The story behind Frankie
It’s the first, strictly digital single I’ve released and I’m really proud of how it turned out. It’s called Frankie and it is the story of a sarcastic, talking cat named Frankie. It is based on a true story. And even though I say that before each time I play it live, people don’t believe me. But it’s true, it’s based on a true story.
My good friend, and fellow puppeteer, Alison Mork has a pet cat named Frankie. Yes, that’s Frankie picture as the album art for the single (photo courtesy of Alison Mork at the Frankie Archives). Alison and I talk on the phone regularly and she’ll often update me on something cute that Frankie has done since the last time we spoke.
Back in 2012, she excitedly called me and told me that Frankie had actually spoken to her. Apparently, one morning she had looked at Frankie and said, “You are just a cute little gentleman.” Frankie, meowed in return but his meow, more of a squeak actually, sounded exactly like he was saying, “I am.”
So I laughed and said, “Great, not only does he speak, he’s full of himself.”
A few days later, Alison told me that he had done it again. She had said something complimentary to Frankie, and Frankie had replied with a meow that sounded like he was saying, “I know.”
And the idea for the song was born. I wrote it rather quickly, took me just about a day, sitting at my computer figuring out the lyrics. It was the first song I’ve written on mandolin, a departure from all my other songs which were written on guitar.
I’ve super happy with how the final song turned out. Steve Goodie did an amazing job on the instrumentation on the track. It’s everything a bluegrass fan (me) could hope for. I do wish my vocals were a little better but I’m never happy with how I sound, so that’ll never happen.
Another interesting tidbit about Frankie. A lot of the time authors base characters in their books on real people. Some even write real people into their books. I’ve sort of done that with this song. Of course, Frankie is based on a real cat, but whenever I sing the song I always picture the reporter as being my good friend, author, Mur Lafferty and as far as I’m concerned, that’s who the reporter is! So Mur has a cameo in my song.
Anyway, that’s a little of the backstory on my new song Frankie. I hope you get a chance to check it out.