Monday, May 14, 2012


If you haven't heard the velvety voice and sultry strumming of Chicago treasure Frank D'Rone, well, better late than never. Fortunately, you can hear everything the man has to offer, and maybe a little bit more, on his latest album, Double Exposure.

D'Rone, who has been around long enough to be endorsed by none other than Nat King Cole, has a natural born affinity for providing great entertainment. Whether he's belting out in front of a sizzling big band, singing some swinging pop-jazz, or crooning acoustic ballads, D'Rone can do it all and make it seem effortless. Double Exposure, and his frequent gigs in and around Chicago, and throughout his career in major nightclubs throughout the country, attest to this.

So, yes, D'Rone has indeed been there and done that. He has connected with audiences for decades; his mellow demeanor and outsize talent is shown in abundance on Double Exposure. The recording pops on impeccably arranged big-band style tunes like the opening "When the Sun Comes Out" and "Pick Yourself Up." D'Rone makes solid contact on his many guitar-based ballads, including "Make Someone Happy" and "The Very Thought of You." Throughout the record, D'Rone proves he can dazzle regardless of the genre.

Born in Providence, Frank started singing and playing the guitar on stage at the age of five. At 11, he had his own local radio show and at 13 he'd won an artist's degree in classical guitar. He formed his own band and played local dates while finishing school then took his show on the road, playing in New York City and Chicago. Frank eventually ending up in a successful residency at a Chicago club called Dante's Inferno.

During this time, Chicago proved to be a friendly place and D'Rone made a name for himself among the elite artists of the era. Celebrities such as Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis, Ella Fitzgerald, Shecky Greene, Oscar Peterson, Alan King, Ray Brown, Stan Kenton, June Christy and many more turned up to see D'Rone do his thing. He gained a reputation as a true artist, a singer's singer. One of his most enthusiastic admirers, the late Nat "King" Cole, penned the liner notes for Frank's first album. Sinatra requested that D'Rone be hired to play the lounge when he played Las Vegas and Atlantic City venues.

D'Rone's rare talent has served him well everywhere he goes. Frank was headlining the world-famous "Copacabana" when Tony Bennett took over the microphone on opening night and told the audience, "A few years back, Nat 'King' Cole said that Frank D'Rone was the finest singer around. Tonight he has proved that Nat was right!"

If it's "right" with Cole and Bennett, it'll be "right" with you, too. Check out Double Exposure.

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