Frankie Gee aka The Lonesome Stranger
Frankie Gee started his Salsa Broadcast ( the only weekly Salsa Music program on FM radio in Scotland ) on a unsuspecting DCR audience in May 2010, he built up a large audience here and across the world, unfortunately for DCR listeners Frankie has moved on as he starts a new career as a Hotel Manager in Fort William. Luckily we are still able to catch him on the airwaves as he now has a show on the local community radio there – Radio Nevis.
Initially, the purpose of Frankies programs was to share his music and knowledge with the people of Dunoon. But now, with the world wide interest and the increasing popularity of the programes they have turned into a worldwide quest for Frankie to promote Salsa, and Latin music and its makers.
Make friends with Frankie G as he introduces you to the world of his precious salsa from the style developed in the 1960’s and 70’s by Latin American immigrants from the Bronx and Manhattan in New York area to its later stylistic descendants.
Listen to Frankie as he Chats Live using the technology of today to some of the biggest names in “SALSA” music in the world which he recently topped by having a live Chat in the Dcr97.4fm Studio not once but twice with the Charting Sixties Recording Artist, two Grammy Award Winner, Five Album Grammy Award nominee , three time Billboard Producer of the Year, a three time Record World Producer of the Year and the awards go on and on, all this and more accomplished by Frankie’s Guest the Legend that is HARVEY AVERNE
Check out who Frankie really is by visiting his website
On Sunday 23rd January Frankie was thrilled to be joined in the studio with young talent Maria Marciano and her family.
If you love salsa here are some sites you may be interested in
(Andy Harlow) http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/AndyHarlowLarryHarlow
(Carlos Mojica) www.sonidocriminal.com
A little bit about Frankie -an extract from his forthcoming Book—this is from the early years of Frankie Gees incredible Story
When my family moved to 1461 Boston Road, between Wilkins and Prospect Avenues in The Bronx, I was only 9 years old, and had been in the United States for just 2 years. I spoke very little English. I had no idea then that I had moved into a neighbourhood that was changing and evolving in many ways. The last of the Irish and Jewish families moved out within my first year living there. The Viet Nam war was heating up, and all of the high school drop outs were being drafted into military service. I had my first exposure to rats as big as kittens. Police men were feared. But this neighbourhood was also home to a new type of musician, “the Salsero”. The likes of Tito Puente, The Palmieri Brothers, The Harlow Brothers, Bary Rodgers, Ray Barreto, Willie Colon all lived within 10 miles of my home.
My stepfather was one of sixteen brothers and sisters, four of which lived in The Bronx. Every Sunday on a rotating basis a member of my stepfather’s family would host the Sunday domino game. He also had a bunch of cousins that would take turns hosting these games. While those that were not playing waited their turn, they would play the newest Rican music and dance with all of the women that gathered with their husbands. I have an uncle that is a former pro boxer. He was a bit of a celebrity in his time, and was friends with La Lupe, Joe Cuba, and Joe Bataan. Every now and then he would visit my mother and give her just released record albums that were given to him by his friends.
Two years later, the Viet Nam war was going full tilt, and the first wave of heroin addicts flooded my neighbourhood. My mother would not let us out of her sight. We were only allowed to hang out on the stoop of my building. There was a dance hall across the street from my apartment called The Boston Road Ballroom. B.B. King, James Brown, Teddy Pendergrass were some of the acts I remember performing there. In the summer my mother would let us sit on the fire escape and listen to the “Soul Music” from across the street. When a well known act would perform there, the lines to get into the club would stretch for nearly 60 meters. The Police would show up when the joint was really hoppin’. One officer would wait in the patrol car while his partner went upstairs to the dance hall. He would come downstairs with a paper bag with money in it, count it in the shelter of the doorway to a shop at street level. He would wait a few minutes, then another patrol car would show up. He would give a paper bag to the passenger in the squad car, then both would drive off in their respective patrol cars, never to be seen again for the rest of the night. Whenever my mother saw the patrol car pull up in front of the dance hall she would make us come inside and draw the curtains.
During the summer of 1966, my mother would allow the son of my barber, my brother and myself to go to Crotona Park and play baseball at the field on the corner of Wilkins Ave. And Crotona Park East. Crotona Park had park benches all along Crotona Park East. Sometimes while we were playing baseball a few guys with congas, bongos, and claves would sit in the grandstands and begin to play. Sometimes the “rumbeo” or “rumbon” would take place along these park benches. As a result, while playing baseball I had the beat of the drums in the background. My mother also got me my first job in the summer of 1966. It was with Doña Carmen. She owned a hot dog cart. I would help her on Saturdays and Sundays. On Saturday she would set up her cart on the corner of Bryant and Wilkins Ave.’s in front of a Rican record shop. This was the heart of our shopping district. This shop had a speaker outside. The entire day I would listen to the newest Latin Music releases while I sold hot dogs with Doña Carmen. It was at this record shop I bought my very first record…”Green Onions” with Booker T and The Mg’s, Mongo Santamaria, and Dizzy Gillespie. On Sundays she would set up her cart on the corner of Wilkins Ave. and Crotona Park East . This was to take advantage of the crowd that gathered to watch the baseball games that were played there on Sundays. Always somewhere within hearing distance there would be a rumbeo along Crotona Park East.
In 1967 I was in the Freshman Orchestra in Junior High school 98. I played the clarinet. My music teacher was David W. Bargeron. His classroom was in the tower of the school. The acoustics were great. My first class after lunch 3 times a week was music, I would show up to this class early. Mr. B would practice with the most beautiful trombone and flugle horn I have ever seen up close. At first he would get annoyed because I would show up early. But after a while when he realized I would just sit quietly and read a comic book while he rehearsed, he was ok with me. At the end of the school year I found out he would not be returning. I asked him to autograph my reed case the last time I saw him. In the fall of the same year my new music teacher told me Mr. B was in a band and they were touring the U.S. Ten years later I’m looking at the jacket cover for a new Blood Sweat and Tears album I had bought, and there was Mr. Bargeron! He quit teaching music to become the horns arranger and lead trombone for the group.
My mother continued playing her music every Saturday while cleaning house. That summer I would sneak over to listen to the rumberos while my mother thought I was playing baseball. One day she caught me; I still remember her nails digging into my flesh as she dragged me off by one arm. She yelled at me and told me if I was caught there again I’d get punished. You see she did not want me in the park standing around with men ten years older than me, while they drank alcohol out of paper bags and smoked joints as they played music. By the next summer (when I could get away with hanging around the rumberos without getting caught), I would join in with an empty soda bottle and a rock, and keep time with the clave. By the end of that summer some would let me join in with the guiro, the clave or with the comb.
By 1970 the guys were letting me play the cowbell. By then the neighbourhood was like a war zone. Junkies were running amok and my mother moved me away from Crotona Park and the summer rumbeos. We moved to University Ave. There I became friends with Hank from The Sugar Hill Gang (long before “Rapper’s Delight”). By 1972 Salsa and Dizzy Izzy were going full tilt. Ray Barreto used to play concerts at James Monroe High School during the winter. I went to all of them. Virtually all of my friends were into Salsa. My older sister used to let me tag along with her sometimes, and she took me to see Dizzy Gillespie perform at the Hunter College Auditorium. We went to see acts like Patty Labelle, and The O’jays perform at The Apollo Theater. The first time I saw Tito Puente live, was at The Centro Vasco, I was only 16 but my sister had a friend that knew the ticket taker and he let me in. My mother sent me away to summer school the summer of 1972. When I returned I discovered I missed the Fania All Star Concert at Yankee Stadium. Every time my friends played the album they would rub my face in it because they had been there.
In 1974 I had the privilege of being in the front row at The Band Shell in Central Park, and here in front of me were the Fania All Stars performing for free! It turns out some of the rumberos from Crotona Park East were members of Salsa bands that used to go to the park to perfect their craft. In all of my exposure to the advent and development of Salsa Music I can honestly say that Salseros came from not only Puerto Rico, but The Dominican Republic, Panama, Venezuela, Cuba and The United States. Salsa had no borders to me then, and it has none now. I could go on about Orchard Beach, Madison Square Garden, The Copacabana, but then I would be writing an autobiography.
To make a really long story short…music, especially Salsa is in my blood!! QUE VIVA LA SALSA!!!!