b. Michael Franks, 18th September 1944, La Jolla, California, U.S.A.
Michael Franks is an artist, whose music rises above many of the often perceived musical barriers that are, sadly, part of todays music scene.
In addition to his fine melodic skillset, he is a highly accomplished lyricist.
Michael grew up in Southern California.
His parents are Gerald and Betty Franks, and he has two younger sisters.
He bought his first guitar in his early teens, and took a few lessons, which came as part of the deal for the instrument.
Michael attended University High in San Diego, where he developed an interest in poetry.
He began performing at school, which mainly comprised of soft rock melodies.
Michael studied English at UCLA, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1966.
By 1968, he had added a Master of Arts degree from the University of Oregon.
He also began developing an interest in Jazz, however, he never was taught music.
After attending the University of Montreal, he returned to UCLA, where he began teaching.
Michael began composing material, utilised initially for movie scores.
michael franks - 1973 / the art of tea - 1975 / sleeping gypsy - 1977 / burchfield nines - 1978
In 1973, he recorded his debut album for the Brut Records imprint.
The follow up album, 1975’s ‘The Art of Tea’, was released for Reprise Records (the album featuring various members of the Jazz group, the Crusaders).
His future albums were released for Warner Brothers.
Further albums included 1977’s, ‘Sleeping Gypsy’, and 1978’s, ‘Burchfield Nines’.
tiger in the rain - 1979 / one bad habit - 1980 / objects of desire - 1982 / passion fruit - 1983
He has worked with the likes of Flora Purim, Kenny Rankin, Ron Carter, the Crusaders, David Sanborn, Toots Thielemans, Eric Gale, and others, and has had songs recorded by Manhattan Transfer, Patti Labelle, Carmen McRae, and the Carpenters.
skin dive - 1985 / the camera never lies - 1987 / blue pacific - 1990 / dragonfly summer - 1993
He consistently released albums throughout the next couple of decades, the last release being 2011’s, ‘Time Together’.
abandoned garden - 1995 / barefoot on the beach - 1999 / watching the snow - 2003 / rendezvous in rio - 2006
Although never attaining major success, the quality of the material has never been in question and the high standards that were set during the Seventies, still remain today.
time together - 2011
Ex London and Jazz FM Radio Deejay Jeff Young once said of Michaels music:
"If you are a young musician and are looking for inspiration with lyric writing, I would always point the individual in the direction of Michael Franks".
High praise indeed.
Go check Michaels website:
Michael Franks (Brut Records 1973)
The Art of Tea (Reprise Records 1976)
Sleeping Gypsy (Warner Brothers Records 1977)
Burchfield Nines (Warner Brothers Records 1978)
Tiger in the Rain (Warner Brothers Records 1979)
One Bad Habit (Warner Brothers Records 1980)
With Crossfire: Live (Warner Brothers Records 1980)
Objects of Desire (Warner Brothers Records 1982)
Passionfruit (Warner Brothers Records 1983)
Previously Unavailable (DRG Records 1983)
Skin Dive (Warner Brothers Records 1985)
The Camera Never Lies (Warner Brothers Records 1987)
Blue Pacific (Reprise Records 1990)
Dragonfly Summer (Warner Brothers Records 1993)
Abandoned Garden (Warner Brothers Records 1995)
Barefoot on the Beach (Windham Hill Records 1999)
Watching The Snow (Rhino Records 2004)
Rendezvous In Rio (Koch Records 2006)
Time Together (Shanachie Records 2011)