Born and raised in East Memphis, Bob Frank came into the marketplace in the late spring of 1972, a folksy curio in an era of singer-songwriter self-absorption.
Frank got his start as a contract writer for a Nashville publishing house with a mandate to churn out commercial ditties for the country marketplace. What didn’t make it to his publisher instead formed the eventual basis of his 1972 debut release for Vanguard. Frank’s music took elements of Dylan, Johnny Cash, and Ian Tyson and filtered it through a pot-smoked haze infused with Frank’s long-time friend, Memphis guru Jim Dickinson. Frank spent many a stoned evening staggering alone through the mid-south urban gothic landscape of church steps and sleaze bars with his guitar glued to his arm, if not an actual extension of it. Songs would emerge from dreams or drunken visions. This was not artless acid folk but a series of picaresque, well-sketched vignettes delivered in a clearly-enunciated vernacular, all very much in Frank’s own style.
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