Saturday, December 03, 2011

Vinyl Adventures #15

This is one I bought back in October but didn't get around to writing about and I think it deserves it.

Erma Vernice Franklin was born in Shelby, Mississippi on March 13, 1938. 4 years later her sister Aretha came into the world. Together with their sister Carolyn they sang at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit where their father, the Reverend C. L. Franklin, was pastor.

In the late 1950's Erma was approached by Berry Gordy and his songwriting partner Billy Davis who were interested in making her the first artist for their new record label. She travelled to Chicago with Gordy and Davis to meet with Phil Chess of Chess Records trying to arrange a distribution deal for their fledgling label. Erma's father persuaded her to complete her education telling her that she could always sing after she graduated. She was later to learn that three songs Gordy and Davis had intended for her to sing were recorded by others, most notably "I Get The Sweetest Feeling" recorded by Jackie Wilson. She did eventually record the song, releasing it in 1970.

After Erma finished college The Rev. Franklin took her and Aretha to audition for Columbia Records. Aretha signed with Columbia and Erma with their subsidiary label Epic. The label issued 7 singles and an album on Erma between 1961 and 1963. At the end of her contract she spent 5 years as the featured vocalist with The Lloyd Price Orchestra.

In 1967 Erma signed with Shout Records and that year released what is probably her best known recording, the original version of "Piece of My Heart", which earned her a Grammy nomination for best new artist in 1968.

Following the sudden death of Shout label owner and songwriter, Bert Berns, Erma moved to the Brunswick label where her debut single in 1969 was "Gotta Find Me A Lover (24 Hours A Day)".

I first heard this at a very sparsely attended charity allnighter and it grabbed me immediately. That driving guitar gives it the feeling of a rock single as much as a soul groove. But whatever, it's a fantastic record that sends me dashing for the dancefloor whenever I hear it.

Erma Franklin sadly passed away in 2002, but she left behind some great music (the b-side of "Gotta Find Me A Lover..." is well worth a listen too). But right now sit back and enjoy the driving "Gotta Find Me A Lover (24 Hours A Day)" from the "The Queen Of Soul's" big sister, Erma Franklin...

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