Frank was fun. He was so non-judgmental. He even got my mom to talk about music because she was the one with all the Art Tatum records. And she would say she didn't like the way Johnny Otis played vibraphones, that he didn't know what he was doing. She'd bang the air with invisible mallets like she was playing the vibraphone as she spoke. And Frank could even get my mom to participate in the family living room talent show by singing a song!
That was Frank. And about those vibraphones .... I mean here it is, forty, fifty years later ... people from the area still talk about Frank. Some bitch about him. One woman, older than I, who I encountered in a foreign country used to live in the area. She said Frank bought a xylophone from her former husband, some kind of jazz musician, all those many years ago and never finished paying them for it. What could I do at that point but shrug. I'm sure the statute of limitations has run out on that one.
That's Frank. You either loved him or hated him.
Next time I was thinking of telling you of some of the ideas I had for Don and his group early on, and where they eventually got picked up and used. But you'd probably think I was fibbing or trying to make my role too large. Or even some of the things I helped Tina Turner with and when, but ditto same thing, you'd probably think I was .... well, you know.
Anyway, one day I'd noticed that my mom seemed to be drawn to blind jazz pianists. She had Art Tatum, Errol Garner, Oscar Peterson, and even liked Ray Charles a lot. I figured that also was because she was raised by a blind person while her parents were touring on the vaudeville circuit. As a child onto early adulthood, she'd see her parents quite seldom, and barely knew them. Frank knew all this about our family, too.