Erma Franklin Official Website

Official Website

Erma Franklin


Erma Franklin About


Rhythm & Blues Editor, Billboard
Ed Ochs

Erma Franklin is everybody's soul sister. Her voice, richly reflecting her keen insight into human feelings, probes the soul and soothes it like the warm words that pass between sister and brother. Erma speaks out for people, whether they dream in a corner or boogaloo in a crowd - which means everybody. Even you and me.

So welcome Erma Franklin as you would family. Soft on love and tough on trouble, Erma has only understanding to offer, adding to joys and diving sorrows, always speaking freely from her own soul and showing her good faith. Her voice is that good - it tells you all you need to know. When she signs her beautiful big hit, 'Saving My Love For You', you really understand, because it's true and Erma is a true soul sister.

Changing places with some of today's top composers, Erma interprets their feelings as they, in their moment of deepest love, hope and prayer, probably felt. What makes her readings of 'By The Time I Get To Phoenix', 'For Once In My Life', and 'Baby I Love You' so new and religiously exhilarating is that she adds her own personal sense of having been there, too. And when it's all communicated like a poem penned especially for you - that's soul. From the soul sister herself, Miss Erma Franklin!

Erma Does It All!!!
Garby Gable

It's strange that Erma Franklin, four years older than her sister Aretha, didn't receive anywhere near the same type of recognition as the Queen of Soul but this fine collection will reveal Erma's emotional, dynamic and versatile singing ability. This CD contains Erma's entire Epic 1962 LP ('Her Name Is Erma') plus all seven of her non-album Epic singles in addition to the seven tracks she recorded for Shout Records between 1967-68.

I think all of the songs on the CD are great. Some of my favorites include the bluesy gospel tunes 'Big Boss Man', 'Don't Catch The Dog's Bone', and 'Don't Have The Right To Cry'. Some may forget that Erma was the first to record 'Piece of My Heart' (Hot 100 # 62, R&B #10), and although Janis Joplin had quite a bit of success with it, no one sang it with as much soul as Erma; the original is worth hearing. 'Baby What You Want Me To Do' has a great beat, while "Open Up Your Soul" and 'Don't Have The Right To Cry' remind me of gospel tunes I've heard in church. 'What Kind of Girl (Do You Think I Am)' is a cute song that is the typical girl song popularized during the 60's which speaks of not wanting to be mistaken for being a bad girl. 'Don't Blame Me' is a really cool blues number, and when she sings 'Hello Again' and 'Never Let Me Go' her voice may remind you of Della Reese. Whereas on 'It's Over' she sounds a little edgier, like Ruth Brown and Sugar Pie DeSanto. 'Never Again' highlights her dynamic range and use of emotions as the song builds to its climax. I enjoy the upbeat R&B gospel like song 'Don't Wait Too Long', and of course the mysterious and enchanting 'Abracadabra'.

Erma also does a wonderful interpretation of jazz and pop standards: 'Time After Time', 'Everytime We Say Goodbye', 'The Man I Love' and 'Detour Ahead'. She basically sang everything well, and maybe part of the problem may have been that record companies didn't know how to promote her, and as a result tried a little bit of everything while hoping for a hit. This was fine by Erma because she had attended Clark College in Atlanta and had a business career at IBM. She said singing was her hobby!!

This fair priced import will provide the listener with an excellent overview of her recording career at Epic and Shout. I also recommend this to people who enjoy 60's blues and R&B. And although Erma Franklin died in 2002 at 64, her music and the contributions she made during her recording career will be with us forever.

Rev . Franklin Had Three Daughters!
Oliver Penn

Yes, the famous Rev. C. L. Franklin had three singing daughters, two of whom I met and spent time with: Aretha and Carolyn. I saw the other daughter, Erma, at the Apollo Theatre with Jackie Wilson and when she and her sister (Carolyn) opened for Aretha at Philharmonic Hall. They had the first half of the concert. It was truly amazing to see both ladies bare witness to the core. After their individual sets, people who had never seen Aretha were asking, "what can SHE do after these two incredible singers?" Kudos must be given to Aretha Franklin for showcasing her talented sisters; most singers or actors would never be as generous.

Erma Franklin and gospel queen, Albertina Walker graced the first part of Aretha's concert at Madison Square Garden in the '70s and brought the house down before Aretha appeared. I remember that concert being professionally filmed, but I've never seen any footage.

Erma was unique as was Carolyn. Their styles were completely shaped by their experience of singing in black Baptist churches, but even so, they were totally different singers. Erma was more bluesy, but like her sister Aretha, that gospel fervor would come out at a moment's notice, with Erma 'going to the floor' screaming and testifying. Carolyn, in the studio, was not as strong as her two siblings, but she rose to the occasion when she had to follow Erma in concert! There were two shows that night, one with Carolyn opening, the other with Erma opening. They 'tore up Jack!'

These songs are great, but it's too bad she didn't record more. I'm sure there's quite a bit 'in the vaults' that we'll get later on, but for those who don't know Aretha's sister, this is a good way to 'get to know' her. There is in existence a 'live' concert with Erma from 1968, recorded in San Francisco. Do a google.

Abacadabra She's Yours

Love this album, as well as her 1972 Super Soul Sister. I cannot get enough of the 1967 songs, 'Open Up Your Soul' her version of 'Big Boss Man' and the reverberating guitar lick in 'Don't Have the Right to Cry'. Moving towards R&B in her sister Carolyn's penned 'Don't Catch the Dog's Bone' is well suited for Erma's voice.

The CD contains early 60's bluesy pop songs where Erma sings with sincerity, depthness and sweetness, a real blend of vocals like on the fast drumming and guitar work on 'Don't Wait Too Long' or her rising vocals on 'Abracadabra'

There Are No Words...

Erma Franklin wears the family name well. Just as great as Aretha in interpreting songs. Just listen to her versions of songs her sister also recorded: 'Baby, I Love You' and 'Son of a Preacher Man'. And in the case of the latter, listen to her version compared to Dusty Springfield's, which is normally considered the definitive recording. Erma's interpretations have their own vibrancy and deep soul that allow them to stand on their own BESIDE these other versions, not in contrast to them. If you love deep soul and believe you have all the definitive recordings, you do not if you don't have this one.

I only wish that Erma Franklin had done more solo work during that late '60s - early '70s period when soul was at its height. She is no second to her sister, but an equal, even though she did sing backup for her. Erma has her own voice - a completely different timbre from her sister's - but rich, resonant and powerful. From what I can tell, she also had a range that easily covered close to 4 octaves like Aretha.

You should be clicking 'BUY NOW'. Just get this record.

I Bought The Record On The Spot And Have Enjoyed It For Many Years Since
Jeff Hutchins

I first heard this in a record store thumbing through LP's and asked who was playing... they said Erma Franklin... I bought the record on the spot and have enjoyed it for many years since. This album showcases her talents very well.

Aretha's Older Sister Gets Funky!
DJ Musically Rich

Erma Franklin put out this funky, soul gem in 1969 and besides for great overall performances there are a few quirks on here as well that makes this for a very interesting album. Many of the songs are associated with other artists including The Doors, Sam & Dave, Stevie Wonder, Dusty Springfield and Aretha Franklin. On that note, she is the older sister to Aretha, and also one of Aretha’s backup singers in both the studio and on tour, which is probably how she is most known. Once again I’ve run across an album that does not have a list of musicians on the record. I tried to find them listed somewhere online and wasn’t able to come up with anything, which is unfortunate because the musicianship was great, especially the bass player who seemed to be leading the crew. There is a very Muscle Shoals-like vibe to the music.

The album opens with Jim Webb’s ‘By The Time I Get To Phoenix’. Led by an orchestra, which beautifully frames Erma’s voice, it is an introduction to the singer in a traditional sound (at the time) for a vocalist. After that, the strings are ditched, and gritty funk is what holds for the rest of the album. The first side is highlighted by The Doors’ “Light My Fire” led by a funky bass line with a solo section for the horns in the middle of the track. Stevie Wonder’s ‘For Once In My Life’ is propelled by a dancing rhythm section with a hot sax solo in it. She also has a couple quality original funk work outs that help round out side one.

Side two opens with a blistering version of ‘Hold On I’m Coming’, which is followed by the one stripped-down ballad on the album, ‘Saving My Love For You’. Now for what I find to be most interesting…she covers ‘Son Of A Preacher Man’. She does an excellent job with it, but the story of that song is where the interest lies. It was originally written for her little sister, Aretha. I’ve read two stories: 1) she cut it, but didn’t feel it fit with the other material that was going on the particular album she was working on so Jerry Wexler passed the song onto Dusty Springfield (Wikipedia). 2) She didn’t like the sexual content of the song and passed on it, which then led it to Dusty Springfield (that was in some liner notes I read, although I can’t remember for what album). Either way, they both agree that after hearing Dusty Springfield’s version (and even more so, after it became a hit) Aretha cut it for her 1970 album, 'This Girl’s In Love With You'. However, in between those two (along with many others that covered the song in that in between time period) Erma dropped a great version on this album. ‘Gotta Find Me A Lover (24 Hours A Day)’ is a straight ahead Soul rocker and the album ends with a cover of little sister’s ‘Baby I Love You’ that is fairly similar to the original.

With a great band and terrific performances all around, this is a great record to add to your funk collection when you run across it.

Super Soul Sister She Was

LOVE this album. Love Soul music from the late 60's, early 70's. This album is crisp, funky, fabulous, oh yeah, and boy could Erma sing. Erma had a more gritty, deeper voice, and could hit the high notes too. I like her music style and voice the best out of the 3 sisters. Her cover of The Doors 'Light My Fire' with the bass and horns is downright groovy. Her penned songs 'Cancelled' and 'Can't See My Way' showcase such talent. Too bad she wanted to stick her IBM job back in the day and had to be lured into the studio to record this gem. I recommend this album together with 'Piece of Her Heart - Epic & Shout Years'

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