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Bob Frank - Red Neck, Blue Collar

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Quick Overview

“There is something noble about a man whose art is unchanged after nearly half a century. Bob Frank still amazes me." – Jim Dickinson

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Bob Frank is, unabashedly, a folk singer. While others cloak their musical identity in such euphemisms as “singer/songwriter,” “Americana” or “roots,” Bob represents nothing so much as a continuation of the folk music movement that reached its apogee more than forty years ago -- about the same time Bob started writing and singing songs, songs that told stories, songs that decried injustice. Folk songs.

As a kid, he wanted to play the songs he’d heard Gene Autry do and, so, he got himself a guitar and cowboy songbook. When the folk boom happened, he realized that those “cowboy” songs were really American folk songs. Bob Frank had found his calling and became part of the nascent folk scene in Memphis, his home town.

After kicking around Memphis in the early ‘60s, playing the folk circuit there with the likes of his friend Jim Dickinson, he went off to college in Nashville. He didn’t last long at Vanderbilt U. as he was summarily kicked out of that august institution for playing his guitar in the dorm – the acoustic equivalent of disturbing the peace.

Bob hit the proverbial Big Time with a major label deal that saw the release of “Bob Frank” on Vanguard Records in 1972. Bob, ever the contrarian, saw fit to perform an entire set of songs NOT on the album at the release party the label threw for him at Max’s Kansas City in New York. Needless to say, there was no Bob Frank follow-up album from Vanguard.

In fact, there was no Bob Frank follow up from anybody else for quite a while. Bob moved out west and took up residence in the East Bay where he worked as an irrigation specialist for the City of Oakland (a “ditch digger,” according to Jim Dickinson). His folk music career lay fallow for about thirty years when he discovered – via the miracle of the internet – that he had a cult following. Yes, the album that Vanguard released in ’72 had spawned a cadre of Bob Frank obsesives both here and in Europe, Australia and Asia who spent considerable time online speculating what had become of the enigmatic troubadour. When Bob appeared at a clandestine folk festival deep in the Carolina woods thereafter, he was amazed to be greeted by thousands of fans who came out to see the legend in the flesh after all those years.

Bob, at last, resumed actively recording and performing. One of Bob’s songs, “Red Neck, Blue Collar” found its way onto the Memphis International album debut of his old friend Jim Dickinson a/k/a James Luther Dickinson who had recorded his music previously during the course of his own sporadic career as a recording artist. This planted the seed of the idea with the label to release a full album of Bob Frank songs by Bob Frank.

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Additional Info

Catalog Number MIR2018
Release Date Dec 1, 2015
Artist Bob Frank
Record Label Memphis International Records
Music Genre Americana
Explicit Content No
Format CD
Number of Discs 1
Box Lot Quantity 30
Track List
  1. Red Neck, Blue Collar
  2. Canebrake
  3. Judas Iscariot
  4. Coming into Glen Rock
  5. Holy Ground
  6. One Big Family
  7. Out on the Prairie
  8. Pledge of Allegiance
  9. Little Ol' Cabin Home
  10. Incident at the Laundromat
  11. Monroe, Louisiana Pipeliners' Brawl

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