Remember the days when singers enjoyed entertaining audiences, and when one of their main goals was to have everyone leave their performances with a smile on their face? For Frank Frizalone and his growing number of fans, those days are now!
An infectious singer who loves Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin yet brings his own spin to their music, Frank Frizalone is on his way to the top of show business. While he has spent years in the business world, in recent times Frank has returned to his first love and now, teamed with the famed musical director Bill Gulino, he is starting to create quite a stir.
Frank Frizalone was born in Brooklyn and grew up on Long Island. "I remember early on listening to Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra and a variety of great Italian singers. As a child, I was always singing and entertaining. I used to do a lot of impressions, sang in the choir, and appeared in talent shows, starting when I was ten." Frank also learned to play trombone and drums. While he enjoyed listening to the top rock groups of the time, he always felt that, deep down, he was a saloon singer. "I most admired the singer who could walk out on stage with a microphone in his hand and entertain an audience for an hour without breaking his guitar or cursing. He entertained people without gimmicks, simply by singing."
While Frank thought seriously about having a career as a singer, family pressures steered him towards getting a day job. He humorously remembers, "I ruined my life by going to college! I told my parents that I didn't want to go to Columbia University, I wanted to go to Columbia Records." While he sang at some jazz clubs in the 1970s, Frank gradually gave up the idea of being a singer. Instead he built up a career in real estate, got married and raised a family.
The turning point for Frank Frizalone occurred several years ago. "By accident I had the opportunity to sing at Connie Francis' 75th birthday party, and I got the buzz again. I said to myself, 'I know I can do this.'" Soon he had met Bill Gulino who, in his career as a pianist, singer, arranger, actor, composer of film scores, bandleader and conductor, has worked with the who's who of show business including an extensive period as the Musical Director of The Platters featuring the original lead vocalist, Tony Williams.. Bill remembers what appealed to him about Frank. "In my career I have had quite a few clients for whom I have worked as a musical director and an arranger. Many of them have had something to do with Frank Sinatra or the Rat Pack. About a year ago I started seeing videos of Frank that were posted by a mutual friend. I was taken by Frank's approach to Frank Sinatra's songs. While Frank has never tried to sound exactly like Sinatra, his vocal cords are similar and he sounds very natural rather than an imitation. Frank sounds like Sinatra on a very good and happy day, emphasizing his joyful side. When we were introduced to each other, I worked to convince Frank that he should definitely record."
When asked to describe his vocal style, Frank says simply, "I sing the American Songbook. For me, a song has to have some meaning with understandable lyrics. Because I was a drummer and a trombonist, I've been able to tap into Frank Sinatra's jazz phrasing and play with a lyric the way he did. I love singing songs like 'Come Fly with Me' and 'The Lady Is A Tramp." I always look forward to entertaining an audience. I want to have as good a time as they want to have so my goal is for each show to be a great deal of fun."