George Frayne has been making music for decades. He and his Lost Planet Airmen were at the crux of the American Roots Music movement and made the Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of 100 top bands of all time. But past the boogie-woogie, swing and rock is another side of “the old Commander” – George Frayne; the visual artist. He earned masters degree in sculpture and painting from the University of Michigan. His art has been shown from London to Tokyo, and in museums including The Museum of Natural History, the Saratoga Auto Museum and at the Directors Guild in Hollywood. He has been published numerous times in books such as Starmaking Machinery, Musicians as Artists and Rockin Garages. In Starart he is featured with Joni Mitchell, Ron Wood, Klaus Voorman and others. Recently, George has published his own table top art book called “Art Music and Life”. His quote from the cover says it well; “I have been painting for a long time. I have been rocking for almost as long. The band’s style mixed country, rock ‘n’ roll, western swing, rockabilly, and jump blues together on a foundation of boogie-woogie piano. They were among first country-rock bands to take its cues less from folk-rock and bluegrass and more from the rowdy barroom country of the Ernest Tubb and Ray Price style. The band became known for marathon live shows.
Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen formed in 1967 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, with Frayne taking the stage name Commander Cody. The band’s name was inspired by 1950s film serials featuring the character Commando Cody and from a feature version of an earlier serial, King of the Rocket Men, released under the title Lost Planet Airmen.
“Hot Rod Lincoln“, the band’s most famous recording, was voted a Legendary Michigan Song in 2008. The following year Commander Cody And His Lost Planet Airmen were inducted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame.