Frank P. Corbin III was born in 1948. His father was in the military and Frank traveled extensively with his family including Japan and Hawaii. Frank went to high school on Randolph Air Force Base, in San Antonio, Texas, where he joined the high school band and learned coronet and French horn. He graduated in 1966 and went to Texas Lutheran College (TLC) his freshman year. Forming friendships with some of the "wild" Texas folk in Seguin, Texas (Home of TLC) dramatically changed his life. He continued with college in San Marcos, Texas where he graduated with Chemistry and Psychology degrees. After college he drove and lived in a Dodge van as he sampled the US of A in a meandering tour towards the west coast. Stopping at Stanford he decided he wanted to learn to play guitar, bought one, and began to practice. Soon, music was his life. He also learned harmonica, bass guitar, piano, and congas. He then became a singer songwriter who penned over 1000 songs. He moved to Austin where he decided it would be nice to produce his music. Here is what was written about him and his friend Buzz Hidburg in The Daily Texan, The University of Texas student newspaper on Wednesday, October 8, 1975. Prelude Records: Two Dissatisfied Musicians Decide To Do It Themselves by Tony Rocco, Texan Staff Writer "There's an old adage that goes "If you want anything done right, do it yourself." Two Austin musicians got tired of having things done wrong with the recording of their music and decided to take the whole matter into their own hands. The eventual result of this was the founding of a new record enterprise called Prelude Record Company. Frank Corbin and Buzz Hudiburg, co-presidents of the new company, began recording with the intention of assembling some of the music written by Corbin. Initially, Corbin, vocalist and songwriter, went into a studio with bassist Hudiburg and guitarist Skip Spoonts to record a demo tape to give to clubs. However, because of inadequacy of the studio, the recorded songs came out poorly. After the failure of their first attempt at recording, Hudiburg and Corbin decided to try again with another studio and two additional musicians. This time with 47 X It's Own Weight drummer John Treanor and electric lead Freddy Smith they tried again, but again the results were unsatisfactory. After this second session failed, Corbin and Hudiburg decided to go all the way and record an album's worth of material instead of just assembling a few songs for a demo tape. They got together a group of the best musicians they knew, a list that included Steve Barber of the Electromagnets and Austin jazz guitarist Jim Mings. Both Treanor and Smith from 47 X were unavailable. "We just got the best musicians we could on each instrument," Hudiburg said. Recording of the tape lasted from January through May. Throughout the recording process problems plagued the band. "The vocals had to be recorded three times," Hudiburg said. The faults, he said, were a result of the poor engineering. "The equalization (this is, the control of the tonal quality) was bad on the vocals. They boosted the wrong parts of the range. They put in too much treble." Another mistake made by engineers was the accidental erasure of several songs already recorded, Corbin said. "I could go on and on about all the mistakes made in the recording studio," he added. Finally it got to the point that Corbin and Hudiburg realized that they stood a better chance of making a decent recording if they engineered the recording themselves. It was after the second recording of the vocals that they began to engineer the tape, Hudiburg said. Even though Corbin and Hudiburg by now had some experience with studios, they encountered still more problems. Because the studio apparently had not paid it's bills, they found their time in the studio cut short when the equipment began to be repossessed. "The final week we were in the studio we had no monitor system," Corbin said. "We had to record without even knowing what the music sounded like. All we could do was listen to one track at a time through headphones." One of the biggest mistakes was the failure to record Steve Barber on one track. "We had to wake him (Barber) at 2 in the morning in order to rerecord that track when he was going to leave to go on tour at 5 the next morning," Corbin said. "Because the equipment was being repossessed, we had to spend our last 48 hours recording straight," Hudiburg said. "We both stayed up the whole time recording ourselves and other musicians." The two men decided to press a disc out of the recorded material after Corbin spent some time in California and received favorable reactions to the tape. They formed Prelude Record Company to provide a label for the album which was released in the summer. The name of the album is Marble-Eyed Gypsy. Corbin and Hudiburg are not letting the prospects of Prelude Record Company rest on the production of just this one album. "We exist to record local bands for a local market," Hudiburg said. "At this time there are two more albums in the works which will be heard of later." "We're not trying to make a profit," Corbin said. The list price of each disc will be $3.99 at the highest because they will be local products, he added. Frank produced a second album entitled Frank Corbin &One Fell Swoop. To quote a review in Texas Country Western Magazine by Paul Persons: "Although I heard only unfinished tapings from the new album, it was apparent that Frank's concern for control over the structure of the music has resulted in a much cleaner, more melodic sound than that sound achieved on his first album. The song 'Can't You See Anything' contains some intricate guitar passages played so exactingly by lead guitarist Fred Smith that the sound of the song justifies it's title - both Frank's vocal work and the songs instrumentation are very clear and precise. Frank has attempted to abandon his formerly "Dylan-ish" voice in favor of distinct and controlled melody." Towards the end of 1975 Frank was diagnosed with colon cancer. He passed on March 16, 1976 in Austin, Texas. This album, Marble-Eyed Gypsy, and Frank Corbin & One Fell Swoop are being re-released as a tribute to him.
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