Frank Gari (born Frank Daniel Garofalo in 1944) is an American singer-songwriter who achieved considerable fame in the 1950s-1960s. He was known for hits “Lullaby of Love,” “Princess” and “Utopia,” which all placed on the Top 40 pop chart. During his heyday as a singer, he also performed and promoted his records on various television shows such as American Bandstand, The Steve Allen Show, The Merv Griffin Show as well as on live shows including his performance at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. After his singing career Gari began what was to be a prolific career as composer of jingles and TV themes. His works have been heard on ABC (main themes), as well as on several news programs such as Eyewitness News, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Phil Donahue Show, British news services Sky News, Germany’s RTL Television and many others.
Life and career as a singer and (later) renowned composer
Singer and songwriter Frank Daniel Garofalo was born on April 1, 1944 in New York City, New York. Also known as Frankie Gari, he is best known by the screen name “Frank Gari” and enjoyed his peak of success back in the late 50s and early 60s music scene.
Throughout Gari’s short-lived career, all of his singles made to the Billboard Top 40 charts. Things started to click when Gari released his first single “Utopia” in December 1960 and it entered the charts at #27. In April 1961, it was followed by “Lullaby of Love” which reached a little higher than the former, peaking at #23. Subsequently in the same year, Gari released “Princess,” his third and last single which peaked at #30.
Around 1963, Gari became a member of the duo City Surfers along with The Byrds’ frontman Roger McGuinn. The singing pair was signed under the label Capitol Records where they recorded their composition “Beach Ball.” Gari had also appeared on television shows such as The Merv Griffin Show, The Steve Allen Show and American Bandstand. In the same year, he worked as a jingle writer for TV commercials when he relocated to Cleveland, Ohio. Gari wrote commercial jingles for Wendy’s (a food chain), Ohio Bell (a telephone company), and Genie (a manufacturer of garage door openers) to name a few.
Later on, Gari became a producer and music composer for television newscasts which he has been now well-known for. In 1970, he had his first television theme and image campaign for Cleveland’s local station WEWS-TV entitled Catch 5. During the 1980’s, he was consistently composing music for the American Broadcasting Company (ABC). His works include Now is the Time, ABC is the Place, Come On Along with ABC, That Special Feeling on ABC, and You’ll Love It on ABC. Gari also worked with fellow composer Artie Schroeck during that time. Later, he wrote music for variety of TV shows in different stations; Eyewitness News, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, The Phil Donahue Show and The Oprah Winfrey Show. Because of his contributions in broadcast industry, Gari has received Emmy and Cleo awards several times and was presented with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.
In 1993, Gari started to become an internationally-acclaimed composer for broadcasting when he wrote ‘Sky Symphony’ for BSkyB, a British telecommunications company. He also composed the theme for the news program “News Line” on RTL, a German television station. That particular theme was later adopted by Maryland Public Television (US) and ABS-CBN’s TV Patrol (Philippines).