Frank Kramer is Radio's Crazy, Foul-Mouthed, Workaholic One-Man Army
I truly love radio. They'll have to carry me out of this motherfucker.
As the leader of the "Frank Army," Frank Kramer's devoted fans count on his quick wit, his mind that seems to stay forever on the dirty side, and his ability to be brutality honest in the most charming of ways. With Heidi by his side, this unflappable duo riff effortlessly like a married couple that somehow still enjoy being together after all of these years. The secret of this team's success? As Frank put it, "Heidi is one of the strongest women in radio. As far as being animated and being responsive, you throw her anything and it's like tennis. I'm just bringing the balls." For the last six months from 6am-10am "The Heidi & Frank Show" has been entertaining the masses on KLOS and when I had the chance to go into the station and watch these two in action, I jumped at the chance.
While I sat in studio I tried my best to keep it together but found myself bursting out laughing while they touched on topics ranging from stolen identity, masturbation, celebrity encounters, and even one about someone who's auctioning off a sex doll's virginity. Constantly pushing the envelope, Frank mentioned his parents would never bid on a sex doll for him saying, "My mom would buy me a pack of socks and say, go have fun with these ladies!" Without missing a beat Heidi said, "Make sure you pick those ladies up off the floor when you're done and put them in the laundry!" I swear these two share a brain.
Even in-between breaks Heidi and Frank's interaction was priceless as they literally just keep on going cracking each other up as well as everyone else in studio. At the end of the show, as is tradition, they apologize to everyone they might have offended and then sign-off with their signature, "You really have to listen to the whole show." And you really do.
The show may end at 10am but the job doesn't end at that point. Not by a long shot. Heidi's after show routine differs from Frank's at this point because she is also juggling a hit show on Logo TV called, "That Sex Show." It definitely had me wondering how she finds the time to do it all while still looking flawless that early in the morning. I can only assume it brings a lot of stress to her life but it surely didn't show. Frank took me into a meeting room where they do their show prep and explained to me, "Yeah, we sit and bullshit but it's not just about getting on the air and rambling. We have to be prepared with things to talk about and it has to be put in segments."
The Dirty Knobs / Marc Ford & the Neptune Blues Club
TicketsThu., Oct. 27, 8:00pm
TicketsThu., Oct. 27, 8:00pm
TicketsThu., Oct. 27, 8:30pm
Havoc Thursdays featuring: Modestep, Midnight Tyrannosaurus
TicketsThu., Oct. 27, 9:30pm
Always humble (and an undercover softie), Frank dished tons of credit to his crew telling me, "I have the best team and I really love them all. They put me in the position where I can be who I want to be and they support me through all of it. Everyone has something to say and everyone has different backgrounds and that's what's so great about them." I was exhausted at this point and yet Frank had the energy of a twenty-year-old. "How the hell do you do it all?" I asked. He smirked and shrugged saying, "Yeah it's a lot in one day but I love what I'm doing so I just don't see it as work. I'll never be the type of radio guy who works for five hours a day because at that point, you're just calling it in. I'm not that guy."
Six weeks before his graduation as a Geology major, Kramer's pal Frosty Stilwell invited him to Milwaukee to co-host a radio show. After some bribery involving beer and with the hopes of "chasing new tail," Frank quit school, bought an Acura, and drove to Milwaukee with everything he owned. The gig was short lived and about four weeks later, Frank and his Acura headed back to watch his Indiana State University class graduate without him. Luckily, it wasn't long until he joined Stilwell in Denver along with Jamie White for a radio show that lasted six years.
In radio you move around a lot and that's what Frank did, ending up in Los Angeles at KYSR along with Frosty and Jamie. Now follow along: Drop Jamie, add Heidi Hamilton, make the switch to 97.1 KLSX, and for nine brilliantly entertaining years, pure magic happened. Well, it was great until KLSX changed their format from all talk to "some pop bullshit." As a huge fan of "FHF" and while listening to them cry on-air while saying their goodbyes on their last day, I'll admit that I also cried too. Go ahead and judge, I'm sure I'm not alone here. It was a sad ending for all involved and that was the day I personally deleted 97.1 from my radio presets forever.
Frosty eventually went his own way while Heidi and Frank went to KABC but Frank knew there had to be more. He wanted to give the fans what they wanted so in his own back yard (literally), he created Toad Hop Network. He knew keeping the show alive was important and Internet radio gave Frank and Heidi an outlet to broadcast "The Heidi and Frank Show," and "After Hours with Heidi and Frank." In turn, Toad Hop Network became extremely successful and still houses a slew of amazing podcasts. Frank has now been in the radio industry for twenty years and when it comes to someone who is living and breathing their dream job, this is the man.
Something you should know about Frank (other than the fact that he consumes caffeine like a junkie) is while he's open about sharing many things once he cracks the mic, there is always another side. Case in point: Years ago Kramer divulged something extremely personal that many people probably wouldn't have shared. His ex-girlfriend came to him and said he fathered a daughter named Cassidy...five years after the fact. While the listeners were floored that this scenario could happen to him, they adored the stories and the relationship that developed with Cassidy who is now fifteen. Frank also has a nine-year-old son named Kayl and interestingly enough, he kept his son private with his on-air audience until recently saying, "I just didn't feel like I wanted to reveal so much. I mean, I put it all out there with my daughter. Sometimes it's like a double life you just have to separate. I wanted to protect this over here and that over there." With every word flowing out of his mouth regarding his kids, it's evident that no matter if he's on-air or off, Frank lives for his family.
So we know that he has two kids but here's where the story gets even more fascinating his private life. I asked him for some "breaking news" while coyly sliding my recorder closer to him and after a little ribbing, Frank confirmed that his longtime girlfriend, who he lovingly refers to on-air as "Farty," (her real name is Carmen) is the mother of Kayl. "OK, that's not really breaking news!" I told him. He laughed and said, "OK then, here's something no one knows. Farty is also Cassidy's mom. She's Crazy Love." My jaw dropped and after I called him a liar, he in fact confirmed that when Carmen came back into his life with his daughter, he forgave her for keeping the secret, they fell in love, had Kayl, and still remain a couple to this day. Hey, people write their own love stories and this one happens to have a beautiful ending no matter how it started.
And while Frank insisted to me that he is an "exaggerated version" of himself on the radio he also admits, "Even if I'm having a bad day once the mic is on, something just clicks. The radio is my happy place, it's where I want to be. I truly love radio. They'll have to carry me out of this motherfucker." What Frank may not realize is that what comes out over the airwaves speaks volumes that this whole "radio thing" is way more than a job for him. It's obvious that aside from his family, he lives for his career. And for the record, Frank Kramer is just as funny and as genuine in "real life" no matter what he says about this "exaggerated version" of himself. At the end of the day, it's really all him.
Make your morning drive more enjoyable by tuning into Heidi and Frank on KLOS (95.5 on the dial) and you can also check out Heidi and Frank on Dish Nation. For more info, visit www.heidiandfrank.com and follow them on Twitter: @ FrankArmy and @HeidiHamilton.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.