Posted: Friday 15th August 2014 at 8:49 am

Frankie Taylor, the Oseikrom legend


The comedy show last two weeks has generated so much showbiz conversation over the past week, hasn’t it? Thanks in part to DKB’s splendid performance, there has been a lot of time spent on comedy once again and it is good that the spotlight has been on that aspect of our entertainment.

Unfortunately the praise was taken but what was meant to be constructive criticism was pooh-poohed upon by some in the industry and yet others also took it in good faith. Be that as it may, it is the hope of some of us that the genre of comedy in all its manifestations will carry Ghanaian arts and entertainment further than it has over the years

My main task this week is to dedicate the column to one of the broadcast legends of our time. A man who has done all that could be done in local broadcast for almost two decades and yet continues like nothing has really happened between when he started and now.

The likes of Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Francesco Totti, Paolo Maldini and Michael Jordan are very rare in the sense that they stayed for a long time at one football and basketball clubs respectively. Similarly there are rare radio presenters who stay at one station for long.

If I am not exaggerating, I can count the number of presenters who have stayed at one station for more than 10 years who have not been enticed one way or another to move on to another station where the grass looks greener than it is where they may be.

In an era and a region where radio presenters are very quick to jump ship when the next person carrying a bag load of money appears on the scene, to have had one broadcaster stay on at the same radio station for over a decade and half must be commended.

Frankie Taylor came to Kumasi as part of the pioneering team of Fox FM and has since been a part of the team at the Prempeh Assembly Hall based radio station. He has been in the thick of things at the station right from the beginning till almost 17 years now.

There have been many presenter movements since that time and yet Taylor has stayed true to the station that has brought him massive popularity and provided him with the opportunity to interact with both the ordinary and royalty of Asanteman.

Kumasi has seen many radio stations come up whose owners have chased down existing broadcasters to poach them. And Frankie being among the most sought after presenters in the Garden City, has had his fair share of such chase downs, if ever there’s such an expression.

Among the major establishment of new radio stations, there have been three epochal ones, in my humble view. The first was when Hello FM arrived on the scene to try and see if what had worked for Peace FM in Accra would work in Kumasi as well.

The station took along a few presenters from different stations with Fox FM getting its share of the raking by Despite’s new baby. Frankie Taylor stayed put at the station he has been working with many years earlier.  

The second was when Kessben FM set up shop to operate a radio station from Aseda House. This was so huge it scared the entire industry and especially the owners of Fox FM. There were more than 10 presenters from Fox FM alone who were poached to the new station.

Frankie Taylor was only among the few who remained at the station. The other prominent presenter who did not go along with his colleagues to Kessben FM was the morning show presenter and Kumasi’s sweetheart Kwame Adinkra.

Then there was the third major quake that hit the radio scene in Kumasi when another businessman and the man who for many years had been producing and selling Angel Cream and other products decided to venture into the business of radio broadcasting.

Many were the presenters who were poached from different stations including a lot from Fox FM. Initially Kwame Adinkra who had arrived from Fox FM via Kapital Radio would not budge, but he eventually also joined the Angel FM bandwagon and thereby leaving Frankie Taylor at Fox FM as the last man standing!

It could even be argued that there have been some recently such as the arrival of Metro FM which still did not attract the afternoon show presenter at Fox FM.

So what could be the reason that could have kept Frankie Taylor at Fox FM even though he is not among the highest paid presenters in Kumasi? Could it be that he has other opportunities that make sure that he would not leave? Could it be that he scares to leave his comfort zone?

The many times that I have had a discussion with him over his longevity, he had told me that it is not about money as much as it is about being dedicated to what you believe in and staying on to do it to the best of your abilities.

Since arriving from Radio BIYAC at Oda, Frankie has been the host of African Express, a programme that airs on Fox FM between 12:30pm and 3:00pm every week day. He has done it over many years and perfected the art so much.

For Taylor, who doubles as the Head of Programmes at the station, one of the attractions for his show is to have the opportunity to play and thereby promote Ghanaian and African music. 

It is that which gives him strength to go into the studio every hot afternoon to entertain the people of Kumasi and environs as well as those who with time had been listening online with some of the best tunes from Ghana and the continent.

It therefore didn’t come as a surprise to those who carefully watch this industry that the man who with time has also developed himself into a movie producer was presented with the award for Best Music Promoter of the Year at the Ghana DJ Awards held in February this year in Accra.

On that occasion Frankie was reported to have dedicated his award to his boss at Fox FM and Prophet T.B. Joshua.  

‘I dedicate the award to T.B Joshua who is my mentor. I thank all my fans, my lovely wife Mrs. Princess Danso Taylor, Mr. Francis Poku, CEO of Hot FM for supporting me in diverse ways to get this far. I feel so motivated and encouraged,’ he was quoted.

Before radio everywhere in this country would get as loud as it is now, Frankie was in the thick of things bludgeoning the people of Kumasi with loud African music during the afternoon. Back then, afternoon music was always slow, but he added his part and we are on a different plane now.

If ever the story of the evolution of radio in Kumasi is to be chronicled, it is my considered opinion that Frankie Taylor would have to be featured prominently to make it legit and worthwhile. 

This is because this gentleman, this presenter, this promoter of Ghanaian music is a legend of radio broadcasting in Kumasi and should be recognised as such!

@TheGHMediaGuru

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