By Avenue News.com, 3/21/2011
Frances Carol Mootafian (nee Kessinger), also known as Fran Daniels, passed away on Feb. 18, 2011. She was born on Nov. 23, 1931 in Camp Creek, W.Va. Born to parents Ira and Dorinda Kessinger, Frances was the fifth and last child of the family. They eventually moved to Beckley, W.Va. where she was raised and went to school.
Fran came to baltimore around her 18th birthday. She obtained a job in the chorus at the Gayety Theatre. She went to Harrols Corral to see her friend Irene who was working as a barmaid. It was there she met Tex Daniels, who was also working at the bar. They married on Aug. 10, 1952 and had two sons, Joseph Earl and James Drexel Franckewitz (which was Texâs real last name).
She couldnât sing a note but Tex helped and coached her and finally made a break through. Francesâ first song was Lefty Frizzellâs âMom and Dadâs Waltz.â She became a part of Texâs popular Lazy H Ranch Show on Channel 13. The show became Tex and Fran Danielsâ Lazy H Ranch Jamboree. One show at the Lyric Theatre on a New Yearâs Day in the â50s had in it Red Foley, Ernest Tubb, Andy Griffith, The Midwestern Hay Riders, Jimmy Dean, and Tex and Fran Daniels. In the â50s and â60s, The Moon Light Boat Cruises were popular and on Country Night, stars like Hank Snow, Carl Smith, Grandpa Jones and many others appeared. Fran Daniels worked many fair dates with Minnie Pearl. When Hammâs Beer was introduced to Baltimore, she became the âHammâs Beer Girl.â
Tex and Fran divorced in 1970. With her marriage to Carl Mootafian, she relocated to Salem, Mass. and retired from show business. With Carlâs death in 2009, Fran moved to Georgetown, Ohio with her son, James.
Frances died of cancer and is being cremated. The remains are being sent to where it all started, Camp Creek, W.Va.
She is survived by her late husband Tex Daniels, two sons, Joseph and James, Jamesâ daughter-in-law Traycee, and 12 grandchildren.