Randall Franks performs in honor of Fiddlin’ John Carson

 

Georgia’s Fiddlin’ John Carson contribution to country music as first recording star continues to be honored.

From left Randy Smith, Dan Daniel, Yvonne Smith, Pete Hatfield and Rick Smith perform in honor of Fiddlin’ John Carson.

Randall Franks joined Georgia artists at Sylvester Cemetery in Atlanta, Ga. recognizing the 149th Birthday of Country Music’s first recording star Fiddlin’ John Carson by playing his first hit “Little Ole Log Cabin in the Lane.”  The performance organized by the Atlanta Country Music Hall of Fame reunited Franks with musician Randy Smith who joined Franks as he produced a recording featuring TV icon Carroll O’Connor in 1990. Ken Starr was presented the Fiddlin’ John Carson Award at the event.

Randall Franks, Yvonne and Randy Smith pause in front of the Carson family monument in Atlanta’s Sylvester Cemetery.

Randall Franks appears with Stella Parton

Randall Franks made a special musical appearance with friend, country music star and former film co-star Stella Parton at her appearance for the Catoosa County Chamber of Commerce in Ringgold, Ga. in February 2017.

(Photos by Mike Key)

 

Ringgold’s Randall Franks achieves Certificate of Excellence and attends Leadership Institute

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Ringgold Councilmember Randall Franks receives awards from GMA Municipal Training Board Chairman Norma Tucker, and Associate Director of the Carl Vinson Institute Stacy Jones

Ringgold Councilmember Randall Franks received the prestigious Certificate of Excellence from the Harold F. Holtz Municipal Training Institute at the Georgia Municipal Association’s (GMA) 83rd Annual Convention in Savannah on June 27.

He was also recognized for completing the annual Robert E. Knox, Jr. Municipal Leadership Institute.

“A key component of elected service is seeking out opportunities to improve what we already do for our residents and our visitors,” Franks said. “Learning what is done in other cities around our state as well as the most effective and appropriate ways to conduct our business help each of us to be good stewards and offer a better vision for the future of our community.”

The Georgia Municipal Training Institute, a cooperative effort of GMA and the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government, provides a nationally recognized series of training opportunities for elected city officials. To receive a Certificate of Excellence, a city official must complete a minimum of 120 units of credit, including at least 54 hours from the required list and the Robert E. Knox, Jr. Municipal Leadership Institute. The training program consists of a series of more than 50 courses.

The multi-day Leadership Institute, co-sponsored by GMA and the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government, featured a nationally recognized training development consultant and speaker. Participants also engaged in role-playing exercises designed to cultivate and enhance leadership skills.

 “This is an outstanding achievement,” said GMA Executive Director Lamar Norton. “We commend Councilmember Franks for this accomplishment and for the dedication he’s shown in using this valuable resource to become a more effective city official.

 “The Leadership Institute is an outstanding program and widely acknowledged as one of the best of its type in the country,” Norton said. “We highly recommend it to any city official who wants to be a more effective community leader.”

Franks is Ringgold’s former vice mayor and currently serves as Downtown Development Authority and Main Street Program Chairman. He was initially elected in 2009 and served Catoosa County and Ringgold as public information officer and volunteer coordinator during the 2011-12 tornado response and recovery efforts. He is former vice chairman of the Ringgold Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Based in Atlanta, GMA is a voluntary, non-profit organization that provides legislative advocacy, research, training, employee benefit and technical consulting services to its over 520 member cities.

2016 Randall Franks Trophy Winner

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Maddie Denton (second from right) of Murfreesboro, Tenn. won the Randall Franks Trophy at the 1890s Day Old Time Fiddle Convention May 28, 2016. In the fiddle off, she faced Mark Ralph (third from left) of Somerville, Ala. winner of the 51 and up category, who won second, Andrew Lin (second from left) of Lexington, Ky from 16-21 category, who placed third, and Benjamin Lin  (left) of Lexington, Ky, winner of the 11-15 category,  who placed fourth. Contestants receive their awards from Randall Franks (third from left), organizer Lewis Taylor (right).

Randall Franks strives to “Keep ‘Em Smilin’” with his new Christian music and comedy CD

 

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Randall Franks signs his latest CD “Keep ‘Em Smilin’” for the youngest member of his fan club Wally O’Donald, 9, of Ringgold, Ga. Wally, also an aspiring musician, joined the fan club at age 6.

International Bluegrass Music Museum Legend and country humorist Randall Franks, “Officer Randy Goode” from TV’s “In the Heat of the Night,” returns to his Southern gospel music roots with his new CD “Keep ‘Em Smilin’.”

Franks became the first solo bluegrass artist to reach the top rankings of the Christian music sales charts with his “Handshakes and Smiles” in 1990 forging new ground and opening new sales outlets for tradition artists to share their music. He created a partnership at Benson with the late producer Norman Holland, garnering turntable hits including the Telly Award nominee “Handshakes and Smiles,” “He’s Never Gonna Fool Me Again,” “You Better Get Ready,” “Pass Me Not” and “Rock of Ages.”

With his latest release from Crimson Records, the Appalachian Ambassador of the Fiddle combines his fiddle stylings, dulcimer playing, vocals and comedy with a Southern gospel style piano. He called on the skills of former Stamps Quartet pianist Curtis Broadway. Broadway also performed with Gold City, the Pelfreys and many others.

“When I started my career I wanted to learn to play the piano like Hovie Lister and Eva Mae LeFevre, but I was never ever to reach that goal. Instead God brought me to the violin, dulcimer, and guitar to share His gifts,” Franks said. “I am honored to have such an amazing talent who has added to such great musical legacies in gospel music to support me in this musical adventure. He certainly plays like I wish I could!”

Franks said this project came together accidentally.

“I was doing a show at the Walker County Civic Center in Rock Spring, Ga. with my good friends – the Testimony Quartet, and I asked Curtis to join me on my solo show that night as we performed to a packed house,” he said. “What I didn’t know is that Tim Owens of Journey On Ministries recorded the entire performance that night and he later came to me and saying ‘It was so good; I should consider releasing it.’

“After listening, I agreed, he had captured the spontaneity of me encouraging the audience to join me in the cheerful fun of worship through these classic musical selections, and simply laugh at some country comedy,” he said.

Appalachian scholar Loyal Jones included Franks amongst the region’s greatest country music humorists alongside Jeff Foxworthy and Minnie Pearl in his educational work “Country Music Humorists and Comedians.”

“I have always shared comedy all the way back to my days on ‘The Country Kids TV Series’ but unlike my old friend the late Jerry Clower, I have mainly shared my funny stories in print through my syndicated newspaper column – Southern Style,” he said. “This gives folks a taste of the stories between some of my musical offerings, just enough to hopefully bring a smile to their faces and leave a song in their hearts.”

Selections on “Keep ‘Em Smilin’” include some of his most requested songs: “This Little Light of Mine,” “What a Friend We Have in Keep'EmSmilin'Cover3Jesus,” “Amazing Grace,” “Old Time Religion,” and “In the Garden.” Among the comedy stories are “Chicken Addiction,” “A Tunnel Runs Through It/Re-Enactment,” “Indigenous/Sgt. York,” and “Cousin Viola and the Sanctified Grape Juice.”

Franks serves as an advisor to the Southern Gospel Music Hall of Fame board. He has performed in studio or on stage with gospel artists including the Marksmen Quartet, Jeff & Sheri Easter, the Watkins Family, the Lewis Family, Tim Lovelace, the Primitive Quartet, the Isaacs, the Easter Brothers, Little Roy and Lizzy, Jason Crabb, Tammy Sullivan, Doyle Lawson, Dottie Rambo, Archie Watkins, Dr. Jerry Goff and Little Jan Buckner-Goff, the Perrys, the Anchormen, and others.

Later Southern gospel radio successes came in his partnership with producer Chris White of Sonlite yielding airplay around the world from recordings such as Franks’ “Sacred Sounds of Appalachia” and “Christmas Time’s A Comin’.” Gospel radio programmers also found his comedy and gospel on his Crimson bluegrass releases “Tunes and Tales from Tunnel Hill” and “God’s Children” with David Davis.

The Independent Country Music Hall of Fame member was honored in 2013 by Governor Nathan Deal for his extensive philanthropic and humanitarian works providing millions of dollars benefiting his fellow Georgians.

Franks’ latest film is the Christian thriller “Broken” in which he stars with Soren Fulton and Joe Stevens. His acting with Carroll O’Connor and Howard Rollins on TV’s “In the Heat of the Night” airs weekly to millions of viewers on cable and broadcast networks such as WGN-TV and This.

Franks continues to make concert appearances around the United States and Canada.

To learn more about Randall Franks, visit randallfranks.com; Like him on Facebook Randall Franks Actor/Director; follow on twitter @RandallFranks; or subscribe to RandallFranksTV on YouTube.

Visit shareamericafoundation.org to learn more about the Appalachian musical scholarship charity to which Franks gives his time.

Country humorist and actor Randall Franks appears with former President Jimmy Carter

 

 

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From left, Pastor Jeremy Shoulta, former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, former President Jimmy Carter and International Bluegrass Music Museum Legend Randall Franks. (Randall Franks Media)

Country music humorist Randall Franks, “Officer Randy Goode” from TV’s “In the Heat of the Night,” recently debuted music and comedy from his upcoming Christian CD “Keep ‘Em Smilin’” at Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Ga. to an international congregation.

“Performing years ago for a Carter family gathering and grand marshaling the Plains Day Parade are some of my favorite memories of my entire career and I shared those experiences in my latest book Encouragers II,” Franks said. “I was so honored to join in study, worship, and sharing of musical gifts with the congregation at Maranatha including some old and many new friends. It was a blessing to be with the Carters again whose service greatly influenced my youth and inspired my desire to serve.”

Pastor Jeremy Shoulta shared a musically-themed sermon entitled “Why Sing” based on Colossians 3:12-17. Franks blended his fiddling, guitar and Appalachian dulcimer sounds with songs and humorous stories intertwining with the message and congregational hymns. Hymns were led by music leader Danny Ariail and supported by Maranatha musicians Carol Anderson and Jan Williams. The congregation included worshippers from China, Japan, Australia, U.K., Canada and within the U.S. from Hawaii to Washington, D.C. Former President Jimmy Carter taught a lesson on King Solomon and then joined in worship with former First Lady Rosalynn Carter. Also among the congregation was National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis.

Franks’s latest book is “Encouragers II: Walking with the Masters” and his new CD “Keep ‘Em Smilin’” from Crimson Records will release in May. For more information, visit http://randallfranks.com/

Heat Homecoming 2015

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Randall Franks attended the 2015 Heat Homecoming in Covington, Ga. bringing together many of the cast of “In the Heat of the Night” to visit with fans of the show. From left, Dee Shaw, Afemo Omilami, Sharon Pratt, Wilbur T. Fitzgerald, Alan Autry, Maureen Dowdell, and John L. Webb. Many laughs and some tears were shared!

Randall recently visited the set of the new TV series

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Randall recently visited the set of the new TV series Running
Randall (right) is with, from left, D.P. Ed Lamberg, star Jackson Walker, star Sonny Shroyer, director Don Dartt, and star Bradford Haynes.
Check out and Like the Show on Facebook CLICK HERE!

Randall Franks directed the IBMA Distinguished Achievement Awards

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Randall Franks directed the IBMA Distinguished Achievement Awards and other segments of their annual awards show in Raleigh. American Icon Steve Martin was among those he had the privilege of directing.

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He also visited the National Quartet Convention where he swapped stories with many of his fellow singers. One among them was with Kelly Nelon Clark who recently embarked on an acting career and American Idol contestant Ricky Braddy who appeared with Randall in his movie Decision and recently joined Karen Peck and New River.

Randall co-hosted the Grand Master Fiddler Championship at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

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Winner Aynsley Porchak and Randall Franks

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Marcia Campbell and Randall Franks