Biography

randall franksRandall Franks is an American TV and film actor, award-winning Appalachian entertainer, motivational speaker, author, award-winning journalist, and a syndicated newspaper columnist.

He is best known as “Officer Randy Goode” from TV’s “In the Heat of the Night,” a role he performed on NBC and CBS from 1988-1993.

He has co-starred or starred in two other TV series and 15 films with superstars including Dolly Parton, Christian Slater, William Hurt, John Schneider, Elizabeth McGovern, Soren Fulton, and legendary western star Ramblin’ “Doc” Tommy Scott.

Franks’s musical stylings have been heard in 150 countries and by more than 145 million worldwide. His musical career boasts 24 album releases, 20 singles, and over 250 recordings with various artists from various genres. His latest in 2016 is “Keep ‘Em Smilin’” The award-winning fiddler’s best selling release, “Handshakes and Smiles” was a top twenty Christian music seller. Many of his albums were among the top 30-bluegrass recordings of their release year. The Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame member began guest starring for the Grand Ole Opry as a teen. He shared a top country vocal collaboration with Grand Ole Opry stars The Whites. In addition to his solo career, Franks is a former member of Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys, Jim and Jesse’s Virginia Boys and has performed with Jeff and Sheri Easter, The Lewis Family, the Marksmen Quartet, Elaine and Shorty, “Doc” Tommy Scott’s Last Real Old Time Medicine Show and Doodle and the Golden River Grass. Franks was recognized as an International Bluegrass Music Museum Legend in 2010. He was inducted in the Independent Country Music Hall of Fame in 2013.

He serves on the Ringgold City Council and is past chairman of the Catoosa Citizens for Literacy, which assists individuals in learning to read and pursuing a GED at its Catoosa County Learning Center near Ringgold, Ga. He is also president of the Share America Foundation, Inc. that provides the Pearl and Floyd Franks Scholarship to musicians continuing the traditional music of Appalachia. He hosts a monthly concert series at the historic Ringgold Depot which helps fund the scholarships. He is the Northwest Georgia Joint Economic Development Authority film industry liaison. He also serves as Georgia Production Partnership government affairs committee. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal recognized Franks in 2013 for his philanthropic efforts yielding more than $1.9 million benefiting Georgians in need.

He authored eight books including Encouragers III: A Guiding Hand,” Encouragers II: Walking with the Masters,” “Encouragers I: Finding the Light,” Whittlin’ and Fiddlin’ My Own Way” with Violet Hensley, “A Mountain Pearl: Appalachian Reminiscing and Recipes,” Stirring Up Success with a Southern Flavor and Stirring Up Additional Success with a Southern Flavor with Shirley Smith, and Snake Oil, Superstars and Me with “Doc” Tommy Scott and Shirley Swiesz.

The award-winning journalist is a syndicated columnist with his “Southern Style” appearing weekly in newspapers from North Carolina to Texas. He was included among his generation’s leading country humorists in the recent Loyal Jones book “Country Music Humorists and Comedians.”