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Review in Country Music People

(September 25, 2011)
TheDavid Allan Page
 
david allenIt's impossible to turn back the clock, we all know that, but then.. The 1970'sand 80's have been acknowledged as the golden age for country music in the UK. Plentiful record releases by major stars, sometimes as many as a dozen a week, frequent TV programmes, big festivals, live shows and generous radio coverage. Add to that regular visits by just about every major name on the American front, a thriving club scene with plenty of work for homegrown artists, constant press coverage (all favourable) and so on. You really had to be there!

At the forefront of it all was a talented young London born performer with an attractive American influenced voice and style. Frank Jennings seemed to be everywhere - TV, Radio, Festivals, Clubs. He had formed his first group, Country Syndicate in 1968 and went on to win TV's top rated "Opportunity Knocks" before being signed to EMI records and enjoying a number of hits including Heaven Is My Woman's Love He even starred in his own TV series "Ponderosa Country".

 FJS with Hughie Green

Winning Opportunity Knocks. L to R. Bobby Pearce, Alan Waite, Hughie Green, Frank, Karl Benson and Barry Smith.

Like the golden era itself, I had assumed that Frank and his music had just faded gently into memory. Perhaps, emulating some of his contemporaries, he was sunning himself in Spain or maybe running a pub somewhere. But no. Our man is back on the country road having just recorded a brand new CD titled Yesterday, Today And Tomorrow and, would you believe it? - the old rogue is sounding better than ever!

Recorded at Studio 9, Newbury, and affectionately produced by Frank son's Kieran, this is a real pleasure to listen to. Sound turned up high, favourite tipple in hand, the years seem to slip away. Frank has wisely covered ten, familiar, mainly up tempo songs ranging from Big River and Carroll County Accident to Three Days and Born And Raised In Black And White. No gimmicks or frills here, just good old country music utilising the services of a set of top local musicians including Alan Waite, Gerry Hogan, Bob Winquist, Mike Pretty, Pat O'Dea, Skye Williams, John Scott and Jordan Fish.

As a bonus, Frank has added two previously recorded songs written by talented Brits Graham Walker and Slim Pickins which more than hold their own against the American compositions. "I've never been happier with the way my work has been recorded, mixed and mastered" he says and hopefully this is just the start of a major career relaunch. You can check out the rejuvenated Frank and his new music at: www.FrankJenningsMusic.com

SEPTEMBER 2011 - COUNTRY MUSIC PEOPLE  11

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