Happy Birthday Michael Franks
Birthday wishes to singer-songwriter Michael Franks who celebrates today (September 18). Michael was born in La Jolla, CA and grew up listening to his parents swing music with artists like Peggy Lee, Nat King Cole, Ira Gershwin, Irving Berlin and Johnny Mercer becoming major influences for him. He started playing the guitar at age 14 and in high school began singing folk-rock songs. His songwriting developed during his time teaching at UCLA in the late '60's when he composed music for several films including Zandy's Bride starring Liv Ullman and Gene Hackman. In 1973 he joined Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee, who included three of his songs on their album, Sonny & Brownie and toured with their band playing the guitar, banjo and mandolin. His album The Art of Tea came out in 1975 featuring Joe Sample, Wilton Felder and Larry Carlton and contained his hit "Popsicle Toes." Michael has two albums out currently, Time Together (Shanachie) and the 5-CD box set Michael Franks: The Dream 1973-2011 (Rhino Records France). He'll be performing at the Opera House in Detroit, MI this Saturday, September 22.