18 September 1944, La Jolla, California, USA. As a young teenager, Franks began singing to his own guitar accompaniment. He drew his eclectic repertoire from a broad field including folk music and aspects of the blues. He also began composing in the blues idiom, performing his own work and also hearing it picked up by other musicians. By the 70s Franks had become a well-known teacher and composer. His songs have been recorded by Mark Murphy, Carmen McRae and others. In the mid-70s he made a number of well-received records with jazzmen such as Kenny Barron and Ron Carter, and appeared with the original line-up of the popular Yellowjackets. Franks sings with a huskily intimate sound, interpreting lyrics with feeling and imparting a smooth swing to all his performances.
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