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 Tillman Ben Franks, Sr

Photo added by John Andrew Prime

Tillman Ben Franks, Sr

  • Birth 29 Sep 1920 Stamps, Lafayette County, Arkansas, USA
  • Death 26 Oct 2006 Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana, USA
  • Burial Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana, USA
  • Memorial ID 16334429

Prolific singer, songwriter and music manager, Franks directed the careers of such performers as Slim Whitman, Claude King and David Houston and was instrumental in the careers of Hank Williams Sr., Elvis Presley, Merle Kilgore, Faron Young, Conway Twitty and most notably Johnny Horton. He wrote or co-wrote such hits as "Honky Tonk Man," "North to Alaska" and "Springtime in Alaska." He formed his first band, the "Rainbow Boys," in Shreveport, La., in 1940 and revived it on the island of Saipan in the Pacific Ocean in World War II when its lineup included the then-unknown banjoist Pete Seeger. He virtually created the country music icon of the manic, happy, grinning, string-slapping standup bass player and is credited by many musicologists, especially fans in the British Isles and in Europe, as one of the unsung fathers of rockabilly. He was a performer on the debut show of the famed "Louisiana Hayride" in April 1948.


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  • Created by: John Andrew Prime
  • Added: 26 Oct 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 16334429
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Tillman Ben Franks, Sr (29 Sep 1920–26 Oct 2006), Find A Grave Memorial no. 16334429, citing Forest Park Cemetery West, Shreveport, Caddo Parish, Louisiana, USA ; Maintained by John Andrew Prime (contributor 46621252) .