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Frank Scott

Helm, Merry. "Frank Scott." Dakota Datebook, 21 June 2006.


Today would be musician Frank Scott's 85th birthday. He was born to Frank and Alice Scott, the youngest of three sons, on this date in 1921 in Fargo.

Scott graduated from Fargo Central High in 1939 and then entered an engineering program at what was then the North Dakota Agricultural College. But he lasted only a year. Engineering wasnt Franks calling. Music was.

When he was 8 years-old, Frank started taking piano lessons. Four years later, at the tender age of 12, he was already leading a band that was playing music he, himself, composed and arranged. In addition to the piano, he also learned to play the harpsichord, guitar, banjo and ukulele.

After leaving NDAC, Frank and his new wife, Jeanette Daniels Scott, moved to Cleveland, Ohio, where he joined the Paul Simms Orchestra. Four years later, they came back to Fargo, where Scott began a 12-year career playing piano and acting as the music director for WDAY radio. During those twelve years, he scored an astounding 2,500 arrangements for WDAY while simultaneously producing ice shows and writing songs for community theater groups.

Scott relocated his family to southern California in 1956, where he played piano and arranged music for the Lawrence Welk Show. In addition to working with the shows regulars, such as Myron Floren and Norma Zimmer, he also assisted the production staff with programming and worked with such stars as Pat Boone, Debbie Reynolds, Glen Campbell and one of the most flamboyant pianists of his time, Liberace.

While working with the Lawrence Welk Show, Scott arranged thousands of songs, but he also continued composing. His two most famous songs, Apples and Bananas and The Moment of Truth, were written while he was with the Welk show.

In 1969, Scott and his family returned to Fargo, due, in part, to an illness in the family. He continued arranging, composing and performing there, and also taught an arranging course at his alma mater, NDSU. In fact, his orchestra performed in the colleges beautiful wooden structure, Old Main, the night before it was torn down in 1982. But that was during a return visit to Fargoin the late 1970s, he and Jeanette moved back to southern California, shortly before Jeanette passed away.

Sometime during the 1980s, Frank put together a new band that included players such as Art Depew, Don Shelton, and Arnold Fishkind. Then, in 1985, he brought a touch of North Dakota to California; he hired Audrey Remme-Roseland to be the bands vocalist. Roseland was a Fargo native who worked for him at WDAY in the 1940s. Frank and Audrey were married in 1993, two years before he died.

Frank Scotts legacy lives on, howeverduring his career, he arranged more than 7,000 songs.

Written by Merry Helm

 

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