Sunday, December 13, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Michael Franks

Artist:Michael Franks f/Brenda Russell
Song:When I Give My Love To You
Album:The Best Of Michael Franks: A Backward Glance

He probably didn't know it back in the 70s but singer Michael Franks turned out to be a pioneer of what is now called Smooth Jazz. He was a regular on the jazz and adult contemporary charts in the 70s and 80s. He was born Sept. 18, 1944 in La Jolla, CA. He started out as a folksinger and he studied poetry at UCLA. Franks recorded and toured with blues legends Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee in 1973. They recorded three of his songs. He released an album in 1973 on Brut Records which was owned by Faberge tied in with their Brut cologne. Comedian Robert Klein also recorded for them. They were only around for a year. But it was enough to get the attention of veteran producer Tommy LiPuma who got Franks a record deal with Warner Bros. The album The Art Of Tea was released in 1976. Franks was backed up by Joe Sample, Wilton Felder and Larry Carlton of The Crusaders with guest shots by Michael Brecker and David Sanborn. LiPuma produced The Crusaders. Popsicle Toes was a minor hit single. But the album established Franks in the jazz market and that's where most of his success was for the next ten years. When I Give My Love To You is from the 1985 album Skin Dive and it features singer Brenda Russell. You'll notice a different singer in the video. Unlike most jazz singers, Franks didn't record standards. He wrote all his own songs. LiPuma thought his singing style would work better in jazz than as a typical singer songwriter. Franks was on Warner Bros. until 1995. This budget comp is a good intro to his music. He also recorded for Windham Hill and Koch. His latest CD Time Together was released on Shanachie in 2011. Franks has had some health problems in recent years. But he is recording a new album and I expect him to tour in 2016. Here's Michael Franks featuring Veronica Nunn performing When I Give My Love To You in Tokyo 1993.

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