Entertainer Continues to Wow Crowds
Whether singing at a charity event in balmy Palm Springs or bringing down the house in glittery Las Vegas, his performances to be perfectly Frank are outstanding.
Entertainer Frankie Randall, who attended Fairleigh Dickinson as Frank Lisbona, BA59 (R), has his very own star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars in Palm Springs, Calif., and has been inducted into the Casino Legends Hall of Fame in the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas, Nev. His records and on-stage and television appearances have delighted fans for more than four decades. Its been his lifelong calling. I always knew I wanted to be a performer, Randall says.
Randall began classical piano lessons at the age of seven while growing up in Clifton, N.J., and by the age of 15, he turned his musical interests to jazz. Randall says he performed constantly, in everything from trios to large orchestras. My father, however, was a great believer in education and wanted me to have something to fall back on, so I enrolled at FDU.
At the University, Randall was president of his freshman, sophomore and junior classes. Professor [Loyd] Haberly, chair of the English department, wrote poems to accompany my jazz music. And Professor Tom Monroe in the music department was a wonderful man and a great supporter of mine.
With a BA in psychology and a minor in philosophy, Randall returned to his pursuit of a musical career. My father always asked me when I would get a real job, Randall recalls with a laugh. One day I showed him the check I received for a weeks engagement that really startled him; it was more than his yearly income! He still continued to ask me when I would get a real job, but always with a sheepish grin.
In his early 20s, Randall played Jillys, the legendary New York watering hole and favorite hangout of Frank Sinatra. One night, Ol Blue Eyes walked in. I could not believe I was in the same room with him and he was listening to me play the piano.
Randall formed a close friendship with Sinatra that lasted until Sinatras death. Frank helped me obtain my first recording contract with RCA Victor.
Randall also performed regularly on such television programs as The Tonight Show and Merv Griffin. I appeared on many variety shows including The Dean Martin Show, and that gave me a lot of exposure. This led to more live bookings and nightclub and cabaret appearances around the world.
He also became a successful businessman. In 1982, when he played a four-week engagement at The Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, N.J., the response was so overwhelming that Chairman of the Board of The Golden Nugget Steve Wynn asked Randall to perform there as long as he wished. A year later, Wynn asked Randall to become The Golden Nuggets entertainment director. I asked Frank Sinatra to be the first act, he recalls. Frank [Sinatra] appeared regularly at The Nugget, and we brought the casino from the seventh-ranked property to number one in Atlantic City. Randall then became vice president for Ballys Grand Hotel and Casino, also in Atlantic City, while continuing to perform. It was a wonderful time when I represented the hotel and performed regularly.
Over the course of his career, Randall has recorded seven albums and countless singles for RCA, Roulette and Capitol Records. And hes not slowing down. In the past five years, he has released five CDs for USA Music Group (for more information, see www.frankierandall.com). He also continues to perform live.
But, as he explains, I am in a position in my life where I take only the jobs I know I will enjoy. Thus, hes able to spend more time with his family. The father of five says, They are wonderful people, and I am proud to be their father. A current resident of Lake Las Vegas, Nev., he often visits his children and grandchildren in California and New Jersey.
He also can be found playing in many golf tournaments and charity events, including the annual Frank Sinatra Celebrity Golf Classic, which raises money for the Barbara Sinatra Childrens Center for Abused Children.
After fulfilling many of his boyhood dreams, he advises those planning careers to stick with what they love. I was blessed by doing something I love and having worked with some of the most talented people throughout my career. I was persistent and truly have enjoyed every minute of my career.