Frank “Floorshow” Culley (1918-1983) was an American rhythm and blues saxophonist known for his energetic performances and contributions to the development of the R&B genre. Born in Great Bend, Kansas, Culley started his musical career by playing saxophone in various big bands in the 1940s, including the bands of Lionel Hampton, Louis Armstrong, and Andy Kirk.
In the late 1940s, Culley transitioned to rhythm and blues and began working with Atlantic Records, where he became the label’s first house saxophonist. During this time, he recorded several notable tracks, including “Cole Slaw,” “Central Avenue Breakdown,” and “Floorshow.” His innovative, upbeat playing style helped to define the early R&B sound and paved the way for future saxophonists in the genre.
Culley’s energetic stage presence and dynamic performances earned him the nickname “Floorshow,” and he continued to perform and record throughout the 1950s and 1960s. Although his popularity declined with the rise of rock and roll, Culley’s influence as an early R&B saxophonist remains significant.
Frank “Floorshow” Culley played a crucial role in shaping the rhythm and blues genre with his unique sound and exuberant performances. His contributions to the early R&B scene left a lasting impact on the evolution of popular music.