The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto: A Musical Companion CD is now available exclusively at Barnes & Noble. Shop here. It was released for digital download and streaming on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and Apple Music on November 6th.
The musical soundtrack features original songs by current recording artists including Ingrid Michaelson, Mat Kearney, Sawyer Fredericks and Phredley Brown that trace to the book’s story and were co-written with Albom—a longtime musician himself. In addition, the tracklisting boasts a number of previously released fan favorites that feature prominently in the novel. Mitch Albom collaborated directly with the artists to create a captivating companion piece to his prose. Further entwining the album and the book, Michaelson is even one of the narrative’s characters.
With ‘guest appearances’ from such real-life musicians as Tony Bennett, Wynton Marsalis Lyle Lovett, Paul Stanley, Roger McGuinn, Burt Bacharach and Michaelson – all of whom collaborated with Albom – The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto is a Forest-Gump like journey through 20th century music and a heartrending tale about human connections. As lyrical and finely-tuned as its protagonist’s strings, this is a masterful work from “a writer with soul” (Los Angeles Times).
The full tracklist:
I Want To Love You – Mat Kearney (as Frankie Presto)
Frankie first’s hit song. It sold two million copies and put him on the map, leading critics to call him “the next Elvis Presley.”
Our Secret – Ingrid Michaelson
A haunting ballad that became a top ten hit. “Our Secret” was produced by the great Burt Bacharach. Many people tried to guess who Frankie wrote it for, but he never told them.
No No Honey – Brent James (as Frankie Presto)
“No, No, Honey” was another huge hit for Frankie Presto. He wrote it using a chorus hook he overheard a young female songwriter working on in a building in New York. He then surprised her by giving her co-writing credit and half the royalties. She never even knew about the song until it came out.
Shake Shake – Phredley Brown
The most carefree of Frankie’s big hits, a finger snapping dance record that many called his most polished early effort, with horns and background singers.
Forever Wrong (Frankie & Aurora’s Love Theme) – Sawyer Fredericks
Frankie and Aurora spend their lives together and apart, often torn by the very love that united them. Sawyer’s aching ballad captures that magical hold belonging only to the person you were meant to be with.
Parlez Moi Damour – Olivia Millerschin
One of the records Frankie heard as a boy in the flat with his guitar teacher, El Maestro, it became Aurora’s favorite song. Frankie sang it in French to her on their last night together.
Maalaala Mo Kaya (Will You Remember) – Janine Sabino and Mitch Albom
When Frankie and Aurora first met as children, Aurora asked him to play a song to honor the buried dead in a mass grave. Young Frankie chose this beautiful song from the Philippines, because it had the word “remember” in its title.
Avalon – John Pizzarelli
The first song Frankie ever played in front of an audience. El Maestro pushed him out front. The audience was aghast.
The Boy I’m Gonna Marry (Today I Met) – Darlene Love
Darlene and Frankie had “a moment” when she was young. She made a note in her diary that she’d met the man she would wed. She didn’t, of course, but when the song came along years later, she knew it was meant for her.
Tutti Frutti – Little Richard
Frankie was a studio musician in New Orleans who, during a break at a shoe shine stand, suggested that Richard Penniman record this song. A half hour later, it was done.
A House Is Not A Home – Dionne Warwick
A House Is Not A Home. Burt Bacharch met Frankie the night this was recorded. Not knowing Frankie’s youthas an orphan, he was surprised to see Frankie crying when he heard the chorus.
Mr. Tambourine Man – The Byrds
Roger McGuinn met Frankie in London during this song’s meteoric rise and introduced him to the Beatles, an event that changed Frankie’s direction.
Lost In The Stars – Tony Bennett
The great Tony Bennet discovered a broken Frankie Presto in a London park, sittin on a bench, waiting for his wife to one day return. He coaxed him back to playing, just a few chords, on this song.
God Will – Lyle Lovett
A young Lyle Lovett pursued the then-mythical Frankie across the world, found him on an island, and took his advice, to record songs that were true to himself. This was one of his first.
Creatures Of The Night – KISS
Frankie Presto once auditioned for KISS in hopes his daughter would get to see him play. This was the tune that he soloed on.
You’re Gone And I Am Here (Frankie’s Final Song) – John Pizzarelli
John found Frankie in the final months of his life, a broken man living all alone. This was the last piece of music and lyrics Frankie wrote, a brokenhearted lament to his beloved Aurora.
Lagrima – Vito Lafata, Jr.
The song that started it all, the one hummed into Frankie’s ear by his doomed mother, the one that tied him forever to his namesake, Francisco Tarrega. It means “teardrop” – a symbol for the bittersweet life Frankie led.