Archive Files of Cajun, Creole, and Zydeco Musicians
Posted between 1999 and 2008

musicsm.GIF (1888 bytes)

Preston Frank

& the Frank Family Band

This section contains information on Preston Frank's 2003 CD, Born in the Country. See the section below for more background information.

Preston Frank's 2003 CD, titled Preston Frank and Family: Born in the Country, gives listeners a generous helping of a rare commodity these days: real Creole music, with deep roots in rural Soileau where Preston Frank was raised. His own song, the title track "Born in the Country," a tribute to the Creole life, sung in both French and English, has received a lot of airplay on Southwest Louisiana Zydeco shows.

Creole fiddler Carlton Frank, Preston's uncle, is featured on the majority of the CD's songs. His style of bowing is both raw and tender at the same time: it's a beautiful sound that makes Creole music unique.

Keith Frank, who recorded the CD in his SoulWood Studios and released it on his SoulWood Records label, plays guitar. Preston's other children (and members of Keith's band) are also part of the family band: Jennifer on bass and Brad on drums. Demitric Thomas is on scrubboard.

Whether it's the joy of "Hippy Ti Yo" or the heartache of "La Valse de Meche," Preston Frank's vocals, as well as his accordion, powerfully convey the emotions of the music and the lyrics. Other songs include "Tante Na Na Waltz," "Amedie Two-Step," "My Chère 'Tit Fille," "Bye, Bye Rosa" (with a segue from "Joe Pitre a deux femmes"), "Two-Step de Tante Na Na," "My Jeune Cousine," and "Zydeco Party." "Two-Step de Vieux Temps Soileau" and "The Soileau Hot-Step" are instrumentals.

The liner notes by Dirk Powell provide additional information about Preston Frank's background. As noted at the bottom of this page, Preston Frank can be reached at (337) 639-2203 or via
pfrank1.jpg (19326 bytes)

pfrank2.jpg (24354 bytes)

pfrank3.jpg (16486 bytes)Preston Frank is shown in the photos in this section performing at "Arrête Pas la Musique," a fundraiser held Feb. 15, 2003, at the Ville Platte Civic Center to benefit Louisiana Folkroots and the Dewey Balfa Cajun and Creole Heritage Week planned for November 2003 at Chicot State Park. He is pictured at right with Balfa Toujours fiddler Kevin Wimmer. Frank has performed at a number of Louisiana Folkroots functions and has also taught Creole accordion.
Frankf9.jpg (29133 bytes)

Frankf1.jpg (27279 bytes)

Frank3.jpg (23345 bytes)  Frankf6.jpg (10295 bytes)  

   Frankf5.jpg (13563 bytes)

Frankf10.jpg (22566 bytes)

Click here for photos of Preston Frank during the 2002 Dewey Balfa Cajun and Creole Heritage Week.

The Frank Family, from the small rural community of Soileau in Allen Parish, is one of the great Creole musical families. According to Michael Tisserand, Preston Frank, father of Keith Frank, can trace his musical lineage at least as far back as his great-grandfather Joseph Frank Jr., an accordion player, and his great-great-grandfather, Joseph Frank Sr., who played fiddle. Neither ever recorded.  His great-uncle Carlton Frank, one of the few Creole fiddlers still playing, performs on with the family band.

The family band was formed about 1977, recording for the Arhoolie and Lanor labels. When Keith Frank began to gain a wide audience with his own nouveau zydeco band, Preston Frank began playing only occasionally at festivals and other special events.

The band assembled in early 2000 for a performance in Eunice's Liberty Theater, with Preston Frank on accordion and Keith on guitar, joined by his sibilings, Jennifer and Brad along with Carlton Frank. Keith Frank actually got his musical start with the band when he was four years old playing drums.

The band was known as The Preston Frank Swallow Band when the group recorded "Why Do You Want to Make Me Cry?" written by Preston and by Leo Thomas, who made it his signature song.

Preston Frank remains an important force in preserving traditional zydeco music and Creole French music.

For more information, contact Preston Frank, (337) 639-2203.


Preston Frank is pictured in the top photo performing at the Liberty Theater, with Carlton Frank shown in the next photo. The next three photos were taken during the 1999 Festivals Acadiens in Lafayette. Carlton Frank is shown in one more photo taken at the Liberty, and the entire Frank Family Band, including Brad on drums, and Keith and Jennifer on guitar, is shown in the bottom photo during their performance at the Liberty.

Note: Carlton Frank, one of the last of the old-time Creole fiddlers, died February 5, 2005, at the age of 74.







Frankf11.jpg (24519 bytes)

All photographs and text by David Simpson.

Return to the Cajun, Creole, and Zydeco Music Home Page.