Alan Autry And Randall Franks Join Voices For Mississippi Moon CD

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Alan Autry and Randall Franks, best known as “Bubba Skinner” and “Officer Randy Goode” from the Mississippi set NBC and CBS series “In the Heat of the Night” (1988-1994), join voices for the Americana CD “Mississippi Moon - Country Traditions.” 

“The stories told in traditional country songs are often like those we share while acting on the screen,” Mr. Franks said. “This collection combines old-style country, Southern gospel and bluegrass musical sounds on classic country and new songs. Some are upbeat and some are mournful with stories that folks will remember.  There are uplifting messages that will hopefully make you want to smile.”

Within the collection, Mr. Autry and Mr. Franks, each share songs vocally while Mr. Franks contributes musically and as producer throughout the project. Autry-Franks Productions created the project released by Crimson Records. 

“I’m just an actor who loves the sounds of classic country music and I am honored to share my limited vocal talents,” Mr. Autry said. “Singers such as Johnny Cash, Lefty Frizzell, David Houston and George Jones were the backdrops of my experiences.

“With the support of some talented musicians, I included a different musical look at Johnny’s ‘I Walk the Line’ and Lefty’s ‘Long Black Veil’ as well as three new songs.” 

One among the three new songs is Mr. Autry’s original song “He’s the Only Way,” a gospel song written with Mr. Franks which tells the story of a father who is losing himself to alcohol after the death of a child but through an inspiring revelation turns his life around.

“It is hard to say what inspires a person to write a song,” Mr. Autry said. “It is like writing a mini-script; you want to tell a story that will hopefully inspire someone through its telling.”

According to Mr. Franks, it was a movie script that inspired him to take Mr. Autry’s idea and pen the mandolin-infused “Mean Joe Blake” reminiscent of the story songs of the 1960s such as Jimmy Dean’s “Big Bad John” and Walter Brennan’s “Old Rivers.”

“This is probably one of my favorites on the CD because thanks to the wonderful advances in technology, I was able to combine some archival tracks of two of my Grand Ole Opry heroes - Jim and Jesse McReynolds to enhance the performance I share,” Mr. Franks said. “I am thankful to Jesse and Jim for all the encouragement they shared with me.” 

The first radio single released from the CD is the Southern gospel performance of “You Gotta Know the Lows” by Mr. Franks complete with mixed group vocal harmonies electrifying the arrangement.

The title cut “Mississippi Moon” also features Mr. Franks ably enhanced by composer Jesse McReynolds providing musical support. It was released as a single to bluegrass programmers.

Mr. Franks other contributions are new songs “Georgia Rain,” and “I’m Straightening Up My Life.” On the latter, he combines harmonies with his co-writer - three-time Dove nominee Mark Wheeler of the Marksmen Quartet.

“Both songs bring stories that encourage one to consider where they need to be living life - hopefully with God as a big part of it,” Mr. Franks said.

Mr. Wheeler actually co-authored two other songs on the CD with Mr. Franks – “If I Could Paint a Picture” performed by Mr. Autry and “I Almost Had a Hit,” an upbeat novelty duet featuring Mr. Franks and Mr. Autry singing about some things that “almost” happened.

Mr. Franks also reaches back to 1959 to give another spin to Patsy Cline’s “Gotta A Lot of Rhythm in My Soul.”

Mr. Autry is currently recurring on the WB series “Hart of Dixie” while working on his latest original Christian movie. His most recent  film is "Forgiven."

Mr. Franks, who stars with John Schneider in his latest film “Lukewarm,” is touring musically, writing his weekly newspaper column and completing a new book. He is an inductee of the Independent Country Music Hall of Fame and an International Bluegrass Music Museum Legend.

“In the Heat of the Night” airs nationwide daily on WGN-TV. 

Mississippi Moon - Country Traditions is available in Ringgold at Caffeine Addicts, Cottage Treasures and Uniktings! and in Fort Oglethorpe at Tootie's Treasures or for download on Itunes and Amazon.com. Fans may like the CD on Facebook.

For more information, visit http://randallfranks.com/ or www.autryentertainmentgroup.com.

Liz Vice Headlines Nightfall Friday

Headliner artist Liz Vice will bring her neo gospel soul to Nightfall this week, preceded by local band Dr. B & the Ease. Nightfall is the 15-week free concert series produced by Chattanooga Presents at Miller Plaza.    Review for Liz Vice: Think Tina Turner, but if Ike had taken a minimalist approach to production and also suddenly really got into gospel music, ... (click for more)

National Spoken Word Artist Georgia Me Is Opening Act For Jill Scott Aug. 24

National spoken word artist and Tony Award winning poet Georgia Me has been named as the opening act for Grammy Award winning vocalist Jill Scott. Georgia Me, who performed alongside a lineup that was hosted by Scott in May, will travel with her and band mates in a 23 city tour across the United States. They will be performing in Chattanooga on Wednesday, Aug. 24, at the Tivoli ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Whiskey Company To Construct Large Distillery At Former Site Of Newton Chevrolet

The Chattanooga Whiskey Company has begun construction on a larger production distillery in the former Newton Chevrolet property at the corner of MLK Boulevard and Riverfront Parkway near the Tennessee River. Once fully operational, the Riverfront Parkway facility will be capable of producing upwards of 14 (53-gallon) barrels per day, making it one of the largest craft bourbon ... (click for more)

Beck Upset By Criticism Of Late WWTA Director Cleveland Grimes In WWTA Analysis; Boyd Won't Rewrite 57-Page Report

County Commissioner Greg Beck said it was inappropriate for fellow Commissioner Tim Boyd to include articles critical of the late Cleveland Grimes in a 57-page report on the Hamilton County Water and Wastewater Treatment Authority. He said, "Criticizing a dead man - I don't know if that's appropriate. If that's Christianity, let me off the wagon." Saying the report should ... (click for more)

Judge Steelman Was Unfairly Criticized In Handling Of School Bus Driver Rape Case - And Response

We are blessed to have freedom of speech in our society, but I am always amazed at the number of folks who voice such strong antagonistic opinions about things without any apparent first-hand knowledge.   As any who wish to criticize the system should know, people get arrested and charged for criminal offenses every day.  The ultimate charge and penalty which results ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Our Horses Vs. DesJarlais

It is well-known that shortly after the despicable “Big Lick” faction of the Tennessee Walking Horse industry put on a very-pointed fundraiser for the equally repugnant Congressman Scott DesJarlais (R-Jasper) two years ago, the misguided doctor has repeatedly tried to bully and strong-arm the U.S. Department of Agriculture on the behalf of the vermin who sadistically torture the ... (click for more)