Resident music legend ‘Commander Cody’ passes in Saratoga at 77

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Resident music legend George Frayne, chief of the band Commander Cody and His Misplaced Planet Airmen, handed away in Saratoga Springs at age 77 on Sunday, September 29. His high-energy music and numerous native concert events left a legacy.

“Sizzling Rod Lincoln” hit quantity 9 on the Billboard scorching 100 in 1972. The rockabilly cowl featured the eight-member band with Frayne on vocals and the keys.

Frayne assembled Commander Cody and His Misplaced Planet Airmen in 1967 in Michigan. The band moved to California and launched their first album in 1971.

They opened for large names like Jefferson Airplane, The Doorways, and the Grateful Useless. Though the band disassembled in 1976, Frayne performed beneath the identify Commander Cody all through his life.

NEWS10’s Stephanie Rivas spoke with Steve Barbuto, who joined Frayne’s band as a drummer in 1997.

“The king of the boogie-woogie. Little doubt,” Barbuto mentioned. “Whereas his proper hand was soloing, he had that left-hand boogie-woogie bass factor going that not lots of people can do as of late.”

The band was by no means in a single class, in a style most can’t put their finger on. Some say it’s rock others say nation or someplace in between.

Ward Hayden, a bandleader in Massachusetts who has admired Frayne for years, merely known as it “truck driving music.”

Hayden had the chance to play in the identical lineup as Commander Cody at a musical competition in Lake George. His band, Ward Hayden and the Outliers, usually covers the Commander Cody track “I Took Three Bennies.”

“He gave them the hits and so they ate it proper up,” Hayden mentioned. “he got here alive.”

Kevin Maul a metal guitarist from Schenectady recalled trying as much as Frayne in his youth.

“I knew all of the songs as a result of I had been listening to his information for years,” Maul mentioned.

Then in a stunning flip of occasions, Maul performed a couple of gigs with the Commander on the Hangar on the Hudson in Troy and a number of other extra concert events throughout the Capital area.

Those that performed with Frayne recalled the unbelievable power he had onstage.

“He took command,” Barbuto mentioned. “After we ship out a put up, we might at all times say come and be part of within the mayhem.”

Barbuto mentioned George was like a brother to him, and though that they had ups and downs, he was at all times there for him.

Steve carried out on the Parting Glass in Saratoga with the Commander many instances and added that George was the sort of man that spent all night time speaking with each individual within the room.

Linda Diblasio was working the final time Commander Cody performed on the bar, and she or he echoed the identical story. She recalled George arriving early and leaving late to attach with everybody. Diblasio mentioned he by no means didn’t pack the home with individuals and smiles.

“Anybody who noticed him will bear in mind him,” Barbuto mentioned “I hope they simply do not forget that he introduced lots of pleasure along with his music, lots of pleasure along with his artwork, and folks actually had enjoyable once they got here to see this band.”

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