Louis Franklin has probably won more Fiddling contests than any other Texas Fiddler including the World Championship in Crockett, Texas a record seven times. He has influenced virtually every fiddler who has ever attempted to play the Texas Contest Fiddle style and is revered by everyone who has ever seen or heard him play. There is now a FiddleFest in his hometown of Whitewright, Texas named in his honor as the Louis Franklin Championship and held every Memorial Day Weekend and is attended by the best Fiddlers and Accompanist's playing today.
Larry Franklin is descended from a family of legendary Texas fiddlers. His great uncle, Major Franklin, and his father, Louis Franklin, were seldom recorded but vastly influential fiddlers in the Texas fiddle style that has become the national "contest" style heard everywhere today. Larry was winning most of the major fiddle contests while still in his teens, and has gradually evolved into the all-around musician and top call Nashville session pro that he is today.
2002 Texas Fiddlers Hall of Fame inductee
Voted "Fiddle Player Of The Year" for 1997and 2002 (Academy Of Country Music)
3-Time Grammy Winner
In Music Row Magazine's Annual Session All-Star Poll, he has finished in the Top 2 or 3 every year since 1997.
As a member (1984-1991) of the Hot Western Swing Group Asleep at the Wheel, Larry received two Grammies for Instrumental of the Year. The first in 1987 for String of Pars, a song he co-wrote, and again in 1988 for Sugarfoot Rag.
They won again in 1999 with Bob's Breakdowns on the Ride With Bob tribute album to Bob Wills featuring Larry, Vince Gill and Steve Wariner, bringing his Grammy total to three!
Growing up on a farm in Whitewright, Texas, just north of Dallas, Larry was one of five children raised in a home full of music. His father Louis, having won hundreds of fiddling contests including seven world championships in Crockett, Texas, gave Larry his first lessons at the age of seven. He began placing in junior divisions at nine and went on to win many contests throughout his school years, culminating with a world championship in 1970 at age 16.
Larry's great uncle, Major Franklin, lived nearby in Denison, Texas and was a fixture at many of the fiddling's and a master of the texas style he helped to create and make popular. Major was a favorite at any contest he attended to leave with the top prize, as he did so many times.
Almost every weekend consisted of a contest and/or a jam session. Other great fiddlers such as Norman and Vernon Soloman, Benny Thomason, Orville Bums and guitarist Omega Burden were among the many attending these get togethers providing Larry with the best to learn from and listen to.
In High school he pursued his other musical interests, playing guitar in rock and roll dance bands. He graduated in 1971 and a 3 year stint in the Army took him to Stuttgart, Germany where he performed with a group "The Western Cavaliers" at Army Bases and German guesthouses and Beer Fests.
After the army he co-founded "The Cooder Browne Band". They moved to Austin, Texas and soon were in high demand and signed by Willie Nelson to his Lone Star Record Label. They released their self titled album in 1978. A few years later he left to form "The Larry Franklin Band" with the same musical direction, capitalizing on the mixture of western swing, blues and rock and roll. After 3 years of touring and releasing one LP, the group disbanded and Larry joined forces with Asleep At The Wheel.
In the next seven years (1984-1991) they recorded five albums and toured 250 days a year, garnering two instrumental Grammys along the way, then a third Grammy in 1999 as a featured guest on the Ride With Bob album.
In 1991 Nashville called and Larry made the move to be a full time studio musician. The first two years proved to be a test of patience but he got on track when a Martina McBride song "Life # 9" featuring his fiddle solo became a top ten hit. Soon afterwards Alan Jackson's "I Didn't Even Know Her Name" featuring Larry, Brent Mason and Paul Franklin (no relation) went straight to # 1. Now with numerous Gold and Platinum albums to his credit, Larry continues to be one of the most in demand musicians in Nashville.