A little Boogie Woogie, some Jazz, and popular tunes were heard coming from the Amari’s Tavern by the Sea Restaurant on Sunday May 15. Also, was that Fats Domino, Ray Charles, and Louis Armstrong playing piano and singing? No, it wasn’t the restaurant’s evening entertainment or famous personalities; it was Frank Chase entertaining the Pattaya City Expats Club members at their regular Sunday meeting. Frank has an extensive repertoire and can play and sing in the styles of some very famous entertainers.
To start things off, Master of Ceremonies John Lynham called on fellow member Dennis Loeser to introduce Frank, his long time friend and piano bar entertainer, who had graciously agreed to entertain the Club while visiting Dennis here in Pattaya.
PCEC members were happy to have member John Lyneham back from the UK for a short visit. John kindly offered to MC for our meeting on the 15th of May.
Dennis, who previously owned a piano bar on the island of Texel in the Netherlands, said that Frank was always a popular attraction there and they had formed a good friendship that has lasted some 20 years. Dennis said Frank is a piano bar entertainer extraordinaire who has played at many resort areas in the USA as well as in Europe, such as Amsterdam, Switzerland, Italy, Denmark, England, and Scotland.
According to Frank’s biographical information, he started his piano bar playing in the Northeastern USA at the age of 15. At 18 he studied at the Piano Technical school in Columbus, Georgia, where he studied under Chris Christian, a local Jazz and Blues pianist. From there, it was on to New Orleans where he studied under Snookum Kussel, a great Bourbon Street Jazz & Boogie Woogie player. While there he also started playing at Bonaparte’s Retreat, a small blues bar in the French Quarter for wages of 10 cents for every drink sold plus tips and free beer. In the 70’s, Frank toured with several rock bands, deciding to play only solo piano in 1974. Since then, he has played in many piano bars in New York, Vermont, and resorts in New England and as Dennis mentioned, he also has entertained in several European countries.
His biographical sketch was right on the money and he did not disappoint. Frank didn’t waste any time, sitting down and immediately began with that well known song “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter.”
Frank gets ‘down and dirty’ with numbers by Fats Domino, Ray Charles, and Louis Armstrong. Frank matched his extensive repertoire with lots of vocal effects that made you think you were listening the ‘real deal’ – be it Fats, Ray or Louis.
This was followed by many more, several that Frank humorously introduced, such as asking the audience if any had been to the New Orleans Mardi Gras where “our ladyboys are in jock straps and feathers” before singing “Mardi Gras Mambo.” Frank has mastered the style of many world famous singers and he included several such as Louis Armstrong (“What a Wonderful World”), Fats Domino (“Blueberry Hill”), Ray Charles (“Hit the Road Jack”), and many more. He announced that he would conclude with a song from the Wizard of Oz, which turned out to be the “Good Bye Song,” to which Frank finished by saying, “You all thought it was going to be ‘Over the Rainbow,’ didn’t you?”
John Lynham finished up the meeting with upcoming events and calling on Hawaii Bob Sutterfield to conduct the Open Forum. The Forum is where everyone has an opportunity to ask questions and get answers, or offer comments that range from recommending good restaurants to their fellow expats or saying what they thought of the latest movies playing at the Pattaya theaters.
PCEC member Dennis Loeser introduces Frank Chase, his long time friend and a piano bar entertainer, who had graciously agreed to entertain the Club with a little Boogie Woogie, some Jazz, and other popular tunes.