“ Genre: Biography / Author: K. Ross / Paperback / 502 Pages / Book is published 2005-01 by Antony Rowe Publishing Services „
This is the story of a great Country and Western singer who has had a very interesting and well travelled life. A legend in the business!
The book is 464 pages long and 50 chapters. It starts off with the acknowledgments thanking the people that helped get the book published his wife who kept him focused (she was a great singer in the band) her mum who believed in him when others didn't and the great entertainers like Johnny Cash, Tex Williams and many more.
The book also has some "Picker's Tips" which are just Frank's tips for the business' such as 'To clean the inside of an acoustic guitar put about half a pound of uncooked rice in it and shake it around. When you pour it out you will find that it has gone dark grey and the tone of your instrument has improved immensely.'
He was a teenagager in the 1940's and would listen to the radio, which was where he discovered American Country Music. He made up his mind that one day he would have a band that played that kind of music. And he did!
In the first chapter he explains how the name 'Yonco' came about when he was in Texas. As the book carries on you find out just how well travelled Frank is. In the 60's he formed a group called the Kingston Combo and the gigs were coming but low paid. He realised he needed a good backing group, he found a good guitarist and bass guitarist and a great singer Kit Connor. And they were off, but it was hard as they also had day jobs.
They made their first recording in 1964 a four track 45 rpm.
His band has supported big names such as Johnny Cash, Hank Williams and many more.
The book continues he gets a European contract as a professional singer.
He has since played in Turkey, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam - entertaining the American and Australian troops. It was whilst they were in Japan that the bands name was changed to the Everglades.
As time goes on in the 70's they appeared on television shows such as "New Faces" and "New Faces All Winners" which led to a television contract for a series called 'Country Style'.
In the 80's off to Canada , America, Kenya and more.
I remember seeing them in Cornwall where they lived for some time it was either late 70's or early 80's and by the time we were holidaying there they were very famous in that area (they promoted an open-air Country music festival in St Austell in the early 70's).
I remember going to one of their gigs I think it was in Colwyn Bay, we all piled into the car (seatbelts weren't needed then so there were probably 6 or 7 of us) we drove into the car park and there was an attendant taking the money to park. As my Dad wound the window down my cousin leaned over from the back seat and said to him "we're with Frank Yonco" and he waved us through - no charge. Well we was, he is family. He is married to my Dad's sister Kit Connor but my Dad didn't expect not to pay for parking but that is how it was at the time in a part of Cornwall if you knew Fank Yonco and Kit Connor - you didn't pay!!
Anyway don't want to give too much away but he has also run pubs - one being in France and in the 90's (living in Bath by now) HTV aired his show ' Frank Yonco's Bath night'.
If you are intersted in music and how a musician lives then you will find this book interesting and it's a must read.
The book takes you through his life from Manchester before the war to Bath with some exotic and dodgy places along the way.