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Friday, February 12, 2010

What to Do Tonight: Commander Cody

Posted By on Fri, Feb 12, 2010 at 7:58 AM

When the Jeopardy answer is “The best boogie-woogie piano player this side of Jerry Lee Lewis, with a dirtier mind than Prince ever imagined,” the question has got to be, “Who is Commander Cody?” The Commander, born George Frayne, found his calling at the 88s early in life. In 1967, as a student at the University of Michigan, he assembled a crack band of loose-limbed players that he christened the Lost Planet Airmen, all of whom were equally at home with western swing, rockabilly, R&B and country. After making their local reputation, Cody and the Airmen relocated to San Francisco and scored a label deal for their 1971 debut, Lost in the Ozone, which spawned their signature song, “Hot Rod Lincoln.” Cody dissolved the Airmen in 1976 but continued to record sporadically while touring relentlessly. Last year, Cody and the Airmen were inducted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame, and Cody released Dopers, Drunks & Everyday Losers, a mix of new songs and reworked oldies. He plays the Winchester (12112 Madison Ave., 216.226.5681, thewinchester.net), with Jim Schafer opening at 9 p.m. Tickets: $12. — Brian Baker

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