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Frankie Toler RIP

Posted: Jun 08, 2011

With great sadness we pass on the news that drummer David "Frankie" Toler died on Saturday in Bradenton, FL after a long illness stemming from his liver transplant that he received two years ago.  Toler was 59.

Toler and his guitarist brother Dan Toler were members of Dickey Betts and Great Southern during the late 1970s.  When the Allman Brothers Band reunited in 1979, Betts brought Dan Toler in to fill the second guitar slot.  Frankie came in to take Jaimoe's place when ABB recorded Reach For The Sky and Brothers Of The Road in 1980-81.  

Frankie and Dan were later part of Gregg Allman's band when he released the I'm No Angel and Just Before The Bullets Fly albums in the late 1980s.  Frankie Toler also played with the Marshall Tucker Band in the early 90s.

Frankie battled hepatitis c for many years before the illness forced him to get a liver transplant.  His struggles with this illness prevented him from participating in bands such as the reunion of Dickey Betts and Great Southern back in 2002.

Toler is survived by his wife, Marsha; their daughter, Aja Kayle.

Here are some thoughts on Frankie Toler's passing from those that knew him well:

"Frankie was absolutely the best drummer I have ever played with in my entire life.  He was a part of my life for the past 60 years and to lose him now is just devastating.  But I did have the opportunity to grow up with one of the best rock 'n' roll drummers in the world and it was truly a gift from God. I was blessed to have known him." - Dan Toler

"Frankie was a big part of that era of the Brothers.  We had amazing times and we stayed great friends. I'm gonna miss him." - Gregg Allman

"Frankie's personality was so big - it stuck out farther than his mighty drumsticks.  I didn't know anybody who couldn't talk to him.  There are a lot of people who love Frankie. I'm just one." - Doug Gray

The Swampland Flag flies at half mast...


Frankie Toler Hositalized, Needs Your Thoughts and Prayers
(Our story from September 2008 about Frankie Toler's health issues which ultimately led to his liver transplant)

Six Degrees of Swampland: The Allman Brothers Band
(Swampland's hub page complete with links to all of our ABB-related content including interviews, reviews, and features)

Legends of Southern Rock: The Allman Brothers Band
(The Allman's entry in our Legends of Southern Rock series.  Includes band lineup histories and more)

Gregg Allman 1999 Interview

Dickey Betts 2002 Interview
(Dickey discusses the Great Southern reunion and talk about Frankie Toler participating in rehearsal sessions)

Review of Dickey Betts: Bougainvillea's Call
(This compilation covers Betts's solo album including tracks when Frankie Toler was part of Great Southern)

Legends of Southern Rock: The Marshall Tucker Band
(MTB's entry in our Legends of Southern Rock series.  Includes band lineup histories and more)

Doug Gray 2007 Interview


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