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Jimmy Frank plays beyond the music

Jimmy Frank recently performed at Redhook's Forecaster's Pub.

Jimmy Frank Recently, the Jimmy Frank Band, a six-piece reggae-blues-jazz band, performed at Redhook Brewery's Forecaster's Pub.
    The audience was probably unaware that the leader of the band is not only a talented musician, but also an accomplished artist, writer, and songwriter.
    Two years ago, Frank sprained his ankle playing soccer in his co-ed over-30 team, the Runamucks.
    "To pass the time, I began beading on wood using glue and cut glass beads. My mother had used that art form and my wife, Monica, inherited beads and tools when my mother died," Frank said.
    Two years, nine gallery showings, and two King County Commission exhibitions later, Frank's paintings are now showing at Mesolini Gallery in Pioneer Square for the next three months.
    "I've sold 10 pieces in one year. I'd describe my paintings as free-spirited, colorful, and imaginative," he said. His paintings sell for prices between $300 and $8,000.
    Born in Los Angles in 1949 to Melvin and Anne Frank, Frank was raised in Hollywood. His father was the writer/producer/director of such films as "White Christmas," "L'il Abner" (in which Jimmy danced at age five), "The Road to Hong Kong," "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," and "A Touch of Class."
    "I grew up playing ball games with Bob Hope and Alan Ladd, seeing Groucho Marx visiting my parents on Saturday nights, and listening to Harpo Marx in Palm Springs play his harp when we went visiting," Frank remembers.
    Educated in England and at the International School of Geneva, Frank graduated from Emerson in English and Theatre in 1971.
    "I went right into rock and roll, drumming, singing, writing, studio playing, and recording. I worked with Ringo Starr and recorded four songs with him at his house in London," Frank said.
    Frank also did three albums with The Kings, cut his own album, "Such a Pity," in 1980, and has written approximately 300 songs.
    Frank also worked with Johnny Nash, the Pointer Sisters, and was on four Johnny Carson shows with George Segal, where he played keyboards with Doc Severson.
    Then he moved north.
    "My wife and I reached the point that we had to get out of L.A. to escape the smog and violence," he said. "We opened up a map and stuck our finger by Lake Washington, and decided to move to Kirkland.
    "I wrote a song with my daughter standing in front of me as we watched a documentary on kids and guns, with kids dying for tennis shoes. I wanted to reassure her and provide an optimistic and hopeful statement," Frank said.
    The song, "Mommy, Daddy, I Am Scared Tonight," became the second song on his new CD. The release is available at Easy Street in Kirkland, Tower Records, Bud's Jazz Records, and Cellophane Square in Bellevue Square.
    When not busy booking his band, Frank has also found time to write a screenplay about Chief Leschi set in the Puget Sound area in 1855.
    "And every Christmas when I see 'White Christmas,' I think of my father," he said.