Music fans mourn death of Sheffield legend Frank White

Fans – including showbiz pals - have been paying tribute to Sheffield music legend Frank White.

Monday, 30th March 2020, 2:23 pm

The singer and blues guitarist - whose admirers included Elvis Presley and Eric Clapton - passed away after a long illness, it is understood.

Fellow Sheffield star Jon McClure, frontman of Reverend and The Makers, described him as ‘Sheffield music royalty’, while famed city music producer Alan Smyth, who worked with Frank and other local greats, including Arctic Monkeys, said he was ‘a legend and a massive inspiration for many’.

In the 1960s, Frank toured Europe with another local hero, The Crying Game pop star Dave Berry and the Cruisers. He played with Carl Perkins, Albert Lee and The Crickets.

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Frank White

It was widely reported that the talented guitarist and singer was headhunted by The Rolling Stones after the departure of Mick Taylor, while his Sheffield mate Joe Cocker also wanted him for The Grease Band.

Frank, uncle of city recording star Richard Hawley, is regarded as a musician who could have matched the careers of Eric Clapton and Keith Richards, if he had wished, but he put aside the chance of global fame and fortune in favour of family and faith.

He treated fans to his talent every Friday for 20 years at Pheasant Inn, at Sheffield Lane Top, but stopped performing publicly about five years ago after suffering a broken left shoulder.

Another claim to fame was owning the first white twin-neck Gibson guitar to be shipped from the United States in 1964.

Frank White with his famous 1964 white twin neck Gibson guitar - the first of its model to be shipped from the States. Picture: Chris Etchells.jpg

Frank, who lived in Gleadless, leaves wife Jean and children Joel and Jody.

Author Neil Anderson said: “Few musicians spanned decades and generations like him. Sheffield will be a poorer place without him.”

Sheffield singer-songwriter John Reilly, of Boy on a Dolphin fame, said: "Great memories and thank you for the support and advice in those early Dolphin years ‘Old Boy’.”

Fan Richard Wilson said on his Twitter account, @richsheff: “RIP Frank White a Sheffield music legend.”

And Sean Piggott, @SeanPiggott2, tweeted: “His band was often the go to band backing touring American Bluesmen back in the day. He will be missed.”