Frank Lee Sprague, world class guitarist composer

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Merseybeat

March 2017

"Get with the new-beat, get with MERSEYBEAT!"
NEW Frank Lee Sprague LP coming in a few weeks!
 
Two new FLS classical releases available now!
Available soon on itunes and everywhere.
 
In loving memory to my mom - Virginia Sprague, 1933-2012
 

Check out the new recording by Frank Lee Sprague on WFMU’s NEW CD!

Only the Master of Merseybeat® would come up with a version of Bad Company’s “Can’t Get Enough of your Love” in the style of the HOLLIES! Pure rock’n’roll! Check out the clip put together by WFMU at YouTube, and visit www.michaelshelley.net/2012 for more info.

NEW SINGLE!!! Get the newest Merseybeat music from the Master of Merseybeat -
 
Side A of Frank Lee Sprague's new single available here -
 
Side B of the new single available here -
 
Google+ Frank Lee Sprague page!
 
 
Frank Lee Sprague's LP "Merseybeat" named one of the best of the past decade!
 
Be a friend on Facebook!
 
Follow FLS on Twitter!
 
New Frank Lee Sprague CD Just released, July 20th 2009: String Quartets No. 1 & 2!!! Party on...
 
The newest article by Frank Lee Sprague is now available at http://www.buhdge.com/columns/upthedownescalator4.html
 
Follow the Master of Merseybeat on Twitter @
 
All new acoustic LP by Frank Lee Sprague! "Fulton Chateau" now selling!
 
The new EP "4 New Smashing Songs!" by the Sprague Bros is available now!
 
NPR's show "All Songs Considered" with host Bob Boilen features a track from Frank's new LP "Merry Christmas, Traditional Carols arranged as Traditional Rock Song" on it's "Holiday Show" December 13th 2007! Rock on NPR! http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=17173498 
 
2 New LP's in October/November 2007!!!
Frank Lee Sprague "Master of Merseybeat" will be releasing "Merry Merseybeat Christmas INSTRUMENTAL" in October!
All of the original songs from last years Christmas milestone in instro versions.
Then, November brings an all new LP of rock versions of classic Christmas songs! "Merry Christmas, Traditional Carols arranged as Traditional Rock Songs" is now available on the 'store' page!
Merry MERSEYBEAT Christmas indeed!
 
Selected songs from Frank Lee Sprague LP's are being pre-loaded into Memorex's new MP3 players!
Wichita Falls Records signed a contract with Memorex this month to feature the Master of Merseybeats songs on the following players:
MM8640 (4GB), MMP8567 (2GB), MMP8585 (2GB), and MMP8565 (1GB) Memcorp MP3 Players!!!
Now millions of fans around the world can rock out to the West Texas style rock'n'roll of FLS!
 
The interview of Frank Lee Sprague by Michael Shelly on WFMU is now archived at:

http://www.wfmu.org/playlists/SH

Give it a listen, then check out Michaels interviews with Gary Lewis and others!

 
The 3rd Merseybeat LP by Frank Lee Sprague has now been released! "Merry Merseybeat Christmas" is available on this website (on the "store" page) and is all new/original/Merseybeat/Christmas songs!
 
The 2nd volume of "Best of the EssBee CD's" by the Sprague Bros is now available!
 
Another new Sprague Bros album has now been released! "The Song" features all co-written songs by Frank and Chris Sprague including "Right or Wrong". You gots ta have it!
 
The all new LP by the Sprague Brothers is now available! "Changing the World, 1 chick at a Time" features special guests Randy Fuller, Edan Everly, and more. Check it out on the Store page now!
 
"She's Good"! The newest release from Frank Lee Sprague is available on the 'store' page as a CD Single. You gots ta get this hot single to start your summer off right! Parrrtyyyy!!!
 
Merseybeat Live! The new DVD with live concert performances of songs from the Merseybeat CD has now been released! Snog on.
 
A composition by Frank Lee Sprague has been chosen by Vox Novus for their "60 X 60" program to be performed and broadcast. You can check out more info at
 
2 NEW LP's by Frank Lee Sprague have been released as of March 4th 2006! Yaas! On Worldwide "Quack Day" the all new albums "Fulton Avenue" and "Concerto for Violin with Orchestra" will be available everywhere! Check the store page for these new CD's!!! Quack.....

http://www.wfmu.org/ssaudionet.shtml 

Check out the webcast at the above address on Saturday December 16th at 11:25 AM on WFMU FM!!!

Frank Lee Sprague will be telling all in a National interview conducted by Michael Shelly!

 
Goldmine magazine's issue #671 cover date April 14th features Paul McCartney, and you can find Wichita Falls Records ad for Frank Lee Sprague's LP's on page 31!
 
The Frank Lee Sprague Radio Hour is on the air!!!
Starting Feb 8th at 2:00 P.M. EST and then every Wednesday at the same time Frank hosts an hour of rock'n'roll radio! Party on.
 
Be sure and tune in for the radio show in May, it features a co-hosted show with both Sprague Brothers!
 
The show can be heard by connecting to the stream for Alan Haber's Pure Pop Radio:

The Merseybeat LP and the CAVERN LP have now  been released in MONO on 1 CD as a special album for fans! Availabile only on Notlame.com!

Click here for more info and to purchase "Merseybeat Mono"!

Podcast!!!
Listen to Wichita Falls Records new podcast! New shows will be added regularly so add our podcast to your favorites!
 
The follow up album to Frank's hit LP "Merseybeat" is now available! CAVERN can be purchased on the "store" page.

Click for info on the CAVERN LP

T Shirts are now available! Check out the "store" page for details.

Cavern.jpg

Gary Pig Gold reviews CAVERN!

"Perhaps it was the most untimely demise of original dreamer Freddie Garrity. But did I really neglect to mention when last we took the virtual Ferry cross the Mersey that none other than Frank Lee Sprague yes, he the still-taller half of those supremely rooty-rockin Sprague Brothers (not to mention an authentic cousin of The Man Who Invented Sixties Music Himself, I kid you not!!) -- has been very busy indeed on the side, helping keep the meaty, big and bouncy spirit of the M-Beat alive and very thriving here in Century 21?

I hardly wouldve believed it possible myself UNTIL, that is, I heard for my own a deceptively, disarmingly charmful little disc called Cavern, and on it some of the best, most magnificently melodic p-o-p this side of your fave rave Searchers EP of yore.

And also, here I felt I was the only lad left on the block who thought a certain P. McCartney wrote many of his best songs EVER for..... Peter and Gordon. But Frank Lee too has obviously been listening lots to I Dont Want To See You Again, as well as to some of the more rough n tumblest circa-62 cellar sounds this side of The Big Three. When not channeling a certain Jane Asher as muse, that is.

Alas, the dank, sweaty, musty, subterraneanly homesick aura of those magic long-gone days and particularly nights beat again right there deep down in Frank Lee Spragues very own Cavern.

Meet you there soon?"

Gary Pig Gold, June 2006

Ringtones are now available! Check out the store page for more details.

 
Here's some reviews of Frank's Merseybeat LP; 
 
Ear Candy Magazine
 
While the still-crazed-after-all-these-years specter of a monochromed Freddie Garrity shaving with his hand mic whilst leaping across “The Ed Sullivan Show” may to this day strike terror in the minds of ethno-musicologists the world over, West Texan Frank Lee – yes, the taller of those root-rockin’ Sprague Brothers – now makes it more than safe to once again bust out the 12-string acoustic, slip into a black turtleneck and fade each original upon a Vox-drenched sixth chord. In fact, these here dozen songs (or is it fifteen?) (or even sixteen?!) run gear gamuts across the Beau Brummels and Peter and Gordon, between long lost Swinging Blue Jeans and Searchers extended-plays while, vocally of course, bridging that seldom-heard gap between Buddy Holly and The Hollies. Elsewhere, none other than Doug Fieger regains his knack by adding “can’t stay”s to “Can’t Stay,” “Without You, I Do” combines, and then BETTERS those last three or four Squeeze albums at least, The Plimsouls make Billy J. Kramer sing “Like The Break Of Day” and, to nearly end it all, “Our Love Is Real” catches Micky Dolenz beneath the bleachers at a vintage Isley Brothers soundcheck. In other words? Until those powers that be get round to releasing each and every “With The Beatles” out-take, demo, rehearsal and tune-up session, consider Frank Lee’s “Merseybeat” the unquestioningly fabbest of them all …until FLS next enters his “Cavern,” that is.
Gary "Pig" Gold, January 18th 2006
 
PopMatters.com/Fufkin.com

It is 4593 miles from Wichita Falls, Texas, to Liverpool, England, where you can find the Mersey River. Yet that distance seemed far less back in the late 1950s and early 1960s, when Texan Buddy Holly toured England and influenced several bands that would be later bring their Merseybeat sounds back to America. Other Texan musicians to have made their mark in England include Bruce Channel, the Bobby Fuller Four, and the Sir Douglas Quintet. Perhaps the Texas-Liverpool connection hasn't been all that active for several decades, but one man is out to change all that.

Guitarist-singer-songwriter Frank Lee Sprague hails from West Texas and is, in fact, a distant relation to Buddy Holly. In tribute to and celebration of the old connection with Liverpool, Sprague has forged a collection of mostly new compositions in the exact style of those Mersey originals.

The album opens with the infectious "You're Different", featuring a wonderful guitar riff, great harmonies, the requisite handclaps, a nifty lead, and an arrangement that captures perfectly the tone and timbre of yesteryear's songs. It's a sweet ode to the one girl who stands out and says things that drive him stark raving mad: "No one talks like you do, no one walks like you do / 'Cause you're different, oh so different / And I think I'll tell you right now about the way I feel / There's just no one else in the world that seems quite as real".

Many of these songs are strongly reminiscent of the early Beatles. "Alone with Her Memory", a melancholic ballad, allows Sprague to explore all aspects of the sound, from the simple drum fills to the vocal nuances. Harmonica and woodblock percussion accents cement the musical similitude. "I've Been Waiting All My Life", which closes the album proper (though there are bonus songs), features an attractive lead and the declaration "Give me love or let my poor heart be".

"My Luck Is Bound To Change" captures the feel of an early Lennon vocal performance. Sprague adds some reversed guitar loops to keep it real, but otherwise manages an amazing aural simulation (and keeps it to a trim two and a half minutes). Lyrically, it's also true to the period: a song about a girl who leaves him blue, changing his luck. Hearing this, you'll be instantly transported back to that time.

Other songs remind more of the McCartney side of the early Beatles sound, including the Little Richard cover "She's Got It", which is reworked into a McCartney-style rocker. "So Far From My Heart" is a short but sweet guitar ballad with the simple lead common at the time. "White Gold" is a soft dulcet ballad complete with Spanish guitar accents.

There's also a hidden track, a treat that opens with some radio static before being transformed into a fully-fledged arrangement of a love song; the effect is like discovering a lost early Beatles treasure.

There are other clear influences: "Can't Stay" is a gem of a song that masterfully reflects the sweet harmonies of early Buddy Holly and the Crickets or even the Everly Brothers (or even Chad and Jeremy, and Peter and Gordon). It features background vocals from Doug Fieger of The Knack. "I Ain't Gonna Cry No More" is more paean to Gerry and the Pacemakers, with a musical tip of the hat to their "How Do You Do It".

"Our Love Is Real", the first bonus song, pays homage to the Isley Brothers' classic "Shout", featuring rhythm 'n' blues legend Big Jay McNeely on tenor saxophone. A cover of the Al Kooper/Bob Brass/Irwin Levine song "This Diamond Ring" (made popular by Gary Lewis and the Playboys in 1965) is here given a stripped-down reworking as "Her Diamond Ring".

Some might feel it's heresy, but Frank Lee Sprague's answer to "I Saw Her Standing There" is his "Nineteen". Here we hear about a heartless and cold young woman, "old enough to know better and too young to care". Apparently, she's already gone all the way and back -- ah, the shame of it all. The song features a cute chorus that counts up to her current age. It's very tongue-in-cheek, and, ultimately, a truly fun send-up. Once again, Sprague captures the tone exactly.

On other songs -- "Without You, I Do", "I'm To Blame" -- the references are less specific, although the former somehow suggests Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas or The Searchers. For the latter, you can take your Merseybeat pick: The Hollies, Herman's Hermits, The Swinging Blue Jeans, Freddie and the Dreamers, Wayne Fontana and The Mindbenders. "Like The Break Of Day" trades off a basic skiffle beat, using mournful harmonica and a jangly guitar lead to back a strong vocal track. Sprague again does a fine job of conveying the musical sensibilities, the very essence of what the Merseybeat sound was all about.

The multi-talented Sprague is said to have over a thousand songs already written and is currently working on recording his next release. He claims to be "influenced by none, and inspired by many." He has done a fine job with this project: the quality of the songs, the excellent musicianship and the arrangements make this a cut above many other tribute band projects. This album presents a host of catchy original songs that remain true to their source inspiration. Merseybeat is a genuine labor of love from a very talented musician who has managed the difficult feat of capturing the spirit behind the great songs of that era. You'll be tempted to pull out the old collection and spin some of those older gems you haven't heard in while -- and that's high praise indeed. Say, whatever happened to my Herman's Hermits albums?

— 1 March 2005

Gary Glauber CD Reviews, short takes: March, 2005 (PopMatters.com)

frankleesprague_merseybeat.jpg

doug_fieger_and_frank_sprague.jpg
Doug Fieger and Franky in Doug's studio control room

frank_sprague_and_jeff_king_at_threshold.jpg
Frank with mastering engineer Jeff King (Threshold Studios, Los Angeles)

News Flash! A new LP by Frank Lee Sprague is now being recorded!

Quack!

Reynaldo?

Frank's newest composition "Symphonic Poem" has just been recorded by a full symphony orchestra. You can hear it on the home page of this web site. Party on you hosers.

Another recording has just been completed!
Quartet for Piano, Violin, Viola, and Cello.
You can hear it on the page entitled "my music".
 

Just recorded: Concerto for Violin with Orchestra! Now I'm gonna party like it's 1899! Woof.

Recordings planned in the near future: Pirate Music Suite for Strings; Guitar Quintet; String Quartets 1 & 2; Sonata for Guitar; Suite for Guitar; and more. I'm a fart smeller, I mean smart feller.

(The Sprague Brothers, Frank Lee Sprague, Pirate music, Wichita Falls Records, and all other Service Marks/Trade Marks found on this website are registered, and are the property of Frank Lee Sprague.)

Copyright 2009 FLS (all Service marks are registered including "Frank Lee Sprague" and belong to Frank Lee Sprague) all rights reserved