Frank William Wood, 62, died a lucky man on May 4, doing what he loved to do best: playing music with friends, as his heart took its last beat. Despite the best efforts of the summoned medical professionals, there was nothing left on Earth for Wood to say, sing, or do.
Born Oct. 2, 1950, in Freeport, Texas, Wood was the son of R.W. Twombly cq and Dorothy Jo Wood, both deceased. He was also pre-deceased by Sammie Wood, the grandmother who raised him from the eighth grade in Paragould; and by his daughter, Hope Wood.
Wood is survived by his companion, Beth Welshans cq; his stepmother, Eleanor Twombly; and his granddaughter, Lula Mae Wampler. cq
He is also survived by a lifetime of music, which he made alone and with friends such as Dr. Kent Davidson, his bass player; Richard Watts, his flute player; Tom Orsini, cq his percussionist; Chris “Blind Boy White” Thomson cq and guitarists Kit Acklin cq and Terry “Gabe” Gabrion. cq
Besides being a lifelong singer-songwriter, Wood was a stonemason, landscaper and vintage auto restorer (specializing in the Hudson Hornet). He was in the creative writing program at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, where he studied writing under Miller Williams.
According to Richard Watts, a friend to Wood since 1973, Wood has written more than 350 original songs, released an LP, “David Wright’s Original Home Band” and two CDs under the group name, Anglo Tango. He has also written hundreds of poems, several short stories and two screenplays. He was at work on a third screenplay.
”One of my favorite of many sayings coined by Frank was this one,” Watts, who co-wrote the screenplays with Wood, says. “You can’t make any new old friends.”
Davidson, noting the many fields in which the talented Wood expressed himself, noted that “it sometimes seemed like he was a ‘man out of time,’ living in a world that was not ready to appreciate his brilliance.”
Acklin described Wood as the “best poet since Dylan Thomas, best composer/lyricist since George M. Cohan and best friend to everyone!”
Bill Walker, who managed Wood’s first band, called his old friend “the single most talented artist I ever met. I will miss him no end.”