SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY (CelebrityAccess) — George Frayne IV, better known as Commander Cody, frontman of the country rock band, Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, died on Sunday. He was 77.
His passing was announced on his Facebook page by Sue Casanova, shared a poem tribute to her late partner and announced that two events are in the work to celebrate Fayne’s life.
A native of Boise, Idaho, Frayne formed Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 1954, drawing inspiration from the 1950s Republic Pictures science fiction movie serial Commando Cody: Sky Marshal of the Universe.
The group performed locally but gained traction after relocating to Los Angeles, signing a recording deal with Paramount Records and released their first album, Lost in the Ozone in 1971.
The group scored a string of modest hits through the 1970s but tailed off after their second release on Warner Bros in 1976 “We’ve Got a Live One Here!” which peaked at #170 on the Billboard 200.
After appearing in the Roger Corman movie Hollywood Boulevard, Frayne disbanded the group in 1976, but most of the band, excluding Frayne, reunited in San Francisco in 2019 to mark the group’s 50th anniversary.
Following the dissolution of the group, Frayne went on to a successful solo career, recording as Commander Cody, the Commander Cody Band, Commander Cody and His Modern Day Airmen, and Commander Cody and His Western Airmen, starting with his debut solo album, Midnight Man, in 1977.
He also obtained a master’s in Sculpture and Painting from the Rackham School of Graduate Studies of the University of Michigan and had his artwork show at multiple exhibitions.
As well, he went on to teach at the University of Michigan and the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh.
Frayne is survived by his wife, Sue Casanova, and stepdaughter Sophia Casanova.