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Frank Melrose

Franklyn Taft Melrose was an American jazz and blues pianist, who recorded as Kansas City Frank.

He was born in Sumner, Illinois and was the younger brother of Walter and Lester Melrose, who had set up the Melrose Brothers Music Company in Chicago, in 1918. He became one of the leading figures in the Chicago blues and jazz scene of the 1920s and 1930s.

Frank’s first instrument was violin, but he later took up piano. He was strongly influenced by his brothers’ business partner, Jelly Roll Morton. In 1924, he left home and began drifting around, playing and settling for short periods in St. Louis, Kansas City and Detroit. He also played occasionally in Chicago clubs with Morton.

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