventually was used by stations throughout the U.S.  A year later, he appeared on Frank Sinatra’s boxed set, Trilogy.  In 1981, Frank Gari Productions produced the theme song “ABC is the Place” for ABC-TV.  Four years later, in tandem with Frank, Randy Newman turned “You’ll Love It” into another theme song for ABC.

Frank also did some arranging for The Wonderful World of Disney, including a disco version of “When You Wish Upon A Star” which was used from 1981 until 1983.  He then did a pop-rock version of the same song and Disney used it between 1983 and 1985, and an orchestral rendition used between 1985 and 1986.

Frank Gari Productions, now also known as Gari Communications, Inc., in Westlake Village, California, was taken  over by Warner Music Group in 2015.

Frank Sinatra recordings
That’s What God Looks Like To Me (Stan Irvin/Lan O’Kun)
Reprise RPS 49233 (XNY2101S) (US 45)

Theme from “New York, New York” (Fred Ebb/John Kander)
Reprise RPS49233 (XNY 2103 S) (US 45)

Here is one of his earliest releases, “Utopia”…