05/21/07 - NNHS Newsletter - Frank Guida

Frank J. Guida
(26 May 1922 - 19 May 2007)

Dear Friends and Schoolmates,   

   Sad news has come to us once more.

    From Dave Spriggs ('64 - of VA) - 05/20/07 - "In Memoriam - Frank Guida":

..... Who of us does not remember the music of the late 50s and early 60s, such as "High School USA" performed by Portsmouth native Tommy "Bubba" Facenda? How about "New Orleans", "School Is Out" and "Quarter To Three" by Gary U.S. Bonds? And then there was "If You Wanna Be Happy" by Jimmy Soul with the unforgettable lyrics:

"If you wanna be happy for the rest of your life
Never make a pretty woman your wife
So from my personal point of view
Get an ugly girl to marry you"

These and many other familiar oldies were part of The Norfolk Sound and were all recorded in Norfolk, mostly on Church Street. Remember "Daddy-G and The Church Street Five"? The creative force behind The Norfolk Sound was Frank Guida. A good case can be made that Frank qualifies as one of the Founding Fathers of Rock 'n' Roll and that Phil Spector with his "Wall of Sound" became famous on the back of Frank Guida and The Norfolk Sound.

See: http://www.virginiamusicflash.com/Frank.html

Frank passed away in Virginia Beach on Saturday. An article appeared today in the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot.

You can read it at this link: http://content.hamptonroads.com/story.cfm?story=125057&ran=231717

Rest in peace, Frank. We are still dancin' to your music.

   Thank you, David.  What sad news this is for so many of us whose lives were brightened by Frank's talents!  We here have enjoyed that Norfolk Sound twice in our Newsletters alone:



From the Virginian Pilot - 05/20/07:

'Norfolk sound' creator remembered for changing rock 'n' roll

By JEN MCCAFFERY, The Virginian-Pilot
© May 20, 2007

  VIRGINIA BEACH - Forty-four years ago this week, the single "If You Wanna Be Happy" topped the Billboard hit chart.

A nephew of the man who wrote and produced the song doesn't think it's an accident that Frank J. Guida died, after a long illness, on the anniversary of one of his tunes leading the charts.

"He was a very disciplined man," Joseph Guida said.

Guida, who is credited with creation of the "Norfolk sound" that galvanized rock 'n' roll in the early 1960s and owned two well-known record stores in Norfolk, died Saturday at his Virginia Beach home at age 84.

He launched acts from Norfolk such as Gary U.S. Bonds and Jimmy Soul, whose music changed the face of rock ' n' roll, influencing acts such as the Beatles and Bruce Springsteen, said Bill Reid, the owner of the NorVa venue in Norfolk.

Frank J. Guida ran two record stores and launched influential acts such as Gary U.S. Bonds and Jimmy Soul.

"It's the predecessor to rock 'n' roll today," Reid said.

Bonds said Saturday that, when he heard Guida was sick through a mutual friend, he reached out to try to contact him. But Bonds said it didn't work out.

"He gave me my start, which I'm totally grateful for," Bonds said.

He said he has moved on from legal disputes he and Guida had. The disagreement was over rights to Bonds' early songs.

"Thank God I've had more hits that I've gotten produced, and published, and they're doing well," Bonds said Saturday.

Guida was born in Palermo, Italy, and developed an interest in music from the islands after serving in Trinidad during World War II, according to a biography provided by his children.

When he lived in New York City, Guida sang calypso in Harlem while selling canned goods.

Then, in 1953, Guida and his wife, Millie, moved to Norfolk and Guida bought a record store on Church Street.

"I took this shop that everybody thought was going under to No. 1 in the state," Guida told The Virginian-Pilot. "Everybody knew about Frankie's Birdland."

In the late 1950s, he began producing acts in Norfolk, including Bonds and a group of musicians called The Church Street Five.

"When I recorded Gary U.S. Bonds, I thought: How am I going to get the radio stations to play this song, 'New Orleans'?" Guida told The Pilot.

"After all, who knows about Legrand Records in Norfolk? So I put on the label and marked on the outside of the envelope 'By U.S. Bonds.' "

The stations put the record on, thinking it was a public service announcement.

Within weeks, Guida had received orders for 5,000 records.

"The overmodulated sound that later became known as the Liverpool sound was the Norfolk sound," Guida told The Pilot. "... Everybody knows that. The riff that saved rock music in the '60s was the riff from 'New Orleans.' "

Bonds and Guida ended their professional relationship in the 1960s. Their collaboration resulted in nearly a dozen singles that made the charts.

Guida opened another record store on Granby Street in 1969. Frankie's Got It Records and Tapes closed in 1989.

"Back then, it was the place to be," said Steve Athey, who owns Skinnie's Records on Colonial Avenue. "That's why it was called 'Frankie's Got It.' "

Reach Jen McCaffery at (757) 446-2627 or jen.mccaffery@pilotonline.com.

From the Virginian Pilot - 05/21/07:

Frank J. Guida, Virginia Beach  

Monday, May. 21, 2007
©The Virginian-Pilot

Frank J. Guida, world-renowned music composer, producer, innovator, and father of the celebrated "Norfolk Sound," passed away on May 19, 2007. Known by many as "Frankie," he was born in Palermo, Sicily on May 26, 1922, and came to New York City with his family as a young child. In 1942, he married the beautiful and talented Carmela "Millie" Addesso. While serving in the U.S. Army in Trinidad during World War II, he discovered a deep affection for the island music. After the war, he pursued his destiny in the music world first as a vocalist and, after moving to Norfolk in 1953, as the owner and manager of two famed record retail stores: Frankieís Birdland on Church Street and, later, Frankieís Got It on Granby Street. Under his management, both stores defined the "gold standard" for record retailing throughout the South. His signature intonation of the slogan, "Frankieís Got It, Man," on radio commercials became a local media sensation. Frankís greatest success, however, came on the creative side of the music industry. Starting in the late 1950s, he burst upon the national stage as an independent producer and composer of ground-breaking popular recordings that spanned and combined the musical genres of calypso, classical, rock and roll, rhythm and blues, gospel and soul. Frank wrote, co-wrote, produced and published many top national and international hits, including "High School USA," "New Orleans," "Quarter To Three," "Dear Lady Twist," "Twist Twist Senora," "School Is Out," and "If You Wanna Be Happy." His records have sold millions throughout the world and received music industry awards too numerous to mention. "Quarter To Three" is listed on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fameís "500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll." The original sound concepts Frank created in these raucous and exciting recordings came to be known as the "Norfolk Sound" that inspired a generation of artists and composers, including the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen and a host of others. Otis Redding once introduced Frank at a national music industry gathering as "a man who needs no introduction." His award-winning works have frequently found a place in television, cinema and stage productions. In 2003, Frank was named as a "Legend of Music/Walk of Fame" honoree by the mayor and council of the City of Norfolk. Frankís lifetime achievements were not limited to music. He was an accomplished oil painter and authored a book adapting the tale of Romeo and Juliet for children (and gave it a happy ending). In addition, he was a leader in promoting cultural and business relations between the United States and his native Italy, where Frank and Millie often traveled. He was a charter council member of the National Italian American Foundation and among his many activities, vigorously defended Italian-Americans against negative stereotypes in the media. For his tireless and noble work in fostering ties between the United States and Italy, the Italian government formally conferred upon him the title of "Cavalier of the Order of the Italian Republic." Like his hero, Leonardo da Vinci, Frank was truly a "Renaissance Man." He is survived by his wife, Millie; his daughters, Anne Kent and her husband Kevin and Lydia McHenry and her husband Greg, all of Virginia Beach; his son, Joe Guida and his wife Karen of Dallas; his sister, Mathilda Guida and her husband Frank of Virginia Beach; seven grandchildren, two great-grandchildren; his longtime cherished friend, Rosetta Burns and family members, friends and fans around the world. A memorial Mass will be conducted at 10 a.m. Saturday at H.D. Oliver Funeral Apartments, Laskin Road Chapel, by Father Mario Fulgenzi, O.S.B. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the American Heart Association. Online condolences may be made to the family at http://www.hdoliver.com.

Published in the Virginian Pilot on 05/21/2007




      Our sincerest sympathies are extended to the Guida family and their friends at this time.


  From Tom Norris (Hampton HS - '73) of VA - 05/22/07 - "Frank Guida":

As a collector of rock and roll music, as well as that of local Tidewater acts, I have a lot of Frank Guida-influenced titles. One could arguably make a case for having the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame here in Tidewater instead of Cleveland. Gene Vincent, Gary US Bonds, Lenis Guess, Jimmy Soul, The Five Keys (from Newport News!), Bill Deal & The Rhondels, and many more ..... all charted nationally and all had their musical roots right here.

On one album of mine there is a quote from Dick Clark ... that stated "Quarter To Three (Bonds' smash hit from '61) saved my show from extinction".

If you hear me DJing a car show you'll hear lots of local music .... from back in the good ol' days! If anyone has copies of local band songs (Danny & The Delnotes, Nightlighters, etc.) please contact me. I'm also looking for air checks (off the radio recordings) from
WGH in the 1960s.

Krabbingly yours ....

Da Babe

   Thanks, Babe.

   Y'all take good care of each other!  TYPHOONS FOREVER!

                          Love to all, Carol


NNHS CLASS OF '65 WEB SITE: http://www.nnhs65.00freehost.com

PERSONAL WEB SITE: http://www.angelfire.com/weird2/cluckmeat


Carol Buckley Harty
219 Four Ply Lane
Fayetteville, NC 29311-9305

  What Wondrous Love Is This?

Words by Alexander Means
Music by William Walker, 1835

What wondrous love is this, O my soul, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this, O my soul!
What wondrous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul, for my soul,
To bear the dreadful curse for my soul.

When I was sinking down, sinking down, sinking down,
When I was sinking down, sinking down,
When I was sinking down beneath Godís righteous frown,
Christ laid aside His crown for my soul, for my soul,
Christ laid aside His crown for my soul.

To God and to the Lamb, I will sing, I will sing;
To God and to the Lamb, I will sing.
To God and to the Lamb Who is the great 'I Am';
While millions join the theme, I will sing, I will sing;
While millions join the theme, I will sing.

And when from death Iím free, Iíll sing on, Iíll sing on;
And when from death Iím free, Iíll sing on.
And when from death Iím free, Iíll sing and joyful be;
And through eternity, Iíll sing on, Iíll sing on;
And through eternity, Iíll sing on.

"What Wondrous Love Is This?" midi and lyrics courtesy of http://www.advancedbreastcancer.org/songs51.html - 05/21/07

Image of "Christ Carries His Cross" Painting courtesy of http://family.webshots.com/photo/2199478760015913979jJFtmX - 11/17/06

Blackwork Flowers Divider Line clip art courtesy of http://www.bravenet.com - 08/12/04

Navy Seal clip art courtesy of http://www.onemileup.com/miniSeals.asp - 05/29/06

Animated Army Flag clip art courtesy of http://www.angelfire.com/ny4/KevsGifsGalore/Patriotic.html - 06/18/03

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