Grammy and Golden Globe-nominated artist Frank Stallone chatted about his career and his latest endeavors, which includes “The Family Stallone” on Paramount+.
Byron Pulsifer once said: “Imagine, dream, and believe in yourself. With determination and belief, you will be surprised at what you accomplish.” This quote applies to Frank Stallone.
He describes himself as a “live and let live person.” He has been in the entertainment industry for over 56 years.
Aside from being the younger brother of Sylvester Stallone, Frank is a versatile actor, singer-songwriter and musician in his own right. His wide range spans comedy to drama and rock to blues to big band. He is known for writing original songs for Sylvester’s films.
Speaking of writing for soundtracks, he has written and recorded compositions for such movies as Rocky I, II and III, Rambo II, Paradise Alley and Over the Top.
A passion for music at a young age
At a young age, Frank pursued his musical ambitions, forming a series of bands, and finally turned professional at the tender age of 15, where he had to lie about his age. His group, Valentine, included lead guitarist John Oates (Hall and Oates fame) and was signed to RCA Records in 1975, when they recorded their first album.
“I think music should be loved and appreciated, and hopefully, it will bring out the best in people,” he added.
Frank made his on-screen singing debut, performing the self-penned acapella song, “Take You Back” in the opening scene of the film Rocky. “Nobody knew what was going to happen with that film. It was kind of interesting, and then, all of a sudden, a year later, Rocky was nominated for 10 Academy Awards,” he recalled.
Lauded by Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, and Sammy Cahn
Frank has recorded nine solo albums and he has earned rave reviews from such entertainment legends as Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett and Sammy Cahn. He is fan favorite in the continent of Australia, and he performs in concert halls, theaters, and club venues all over the globe. “Getting praise from Frank, Tony, and Sammy felt pretty good,” he said.
“That was such an honor. I remember Frank Sinatra vividly at the Hollywood Bowl and I was watching him, and he asked if I was still in the audience. Frank told me ‘I just heard the album you did with Billy May and it knocked my socks off’ and I went ‘Holy, Christ.’ All three of them were the cream of the crop.”
On his music and songwriting inspirations, Frank said, “I was born to do it. I started singing at five or six years old, and when I saw Elvis on TV, I realized that this is what I wanted to do for a living. When I saw The Beatles on the ‘Ed Sullivan Show’ that put the nail in the coffin, and I knew I had to be a performer.”
“I didn’t want to be a fireman, cop, or a college professor, I just wanted to play music because it was one of the few things I could do. Music just came so natural to me,” he admitted.
‘Far From Over’
Frank’s songs that he wrote and recorded for the Saturday Night Fever sequel “Staying Alive” earned him a Golden Globe nomination for “Best Original Song — Motion Picture” and a Grammy nomination for “Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television Special” thanks to the success of “Far From Over.” “That was pretty amazing,” he said. “I turned professional in 1965 and ‘Staying Alive’ came out in 1983 so it was like a gift from God. I couldn’t believe it at first.”
“I almost couldn’t believe the Grammy and Golden Globe nominations,” he said. “It was a blessing that those happened at that time.”
The song “Far From Over” became a smash No. 1 hit around the world and stayed on the top charts for over four months. “It was really cool and a blessing, the song still has legs. It was recently played in ‘The Walking Dead,’ which was a nice homage,” he said.
Frank has garnered three platinum Albums, 10 gold albums and five gold singles and he has acted in over 80 films and TV shows such as Walker Texas Ranger, multiple sitcoms and variety shows, Hudson Hawk, Staying Alive, Fred Claus, and Tombstone, where he made a big impact as Ed Bailey, a dangerous gunslinger.
One of his most memorable film roles involved playing Eddie, the bartender in Barfly, which was well-received by the legendary film critic Roger Ebert. “Barfly is interesting too because when it first came out, it was somewhat of a bomb, but now, it has become a cult classic,” he said.
‘The Family Stallone’
Frank spoke about being a part of the docu-series “The Family Stallone,” which is coming to Paramount+ this spring. It follows the Hollywood icon, Sylvester, and his family. “We have a reality show coming up this spring and that’s going to be interesting,” he said.
“I am in seven of these episodes,” he shared. “My brother, Sylvester, was very kind and he acknowledged me as the first guy in the family that was in showbiz, and that he followed my footsteps. That was very nice of him to say so. It is kind of fun.”
“I pop in and out of ‘The Family Stallone.’ I’m like the old, single uncle,” he added.
The digital age
On being an actor and musician in the digital age, Frank said, “I haven’t caught on too much but I know how to use the computer, and I have Instagram. The digital age is interesting.”
Key to longevity in showbiz
On the key to longevity in the music and entertainment business, Frank said, “I think it’s because I never really got into the drug culture, and I always was vein enough to try to stay in shape.”
“I think it’s an obligation that if you go on stage, and people are going to spend their hard-earned money to watch you play, you owe to them coming on stage looking good and doing the best you can,” he explained.
“I really like music and entertaining, and I’m not a workaholic person,” he said.
In addition, Frank is a guitar, music, mafia and art aficionado. He is also a boxing historian and an avid collector of guitars, guns, and memorabilia. “I think it is good and healthy to have hobbies, it really puts your mind in a different place,” he said. “I enjoy having hobbies, I think they are fun.”
When he is not writing songs or filming a project, Frank can be found on a shooting range or at the gym. He noted that he enjoys guitars, beautiful women, and a glass of wine.
“I’m a competitive shooter, I really enjoy it and I wish people would educate themselves more about it and stop going after gunowners. I think everyone, whether you shoot or not, should take a gun safety class since even if you never shoot, you know that every gun is considered loaded. Treat every gun like it’s loaded, that way, there will be less accidents,” he said.
“I love doing archery and collecting guitars, even though I have been getting rid of a lot of guitars lately,” he added.
Jacob Young and Ronn Moss
Frank had positive words about such actors as Emmy winners Jacob Young and Ronn Moss, both of which starred in the CBS daytime drama “The Bold and The Beautiful.” “I love Jacob, he is a great guy,” he said. “Ronn Moss is a wonderful guy and so is his wife, Devin. They both enjoy their life and they both do their thing.”
On the title of the current chapter of his life, Frank said, “Moving Forward.”
Regarding his definition of the word success, he said, “Happiness.” “There are so many people that are unhappy. I think joy and peace is the recipe for longevity,” he said.
“Whenever anyone asks me if I would rather be the richest man or the happiest man, I would pick the ‘happiest man’. It’s all about peace of mind,” he said.
For his loyal fans, Frank concluded, “The fans have been great. At the end of the day, the fans make it.”