The OG Frank D

Hi, my name is Frank D Howe (aka The OG Frank D) and here are some basics about me and my long travels through country music.

I was born on the 12th May 1945 (the week the second world war in Europe ended)  and grew up in rural Norfolk (UK that is) the son of farm workers. Back then the BBC was the only licensed UK broadcaster and the ‘Home Service’ (sort of regional), The Light Programme (boring) and ‘Third Programme’ (intellectual and classical) were  the only real choices of clear signal listening. Sadly none of them were broadcasting anything much that interested me as a youngster (except The Goon Show and Journey Into Space – which I loved). However, if you were a dial twizler there were stations on ‘come and go’ strength signals that appealed much more – like AFN (American Forces Network) where singers of often self written and simply presented story songs of life (that got dubbed country music) could be found on shows like The Smoky Mountain Music Show! It seemed excitingly fresh, different and reflected life as I knew it all around me, I loved it and have continued to love that thing called country ever since. 

In line with the potential frailty of flesh and blood, I had lost both parents by my mid-teens, I was (quite rightly) assessed to be too young to be suitable to take on the tenancy of the (tied to my father’s job) cottage I’d called home (on my £3pw apprentice wage) and all life changed pretty quickly for a while except for those fond early memories of huddling round that ‘accumulator battery’ powered radio by the light of the fire and an Aladdin paraffin lamp, praying the signal (or the battery) didn’t fade out at some critical point (like when the latest release from some favourite artiste was about to be played)! Those early memories and the love of that music never died and never will.

With that love of Country Music rooted deep in my veins I have done many things to help keep it supported the best I could over the years including ‘Country shows’ on Hospital Radio (Cromer – way back) and trial ‘Country’ community radio stations (very popular but not what the Radio Authority wanted) plus years of covering the East Anglia region for Country Music papers and magazines (most of which have long since died out along with their owners/editors RIP).

Almost inevitably, with my land-based country boy upbringing and great love of ‘Country Music’, I eventually thought I would have a go at writing songs of that style myself and singing them too. I got off to a good start when I secured an interview by Maurice Burman at his Baker Street, London offices (manager of several well known artists back then including Helen Shapiro of ‘Walking Back To Happiness’ fame) which went very well. But when I got home and told my wife what was on offer she never wanted me to do it, so I buckled to her wishes and never took up that offer – which was my big chance blown perhaps? But I did keep on writing and over the years must have written hundreds if not thousands of songs (though sadly most got lost when moving from place to place, as I was never great at filing and safe storage, moved several times and I have never committed many of them to memory (why would I when not out there performing them? And it’s easier for me to write new than to remember what’s gone) so very few of those songs still exist.

With all that said about lost songs and lost opportunity, I hear there are now considered no barriers for an older person to have a new go at life – so here I am, with my own Record Label (Drifting Ploughboy Records Ltd) and PRS/PPL registered Publishing Company (Flattnoffki Music Ltd). Re-launching myself as The OG Frank D (The Old Guy that is) and (with the help of old friend and regular UK Country award winning guitarist Stu Payne on lead guitar and keyboards and popular circuit artist Jeff Gallant with his studio skills) I’m ready to have another go at life with a 14-track (all my own songs) album which is available on all major and most minor online music platforms (just by searching or googling for: The OG Frank D album IMPRINTS). In fact this is my second album, the first (which also consisted of all my own songs – 12 of) was called; ‘Some Thoughts I Have Had Vol. 1. and was released back in 2012 under my own name Frank D Howe (without the OG attached). I am toying with the idea of remixing some of the tracks put on that first album and bringing it out again – this time under The OG Frank D name. That would help keep the sound consistent between albums (and help save any confusion some may have re Frank D Howe and The OG Frank D), keeping things simple and easy to search for online). Between those two albums I did a few things on YouTube including that Drinkin’ Lyin’ Down video with Henry Smith that still gets occasional plays of the TV Country channels and a Christmas song with Julie Dawn. Plus a couple of albums and a six track EP though the albums and EP were shelved and never released. I may, now I’m actively working on music again, have to have a rethink about that decision? Whether or not that happens? Things going forward will all be done under ‘The OG Frank D’ name. 

Besides the potential of remixing the old 2012 album and doing more with the unreleased recordings? There’s already another new album on the go in Jeff Gallant’s studio which is coming along nicely (and all being well should be ready for release in the Spring of 2025)? I should have been able to say ‘watch my website for details,’ but as there’s extensive work needed on that and time is limited, so it may be a while before that’s worth a visit.