Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Here we go again!

Back to the Future... 

The most vivid memories of my teenage years in the 60's are all associated with music.

I remember hauling out my Gibson Melody Maker (cherry red) and Gibson amp (with tremolo!) into the living room to play Ghost Riders in the Sky as my parents showed off the proud result of their investment in guitar lessons. It was 1965 and I was 13 years old and I dug it - that was cool.

I leaned toward the acoustic guitar and had an early fascination with classical guitar, but I remember what a big sound the guys in the dance bands at the school got with their electric guitars and basses and drums. My first garage band practiced songs by the hot band of the time - the Monkees - as we all learned what it was like to play together.

I formed a sort of Peter, Paul and Mary clone with a couple of friends in Junior High and capped off my high school music career with a 33 1/3 LP we recorded in the band and choir room with some friends. Half of the music was original and the rest was folk tunes of the day.

The album was called Autumn to May by Franklin and Hayes, a duo album with my high school friend Ann Hayes (see pic of us in Olmsted Falls park). We only made 1000 so they are pretty rare, but it's listed in the Acid Archives, a catalog of independent vinyl records of the period, so it has became a minor collector's item - one sold on eBay last year for over $500.

Buckeye Biscuit
I got even more serious after high school and dropped out of college to play music. I formed a band in Cleveland called Buckeye Biscuit. We had a strong local following and played bars and colleges all over the Northeast and Midwest U.S. in the mid- 1970's. We made a 4 song Extended Play vinyl single called First Batch that we sold at gigs. That's a rarity too.

There is a picture and description of the band in a book called Rock and Roll and the Cleveland Connection, which is available on Amazon and at the rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

Ron plays Renaissance Lute
Ron plays Lute - 1979
Eventually, the call of education was louder than the audiences and I went back to college and earned Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in guitar performance (and learned to play the Renaissance Lute - see pic).

Fast forward through 40 years of teaching college and working in the business world - mostly with digital audio and video. Whatever else I did for a living, music was always there in the background and I've managed to continue to play and write.

Soapbox Multimedia
Soapbox Multimedia
These days I live in Escondido on a mountain top with my amazing wife Lencsi (rhymes with Frenchy), Summer dog and ñoki the cat :-). We have a production company called Soapbox Multimedia that produces video and music projects including a local TV show called The Good Food Factory for which I compose songs. After years of working in the business world, coming back to my first love at this stage of my life is truly a blessing.

Classical guitar on the rocks - Escondido

What has been rare for me these last few years is the direct interaction with a live audience, and that is why I'm launching this Blog and my new music website - to have a conversation with my audience (that's you if you've read this far) and help get the word out to come hear a live show!

Social media has really changed the way we interact and learn about each other. I read a great book recently called Crush It by Gary Vaynerchuk that helps explain how to reach your audience directly using the Web and how drastically social media has changed the game. I highly recommend it.

As I plunge once again into the joys (and occasional weirdness) of being a performing musician in the 21st century, I'll keep you posted with this blog and my website at http://www.ronfranklinmusic.com
 
Know of a great venue for live music? Let me know and I'll see if we can connect. I look forward to getting back on stage and playing live. Hope to see you out there!

Ron Franklin
ron@ronfranklinmusic.com

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