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Episode 7:

Season 4 – Jim Abbott for Jackson C. Frank

Released: October 28, 2023

About This Episode:

This week In the Flamingo Lounge we’re talking about folk icon and Buffalo Music Hall of Fame inductee, Jackson C. Frank.

Joining us to discuss Jackson is Jim Abbott. Jim was Jackson’s guardian and cared for Jackson until his death in 1999. Jim also wrote and published a well-researched memoir about Jackson’s life, titled Jackson C. Frank: The Clear, Hard Light of Genius.

There has been a lot written about Jackson C. Frank that is available on-line. Please find below a few selected links to articles of interest:

Buffalo Music Hall of Fame Bio

A Forgotten Buffalo Legend: The Jackson C. Frank Story

Jackson C Frank – Golden Mirror (1968) – Lost Song Found!

Blues Run the Game: The Strange Tale of Jackson C. Frank – Documentary

Marlene Dupont – Jackson’s girlfriend who lost her life in the Cleveland-Hill Fire on March 31, 1954

Below are links to videos for the song “Blues Run the Game” – many of which were talked about during the podcast. Joshua Lee Turner describes the song in the description of his video as “A Folkie’s rite of passage”:

John Renbourn

Carolyn Hester

Simon & Garfunkel

Old Friends (Greg Hennessey and Steve Metivier)

Laura Marling

Joshua Lee Turner

Valerie June

Update: July 5, 2024

I have heard it said: Every person has two deaths: when they are buried in the ground and the last time someone says their name.

This episode of “In the Flamingo Lounge” was a conversation with Jim Abbott, who was Jackson C. Frank’s guardian. Jim was traveling through the area on July 5, 2024 on his way to Woodstock. He and his traveling companion, Maria Spence, were visiting areas of importance in Jackson’s life. One of those areas was the Elma, NY Cemetery where he is buried with his mother Marilyn and step-father, Elmer.

I met Jim at the gravesite where we talked about Jackson and our experience inducting him into the Buffalo Music Hall of Fame in 2015. Both of us had the honor to sing some songs that Jackson wrote at the Gala, and we again honored him at his gravesite with a rendition of “Blues Run the Game”. Above is a video recorded by Maria Spence of Jim and I singing “Blues Run the Game”.

Our stories are important. They act as threads that bind generations together, passing down traditions, values, and history through the magic of shared narratives. I’m glad that I can help keep Jackson’s story alive along with the many guests that have appeared on the podcast.

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