Look in any book on the History of Rock and Roll and you will find Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen. The band's name was inspired by 1950's film serials featuring the character Kommando Kody and from a feature version of an earlier serial, King of the Rocket Men, released under the title Lost Planet Airmen. The band's founder and leader, George Frayne, took the stage name Commander Cody. Among many other achievements, this eight piece super band's album Deep in the Heart of Texas is one of Rolling Stone Magazine's top 100 albums of all time. It's no wonder Billy C Farlow, the lead singer, also played trumpet and blues harp. The fiddler, Andy Stein, played saxophone and the guitar player, Bill Kirchen, played trombone. Cody the piano pounder, doubled on Kazoo. And they all sang. They toured non stop to a legion of dedicated fans across the globe and back and recorded seven original albums before the band finally broke up and each member went their separate ways in 1977.
Since the breakup, each band member has continued the legend by fronting and recording their own smaller groups, sitting in with each other from time to time, and doing occasional band reunion performances.
The Commander Cody Band relocated to the east coast in 1997 and has been going strong ever since. Cody and his group are still wowing crowds at festivals, giant biker conventions and college concerts in the U.S. and Europe, as well as sleazy, down home, uptown and/or very posh roadhouses and bars. As of late Cody has also been artist in residence as well as boogie woogie pianist extraordinaire on The Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise extravaganzas.
Today the Commander Cody Band features Mark Emerick on guitar, Steve Barbuto on drums, Chris Olsen on pedal steel, and Randy Bramwell on bass. Cody is still trying to pound his piano into submission. And they all sing.