Little Frankie
Thanks to Olaf Owre


Little Frankie was only 14 when she hit the scene singing with a group called The Chimes.

Billed as The Chimes featuring Denise they were signed by Decca in 1963 and recorded two singles for the label, both produced by Mike Smith.

It was very appealing beat music with a charmingly youthful female lead vocal, and host for BBC’s popular ”Saturday Club” radio show, Brian Matthew, soon received a lot of requests from listeners for The Chimes.

Obviously being played on the radio was good promotion for the group, but it just wasn’t enough to secure a chart entry.

Yet their debut single ”Say It Again” was included on a ”Saturday Club” sampler LP released by Decca in 1964 – alongside other artists on the label such as The Rolling Stones, Dave Berry and Brian Poole & The Tremeloes.

In 1965 Kennedy Street Enterprises also began to show interest for the talented girl singer, and Little Frankie, now a 16 year-old ”veteran”, was signed up to their stable of artists.

They also got in The Country Gentlemen as her permanent backing band. Little Frankie soon landed a recording deal with EMI/Columbia, and backed by Peter Cowap’s excellent trio she cut three singles for the label in less than a year.




Produced by Graham Gouldman for ”Charles Harvey Productions” (a production company owned by Kennedy Street managers Charles Silverman and Harvey Lisberg) her solo debut was an excellent version of The Raindrops’ ”The Kind Of Boy You Can’t Forget”, performed with a level of energy and enthusiasm rivalling that of Eddie Hodges’ energy-packed classic ”I’m Gonna Knock On Your Door” from 1961.
On the management written B-side, ”I’m Not Gonna Do It”, Little Frankie delivered a knock-out performance showing her real potential as a teenage rock ’n’ roll girl with a brisk, beat-backed bouncer that would have made pioneering pop songstress, Brenda Lee, proud.
Kennedy Street Enterprises gave Little Frankie with The Country Gents the opportunity to do a big package tour in the UK in 1965. It was headlined by Herman’s Hermits and Billy Fury and also featured The Fortunes and Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders.
Graham Gouldman produced and had a hand in writing the B-sides for Little Frankie’s second and third single for Columbia, too, but neither ”Make-A-Love” nor a cover of Buddy Holly’s ”It Doesn’t Matter Anymore” earned her a commercial breakthrough on record.

Sadly no more Little Frankie records saw the light of day, but she continued to perform live with The Country Gents until 1967.

In the 70’s she was reportedly still singing and did a lot of commercials for radio and television.

Little Frankie Discography:

The Chimes featuring Denise:

7”: Say It Again (Back)/Can This Be Love (Back) Decca F.11783  /63
(B-side billing: The Chimes)
7”: I’ll Be Waiting – I’ll Be Here (Back)/Hello Heartache (Back) Decca F.11885   /64

UK LP:  

LP: Various artists - “Saturday Club” (BBC Light Programme) Decca LK 4583  1964

16-track album featuring ”Say It Again” by The Chimes. Other artists include Ted Heath And His Music, Brian Poole & The Tremeloes, The Vernons Girls, Dave Berry & The Cruisers, Jet Harris & Tony Meehan, The Marauders, Kathy Kirby, The Rolling Stones, Doug Sheldon, The Lorne Gibson Trio, The Tornados and Karl Denver.


Little Frankie with The Country Gentlemen:

7”:The Kind Of Boy You Can’t Forget (Greenwich-Barry)/I’m Not Gonna Do It (Silverman-Lisberg)            Columbia DB 7490     3/65
7”: Make-A-Love (Claff)/Love Is Just A Game (Silverman-Lisberg- Gouldman) Columbia DB 7578     5/65
7”: It Doesn’t Matter Anymore (Paul Anka)/Happy That’s Me (Gouldman) Columbia DB 7681           9/65

45: The Kind Of Boy You Can’t Forget (Greenwich-Barry)/I’m Not Gonna Do It (Silverman-Lisberg)   Capitol 5416 /1965

US LP:  
LP: Various artists - “Girls In The Garage Vol. 7” Romulan UFOX17-1  1989

18-track album with girl groups from the sixties. Contains ”I’m Not Gonna Do It” by Little Frankie with The Country Gentlemen.

US CD:  
CD: Various artists - “Girls In The Garage Pt. 2” Romulan UFOX12-2  1990

28-track album with girl groups from the sixties. Contains ”I’m Not Gonna Do It” by Little Frankie with The Country Gentlemen.

Olaf Owre
March 2007


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