Sunday Night Music Byte
Peter Kenneth Frampton (born April 22, 1950) is a British/American musician, singer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist. He was previously associated with the bands Humble Pie and The Herd, among others. Frampton’s international breakthrough album was his live release, Frampton Comes Alive!. The album sold over 6 million copies in the United States alone, and since then he has released several major albums. He has worked with David Bowie and both Matt Cameron and Mike McCready from Pearl Jam, among others. Frampton is perhaps best remembered for such hits as “Show Me the Way”, “Baby, I Love Your Way”, “Do You Feel Like We Do”, and “I’m in You”. He has also appeared in the television shows The Simpsons and Family Guy, as himself.
Frampton first became interested in music when he was only seven years old. He discovered his grandmother’s banjolele (a banjo-shaped ukulele) in the attic. Teaching himself to play, he became near-obsessed, and upon receiving a guitar and piano, from his parents, taught himself those instruments as well. At age eight he started taking classical music lessons.
Early influences were Cliff Richard & The Shadows (featuring guitarist Hank Marvin) and American rockers Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran, and then the Ventures, Jimi Hendrix, and the Beatles. His father introduced him to Belgian gypsy jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt.
By the age of ten, Frampton played in a band called The Little Ravens. Both he and David Bowie were pupils at Bromley Peter and David would spend time together at lunch breaks, playing Buddy Holly songs. Technical School where Frampton’s father, Owen Frampton, was an art teacher and head of the Art department. The Little Ravens played on the same bill at school as Bowie’s band, George and the Dragons.
He became a successful child singer, and in 1966, he became a member of The Herd. He was the lead guitarist and singer, scoring a handful of British teenybopper hits. Frampton was named “The Face of 1968” by the UK press.
While playing with Humble Pie, Frampton also did session recording with other artists, including: Harry Nilsson, Jim Price, Jerry Lee Lewis, as well as George Harrison’s solo “All Things Must Pass”, in 1971, and John Entwistle’s “Whistle Rymes”, in 1972. During the Harrison session he was introduced to the ‘talk box’ that has become his trademark guitar sound.
After five albums with Humble Pie, Frampton left the band and went solo in 1971, just in time to see Rockin’ The Fillmore rise up the US charts. He remained with Dee Anthony, the same personal manager that Humble Pie had used.
His debut was 1972’s Wind of Change, with guest artists Ringo Starr and Billy Preston. This album was followed by Frampton’s Camel in 1973, which featured Frampton working within a group project. In 1974, Frampton released Somethin’s Happening. Frampton toured extensively to support his solo career. In 1975, the Frampton album was released. The album went to #32 in the US charts, and is certified Gold by the RIAA.
Peter Frampton had little commercial success with his early albums. This changed with Frampton’s breakthrough best-selling live album, Frampton Comes Alive!, in 1976. “Baby, I Love Your Way” and “Show Me the Way” were singles. “Do You Feel Like We Do”, despite its length, was also popular. The latter two tracks also featured his use of the talk box guitar effect. The album was recorded in 1975, mainly at the Winterland Arena in San Francisco, California, where Humble Pie had previously enjoyed a good following. Released in early January, it debuted on the charts on 14 February at number 191. The album was on the Billboard 200 for 97 weeks, of which 55 were in the top 40, of which 10 were at the top. The album beat, among others, Fleetwood Mac’s Fleetwood Mac to become the top selling album of 1976, and it was also the 14th best seller of 1977. The album became the biggest selling live album at the time of its release and sold over 6 million copies in the US, 16 million worldwide.
Please enjoy Peter Frampton performing “Show Me The Way” in 1976 in this video clip.