Biography: Frank Russell affectionately known as “Frankie Diamond” passed away, at the seasoned age of 81, on Thursday, January 26, 2023. He was born on April 11, 1941 to Helen Lynes and Frank Russell at Harlem Hospital in Harlem, N.Y.
Frankie is survived and will be missed by his wife and the love of his life Deborah Grant-Russell; children, Sandra, Anthony, and Denise Andino; grandchildren, Sha-ron Bamberg and Kijaun Andino; great grandchildren, Sha- ron and Payton Diaz; forever cherished and remembered by his sister, Joyce Lynes and beloved by a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and treasured friends. He is predeceased by his mother Helen Lynes; his father Frank Russell; his sisters, Jacqueline and Janice; his brothers, Allen, Julius, Gerald and Jerome.
Frankie Diamond had many professions throughout his life, but the role that dominated his heart and filled his days with fun, family and friends was as Captain of The Harlem All Stars Steel Orchestra band. Celebrated as being the oldest steel orchestra band in NYC, Harlem All Stars (formerly known as Silver Stars) was founded in 1956. As a young man he played pan not only to stay out of trouble, but also because of the deep love and connection that was formed with the instruments and his bandmates. In the 70’s, after assuming the role of Captain, Frankie along with “Pops”, “Scottie” and Michael Lezama increased the bands fanbase and heightened its popularity. Frankie continued to provide the youth of the community a positive outlet and haven within the Harlem All Stars for over 50 years. Under his direction the band played in parades, festivals, and competitions throughout NYC. Frankie Diamond and the Harlem All Stars became a staple in the Harlem community and brought all the residents out to celebrate during the African American Day parade. Every year the Harlem All Stars closed out the parade with a procession of onlookers trailing the band back to their Yard to continue the celebratory festivities.
Frankie Diamond was a legend within the Harlem community, an amazing husband, father, brother, uncle, cousin, and friend that touched the lives of many people. He will truly be missed and never, ever, be forgotten.