Frank Fafara ~ Former Arizona Teen Rocker ~ Original 50’s & 60’s Rock’n’Roll

Memory Lane

Talk a walk down Memory Lane 1959-1964 with Frank as he tells stories of The Fafara Era

Most Memorable Moments

A year before we did our recordings, Richard Meyer and myself were asked to perform a few songs at a big high school rally at Sunnyslope High School. We just had our two guitars and a microphone. It was our very first public performance and we didn’t have our hopes up too high since there were some very big names on the show with us . How wrong we were. We will never forget the commotion that followed our last note when the bleachers erupted with all the students charging down to the stage where we were. They had never experienced live rock’n’roll and we were immediate heroes. With no recordings to our name and total unknowns we signed autographs until the teachers cleared the gym. The next day we got a call asking us if we would play for the Sunny Slope Prom dance. We accepted and our musical lives changed forever.

It was a rare rainy night in Phoenix and we were booked for our very first recording session. Just three untried musicians; Richard Meyer on lead guitar, Jim Schultz on a snare drum and myself on rhythm guitar. A friend of mine, Bob Stout, also agreed to come along to sing some doo-waps in the background. None of us had every been in a real studio before so apprehension filled the air as we pulled up at Audio Recorders in Phoenix. We were met by a budding young engineer named Jack Miller who immediately took us under his wing. Within an hour we were recording and amazed with the wonders Jack could do with our music. I finished up that night with a feeling we had done as good as we could. The next morning I got a call from Jack Curtis my manager who said the recording came out so good that they were going to release it as a single as soon as they could. The 45 Vinyl single was released on MCI records and was an immediate success on Arizona airwaves. “ Only In My Dreams “ became my first top ten recording.

The Fafara Name Game

From the very first time I ever stepped on stage folks have had a hard time trying to figure out how to say my name. The FAFARA name I must admit was quite different and everyone loved to put their own spin on how it should be pronounced. Faff-a-Rah was one of the more popular variations. Far-Far-a came a close second and so it went - on and on. Even the DJ’s and newspapers came up with new derivations for me. Because of this great name conspiracy I decided to change the spelling of my name after my last Rock n’ Roll record was released in the mid 60’s. I decided to embark on new career and recordings with a brand new name. I decided to simply drop off the first two letters of my last name - FA - and become Frank Fara.

Jack Curtis tells the story of how he was visiting with Mike Condello one day and he mentioned that I was now going under the name Frank Fara. Mikes’ immediate response was “ What happened to the FA? “ Mike’s wonderful sense of humor seemed to catch on as a lot of folks from the past still echo Mike’s profound words.....”What happened to the FA?”

When I told Wallace about Condello’s “What Happened to the FA”, he had his own special remembrance to share. One day he said when he and Ladmo were getting ready to tape the Wallace & Ladmo Show, one of the technicians came up and asked where he could find Frank Faff-a Rah. Ladmo piped up... “his name is Fafara, not Faff-a-Rah.” The technician looked at Ladmo and Wallace and replied. “ Faff-a rah, Fafara. does it really matter?” They just smiled and pointed in my direction.