Monday, June 6, 2011

UPDATED 6/27.: Former Allman Brothers Band drummer David 'Frankie' Toler has died in Bradenton

UPDATED 6/27: Former Allman Brothers Band drummer Frankie Toler celebrated Saturday in Manatee (with video)

UPDATED 6/8: Frankie Toler being remembered nationwide, with story running in numerous McClatchy Newspapers publications from Sacramento to Miami.

UPDATED 11:30 p.m.: Finished story "Former Allman Brothers drummer dies"/"Former Allman leaves lasting legacy" with a link to sign the Legacy Guest Book.

Paying tribute to Mr. David "Frankie" Toler at Damon Fowler's Sugar Shack Monday at Aces Live in Bradenton.

Watch live streaming video from sugarshackmonday at

UPDATED 2:45 p.m.: Marshall Tucker Band lead singer Doug Gray worked with his friend Frankie Toler from 1992-94.

"Frankie's personality was so big — it stuck out farther than his mighty drumsticks," Gray said. "I didn't know anybody who couldn't talk to him."

Gray paused and added, "There are a lot of people who loved Frankie. I'm just one."

Frankie (left) and brother Dan Toler/undated live photo provided by Mark Pucci Media.

A key player of the national Southern rock scene — and a beloved local — has passed.

David 'Frankie' Toler, former Allman Brothers Band, Gregg Allman Band and Marshall Tucker Band drummer, died 2 p.m. Saturday at Tidewell hospice care in Bradenton after a prolonged illness following a liver transplant.

He was 59 years old.

Frankie is survived by his wife, Marsha, their daughter, Aja Kayle, and his older brother, Dan Toler, who played with Frankie in the Allman Brothers Band, the Gregg Allman Band and several other projects. Dan Toler headlined MacFest in downtown Bradenton on May 14.

“Frankie was absolutely the best drummer I have ever played with in my entire life," Dan said in a statement. "He was a part of my life for the past 60 years and to lose him now is just devastating. But I did have the opportunity to grow up with one of the best rock and roll drummers in the world and it was truly a gift from God. I was blessed to have known him.”

Frankie Toler’s health had been in decline for several years and it prevented him from recording and going on tour, but after receiving a liver transplant two years ago he had been able to play at some band rehearsals.

Frankie (left) and brother Dan Toler/undated publicity photo provided by Mark Pucci Media.

"It's a sad day in Sarasota, Bradenton and in the music world in general," said Sarasota Blues Festival producer Barbara Strauss. "Danny and Frankie, you always said them in one sentence. They'll always be loved by everyone. Our hearts are broken but there are no words for what Danny and Frankie's family must be going through."

Frankie Toler came to national attention as the drummer on Dickey Betts & Great Southern’s 1978 album "Atlanta's Burning Down" and toured extensively with the group. He was then asked to be the drummer for the Allman Brothers Band and appeared on their 1981 album "Brothers of the Road," which features the Top 40 hit single "Straight from the Heart."

When Gregg Allman began planning his solo album at the time, he only had one drummer in mind for his new band: Frankie Toler. Frankie recorded two albums with Gregg — including the 1986 gold record "I'm No Angel" —  and toured extensively as the drummer with The Gregg Allman Band.

“Frankie was a big part of that era of the Brothers,” Gregg Allman told shortly after Toler’s passing. “We had amazing times and we stayed great friends. I’m gonna miss him.”

Frankie also played and toured with The Marshall Tucker Band from 1992-1994 and he played on their album, "Walk Outside The Line." Frankie, along with his brother Dan, recorded two albums as The Toler Brothers Band and together they toured extensively throughout the country in the early 90s. In 2005, Frankie recorded an album with a legendary ensemble of Southern Rock all-stars as the Renegades of Southern Rock; and in 2009 Frankie played drums on the Toler/Townsend Band’s self-titled first album.

Gregg Allman introducing Frankie Toler and rest of band before performing his solo masterpiece "Queen of Hearts" at New Orleans show from 1982.


Anonymous said...

May God rest Brother David Frankie Toler's Soul xoxoxo Ca

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the great music Frankie

Anonymous said...

Rest in Peace Brother.. You brought much joy to many people with your talents

Jeff said...

I saw Frankie many times with the Gregg Allman band and had a chance to meet him and Dan in Panama when they came down to entertain the troops. RIP Frankie. Thanks for the memories.

Gene said...

RIP, Frankie.