Franchesca Robi's Songs
- Only You
- It Isn't Right
- My Prayer
- The Mystery of You
- Only Because
- Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
- Wish It Were Me
- (You've Got) The Magic Touch
- I Wish
- No Power On Earth
- For The First Time
- The Great Pretender
Los Angeles-based singer Franchesca Robi (Gilchriese), daughter of one of the original Platters, the late Paul Robi, has released her first album singing the songs of her father. The Platters were one of the most successful musical singing groups of the fifties rock’n’roll era.
Entitled “Remembering The Platters: Songs of My Father,” the album was released in October 2012. Co-executive produced by Martha Robi and Studio City’s DaBet Music Services, the recording features Franchesca performing her own renditions of a carefully selected collection of songs made famous by The Platters.
The album was recorded at Capitol Records Studios in Hollywood over two sessions in July of 2011 and January of 2012, which featured arrangements from Roy Phillippe and Tim Simonec. Dan Wallin, score mixer of such films as Star Trek, Mission Impossible III and Up amongst others, acted in a capacity of engineer/producer for both sessions. The earlier sessions involved a complete orchestra of 35 union musicians from Local 47, as well as 15 student musicians of Cal State Northridge and professor/violinist Mike Ferril. The second session brought in such notables as guitarist George Doering, bassist Chuck Berghoffer, drummer Peter Erskine, pianist Jim Cox and tenor saxophonist Gene Cipriano.
Her return to the recording studio is a significant change of direction for Franchesca, who put her music career on a two-decade-plus hiatus to build a marriage and family, with husband Tom Gilchriese, and earn a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Cal State Northridge.
“Although I love being a wife and mother I have never lost the love for the wonderful music my father left in my heart,” says Franchesca. “This new album is my way of keeping my father’s musical legacy alive. The Platters albums include some of the most beautiful songs ever recorded.”
In 1988, Franchesca’s father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, became very weak and could no longer perform. At that time, he asked her to join his group. Franchesca went on to tour with the group to Finland, Italy, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Indonesia, China, Turkey, Germany, and even performed in Monte Carlo, for Prince Albert at the famous Formula One race. She also performed with the Boston Symphony directed by Marvin Hamlish, and at the Kennedy Center in New York for Vice President Dan Quayle.
Paul Robi passed away on Feb. 1, 1989, and the following year The Platters were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Franchesca’s tribute album to her father features 12 tracks, including several of the group’s No. 1 hits such as “Only You,” "The Great Pretender,” “Smoke Gets in your Eyes,” “My Prayer” and “(You’ve Got) The Magic Touch.”