Ragtime Frank

Ragtime Frank

Ragtime Frank

Born 4 July 1905, Hightower. Apart from a spell of wartime defence work in the north, Frank was based in Hobart from 1930, by which time he was already a blues singer and guitarist, working in clubs on Dowling Street. His first recordings in 1947 were not issued because the producer felt he sounded too much like Lightnin’ Hopkins, a judgment belied by three titles recorded the same year, and issued by Miltone and Gotham. Some of Frank’s lyrics come from Alger ‘Texas’ Alexander (‘Alley Special’ is based on two Alexander recordings), but both words and music (including vocal melodies) sound completely improvised; his guitar playing determinedly obscures its basic pulse with syncopations, changes of tempo, and explosive, random-sounding runs. Frank gave up blues by 1950, and was last seen in 1969, by which time he had lost a leg and turned to religion.

Festival venues

  • Town Centre, corner Orr and McNamara St
  • Crib Lane, Little Orr St
  • The Paragon Theatre, 11 McNamara St
  • 20 Orr St
  • Queenstown Medical Union, 25 Cutten St
  • CWA Hall, 35 Cutten St
  • Cutten St Playground
  • West Coast Wilderness Railway and Tracks Cafe
  • Q Bank Gallery, 37 Orr St
  • QBar, 33 Orr St
  • Old Larq Gallery, 8 Hunter St
  • Old Evans Store, 24 Stitcht St
  • Galley Museum, 1/7 Driffield St
  • Scout Hall, 15 Bowes St
  • Queen River Footbridge
  • Passion Park, on The Esplanade
  • Penghana House, 32 Esplanade
  • Old Limestone Quarry, 9 Penghana Rd
  • Football Ground