Friday, January 01, 2010
Jango Song Of The Day-Erma Franklin
Song:Piece Of My Heart
Album:Piece of Her Heart: The Epic and Shout Years
Erma Franklin had a top ten R & B hit in 1967 with Piece Of My Heart. Unfortuately, she was overshadowed when Janis Joplin had a much bigger hit with her version. But that's what Erma's career was like because after all she was Aretha Franklin's sister. She was born Mar. 13, 1938 in Shelby, MS and grew up in Detroit the daughter of the famed Rev. C.L. Franklin. She sang in the church choir with sisters Carolyn and Aretha and won a state talent contest with her group The Cleo-Patrettes. In 1959, Berry Gordy Jr. & Billy Davis tried to get her to go to Chicago and record for Chess. But she attended college as her father wished until she successfully auditioned for Epic Records in 1961. Aretha was on Columbia at the time and the sisters had similar problems because the label didn't know how to produce R & B. Erma worked with Van McCoy at Epic. She left Epic and was a featured singer in Lloyd Price's band for several years. When Aretha's career took off in 1967, Bang/Shout Records owner Bert Berns signed Erma and wrote and produced Piece Of My Heart with Jerry Ragavoy. It reached #10 on the R & B singles charts. But before they could even record an album, Berns died of a heart attack and the company closed. Erma signed with Brunswick and released an album. But mostly she started touring with Aretha until she quit the music business and worked for a public relations firm and later became an executive for the Boysville children's charity. Erma Franklin's recordings have been very ill served on CD until Sony released this comp in October. Of course plenty of singers have covered Piece Of My Heart but Erma's version got a big boost in Europe in the early 90s when it was used in a Levi's commercial. Of course Janis Joplin's cover is the most famous version but Faith Hill's version was a #1 country hit in 1993. Erma Franklin died of cancer on Sept. 7, 2002 at age 64. Here's a video for Piece Of My Heart by Erma Franklin.