Frank Baum - this name has been synonymous with European pedal steel for many decades. The successful musician and pedal steel master was also very popular in Hawaii and was a star guest during Aloha Week in Honolulu. And the multiple winner of the German Country Oscar also delighted the audience with his interpretation of Hawaiian music. His stage name in Hawaii was Palani.
Germany's first pedal steel musician was born in Nuremberg in 1936. "From 1953 I played many different lap steel guitars. Later I enjoyed playing a four-neck Fender® String Master, and since 1965 I have been playing a pedal steel guitar," Frank Baum explained on his website.
Inspired by the AFN radio show, he formed the Mauna Los Hawaiians in 1954 and toured the clubs of American military bases in Europe.
In the early sixties he formed the Kalua Hawaiians with Willy Ullrich, a studio band that lasted until 1995 and released many LPs and CDs. Since the early eighties he has also been very successful with his band Country Green. Country Green was the house band of the TV series "Kilometer 330" with Jonny Hill.
Frank "Palani" Baum was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame by the GACMF in 1995 and was voted Country Musician of the Year in 1992 and 1995.
"I've been working as a studio musician for over 35 years with pedal steel, lap steel, dobro and ukulele instruments," said Baum. "And I can look back and be proud of my participation in more than 500 LP and CD recordings." Frank Baum has also been a session musician for Jonny Hill, Gunter Gabriel, Freddy Quinn, Dave Dudley, Peter Maffay, Paola, Mary Roos, Rattlesnake Anny, Rosanne Cash, The Bellamy Brothers, The Spotnicks, Michael Holm, Boxcar Willie, Joe Sun and many more.
In the late sixties, the pedal steel virtuoso wrote the instruction book for the new Framus FS 1000 and FS 2000 professional steel guitars, which he also played and promoted. "This modern method allows any seriously interested player to easily learn this versatile instrument," Frank Baum's introduction reads.
Frank Baum died in 2018 at the age of 82.