Born and raised in Clay County, Frank Thomas is a native Floridian whose ancestors came to Florida to farm in the late eighteenth-century. Members of his family fought in the Second Seminole War and in the Civil War; they also continued farming until the 1950s. This direct connection with the land and heritage of English-speaking Florida inspired much of his music. Thomas relates that his entire family played music and that he “learned guitar so young that he doesn’t remember learning.” Ann Thomas, a professional librarian, was raised in Lakeland and met Frank in 1978 at Carl Allen’s Restaurant in Lake Wales. Together they wrote over 100 songs about Florida on subjects ranging from the environment to local history. They traveled the state, performing their music at schools, festivals, folk clubs, and concert stages. They received the Florida Folk Heritage Award in 1993.
Podcast: Frank and Ann Thomas and Don Grooms