Country-Rock Pioneer Dies At 77
George Frayne / Facebook
George Frayne, best known by his stage name Commander Cody died Sunday, September 26, 2021, at age 77 following a battle with cancer.
Frayne was born in Boise, Idaho in 1944 and formed Commander Cody And The Lost Planet Airmen in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1967. He gave himself the stage name Commander Cody after being inspired by the character Commando Kody, King of the Rocket Men, who appeared in the American 1951 science fiction film Lost Planet Airmen.
“Early this morning, as I lay my head upon his shoulder, George’s soul took to flight,” his wife wrote in a Facebook post. “I am heartbroken and weary, and I know your hearts break, too. Thank you so much for all the love you gave and the stories you shared.”
Frayne pioneered the world of country-rock by bringing together boogie-woogie piano playing along with influences including country, rock ‘n’ roll, rockabilly, swing and jump blues.
At one point, the group signed a contract with Paramount Records and released their debut album in 1971, Lost in the Ozone, which included a Top 40 cover of “Hot Rod Lincoln.”
Eventually, Frayne permanently relocated to Saratoga Springs, New York to live the rest of his days creating acrylic art.
RIP Commander Cody, you will be missed.