Jazz vocalist Frankye Kelly freely speaks of the people who have influenced her career. Cousin Albert Collins, whose talent earned him the title of "Master of the Telecaster," taught her to remain humble, as well as to respect her audience whether it numbers one or 10,001. Buddy Connor, who she terms her mentor, was there in her corner in the beginning, providing help when it was not forthcoming from any other source. And Kelly's singing style often gives testament to the influence of Sarah Vaughan. Other inspirations and influences include songwriter Johnnie Mae Matthews and Emanuel Lasky. Kelly, a native of Mississippi who now calls California home, had a childhood marked by frequent travel. Thanks to a parent serving in the U.S. Air Force, she spent periods of her youth in Delaware, Germany, Minnesota, Illinois, and Michigan. Her interest in music started when she was three years old, in large part due to her grandmother. During her youth, Kelly continued to pursue that interest, leading her to triumph in competitions and pageants. She spent time singing throughout the San Francisco area, including a Top of the Park gig with Ricardo Scales for half a year. Tours have taken her to Europe and Japan. In addition to touring, performing, and recording, Kelly also hosts her own weekly television program, Jazz With Frankye, which has been televised throughout the Bay Area since 1997.
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