‘Hot Rod Lincoln’ frontman George Frayne aka Commander Cody has died at 77 – KIRO 7 Seattle News


SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY – George Frayne IV, the lead singer of Commander Cody and his aviator Lost Planet, who scored a 1972 hit with “Hot Rod Lincoln,” died Sunday. He was 77 years old.

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Frayne’s death was confirmed by John Tichy, a rhythm guitarist with the original band founded in 1967, according to the Albany Times Union. His wife, Sua Casanova, confirmed Frayne’s death to The Associated Press but did not immediately provide further details.

Frayne had been on cancer treatment for several years, Variety reported.

“Early this morning, as I rested my head on his shoulder, George’s soul flew away,” Casanova wrote on Frayne’s Facebook page. “I’m heartbroken and weary, and I know your hearts are breaking too. Thank you very much for all the love you have given and the stories you have shared.

Frayne’s band were best known for a remake of Charlie Ryan’s 1955 rockabilly song “Hot Rod Lincoln”, which peaked at No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 on June 3, 1972.

According to Tichy, a radio disc jockey from Modesto, Calif., Performed the cover of “Hot Rod Lincoln” late at night on a whim, the Times-Union reported. The phones turned on and Frayne’s high-speed narration and rockabilly guitar licking propelled the song into the top 10.

The group released seven albums on the Paramount and Warner Bros. labels. from 1971 to 1976, Variety reported. After the original band split in 1976, Frayne continued to record and tour under the Commander Cody name until shortly before the pandemic, according to the website.

Frayne was born July 19, 1944 in Boise, Idaho, and raised in the New York metro area, the Times Union reported. He received a bachelor’s degree in design from the University of Michigan in 1966, a master’s degree in fine arts the following year and was a member of the faculty of arts at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh for several years, according to the newspaper. .

“The commander I knew was a music history buff, fine arts scholar and one of the sharpest minds I have ever met,” said David Malachowski, a guitarist who joined the group in the late 1990s at The Times Union.


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