Picture of a judge's wigThe Judge RAVES!Picture of a judge's wig

Date: 08/10/15

Rocky Remembered

I'd noticed that Record Collector magazine - which I've bought and read every month for nearly 22 years - had not marked the passing of Rocky Frisco in any way. So a month or so ago, I submitted a brief obituary for this remarkable man:

"Rocky Frisco, pianist (born Don Roscoe Joseph III in St. Louis, Missouri, 26 July 1937) died in Tulsa, Oklahoma on 26 May, age 77.

Moving to Tulsa as a child, he attended Central High School where he formed a friendship with JJ Cale and became a pioneer of the 'Tulsa Sound' - a mixture of rock 'n' roll, blues and rockabilly.

"Moving to Pennsylvania in 1958, he became leader of The Four Flames and - under the name 'Rocky Curtiss & The Harmony Flames' - cut the 'Big Ten' LP for Columbia's Harmony imprint. Tracks from this album were released in Europe on various Fontana EPs.

"Leaving the music business in disgust in the mid-60s after being embezzled out of his royalties, Frisco moved to Canada, working for IBM and racing MGs and Mini Coopers under his birth name.

"Returning to music (and Tulsa) in 1972, he played with a number of local bands before reuniting with JJ Cale in 1994 to become his touring piano player, staying with Cale until the latter's death in 2013.

"In the last years of his life, Frisco was inducted into the Oklahoma Blues Hall of Fame and the state's Music Hall of Fame, as well as writing novels, making jewellery, acting, restoring MGs and Mini Coopers and running unsuccessfully for elected office in Tulsa as a Libertarian Republican."

And this is how it appears in the November 2015 issue, published today:

Scan of my obit for Rocky Frisco in 'Record Collector'

The editor's been a tad brutal on it as you can see, but he's got his space to fill and I'm cool with that.