A good deal of information has been written about Franz, his life and career. And yet, many people have never heard of this legendary musician.
Even those who are well-versed in "Franzology" might not know some of these fun and interesting facts about the man:
Franz was one of three children and the only son.
Franz's grandfather was an Apache scout who helped move President Lincoln's body following his assassination and help build Lincoln's Tomb in Springfield, IL.
Franz played bassoon with the Chicago Community Symphony for over a decade.
Franz started taking TaeKwonDo lessons with his son, Robert, in his 70's and earned his black belt at age 76.
Besides his standard arsenal of tenor sax, alto sax, soprano sax and clarinet, Franz could also play the flute, oboe, bassoon, guitar, and piano. He was also known to pick up a pair of cymbals from time to time if the drummer went off beat!
Franz spent the night in jail more than once after being arrested with the other band members during Prohibition raids. Once police found out they were with the band, they were released without further incident.
Franz studied electrical engineering at Tilden Tech in Chicago.
Franz met his second wife, Virginia, when she and a girlfriend happened to be at a club where he came to sit in with the regular band. Virginia said: "I'm going with him!" And the rest is history!
Franz and Virginia were married on a weekday during her lunch break from work at the courthouse in the loop. She went back to work for the day and he went to play that night.
Even though he was a contemporary of theirs, Franz never played with the likes of Hoagy Charmichael or Mez Messrow. As Franz recalled, "they didn't mix the black and white bands back then".
Franz left Fats Waller's band for good after they were stopped from returning to the South after the bombing of an Alabama church where they were supposed to play that night. Most of the guys decided not to continue on.
Franz always wanted to sky dive - just once.
That was probably the only thing he didn't get around to doing.