Florida musician to be honored at North Florida Folk Festival

By Angela Biggs | gargoyle@flagler.edu

If there is anyone who knows Florida’s history and can transform it into a song, Frank Thomas is the man. With over 500 songs under his belt and over 70 years in the music industry, the North Florida Folk Festival is honoring his talent and memorable lyrics on Nov. 12 at the North Florida Agriculture Museum.

Thomas’ inspiration came from his love of Florida and his family. He said his ancestors came to Florida in the late 18th century and he has carried on the tradition and history ever since. As a Florida native, he said he believes that people need to know the history of the land they live on.

Thomas credits his Floridian roots for his long list of accomplishments that he has received during his musical career. The Florida Folk Heritage Award, the Inaugural Jillian Prescott History Award, the Stetson Kennedy Foundation’s Fellow Man and the Mother Earth Award are some of the awards he has won.

Listening to his music is like taking a journey through Florida’s history.

“I get a kick out of sneaking up on people’s blindside with my lyrics,” Thomas said.

He said he enjoys enlightening and humoring people when they listen to his music. He shares his songs at schools, music and folk clubs, festivals and on television.

Thomas won the Florida Historical Society’s Golden Quill Award for his “Florida History in Song” music video.

He is currently working on his 10th album.

“I don’t really like to perform, the glamour has worn off,”  Thomas said.

He said he would rather be in the comfort of his home, in Polk County, writing  songs about Florida and spending time with his wife, Lisa, who also carries on the tradition of sharing stories through song.

The Florida Folk Festival will have a booth called ‘Frank’s Front Porch,’ where Thomas will be the majority of the day.

Thomas is the feature act of the festival and will be performing throughout the day. The festival starts at 10 a.m. and runs until 8:30 p.m.

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