Band members Related acts
Franklin (RIP 2002) - vocals
- Aretha Franklin (sister)
- Carolyn Franklin (sister)
- The Cleo-Patrettes
Rating: *** (3 stars)
Title: Soul Sister
Catalog: BL 754147
Country/State: Shelby, Mississippi
Grade (cover/record): VG/VG
Comments: minor ring wear; two small cut out holes in cover
GEMM catalog ID: 4556
Anyone who's looked at the entry for Carolyn Franklin is liable to undergo one of those deja vu experiences in that many of the comments I made with regard to the younger Franklin sister apply to Erma ...
Erma Franklin's non-secular musical career actually started with a 1961 LP for Epic, but a combination of corporate indifference and bad luck left her to drift through the music scene for most of the decade. Certainly benefiting from sister Aretha's massive commercial successes, 1969 found Erma signing with Brunswick Records. Co-produced by Carl Davis and Eugene Record, she made her label debut with 1969's "Soul Sister". Musically the set wasn't bad. Tracks such as her killer cover of 'Son of a Preacher Man' aptly showcased Erma's wonderful voice, that to my ears was more brittle than Aretha's and not quite as commercial as Carolyn's. In spite of the title, the album was divided between soul and more pop-oriented commercial material. Erma's enthusiastic performances managed to rescue most of the MOR-ish numbers such as 'By the Time I Get To Phoenix'. (Okay, I'll admit 'For Once In My Life' was simply beyond rescue.) It won't come as a surprise to most of you to learn that Franklin was at her best on the two numbers she wrote ('You Have Been Cancelled' and 'Can't See My Way') and on soul-influenced numbers such as 'Change My Thoughts From You' and 'Hold On, I'm Coming'. Elsewhere, Brunswick released two singles off the album:
- 1969's 'Gotta Find Me a Lover (24 Hours a Day)' b/w 'Change My Thoughts from You' (Brunswick catalog number 55403)
- 1969's 'You Have Been Cancelled' b/w ''Saving My Love for You (Brunswick catalog number 55???).
The former provided Franklin with a minor R&B hit, though the parent LP did little commercially.
"Soul Sister" track listing:
1.) By the Time I Get To Phoenix (Jimmy Webb) - 3:25
2.) Change My Thoughts From You (Gary Jackson - Carl Davis - Nate Smith) - 2:29
3.) Light My Fire (John Densmore - Robbie Kreiger - Ray Manzarek - Jim Morrison) - 2:40
4.) You Have Been Cancelled (Erma Franklin) - 2:59
5.) For Once In My Life (Orlando Mulen - Ronald Miller) - 2:37
6.) Can't See My Way (Erma Franklin) - 2:17
2.) Saving My Love for You (Don Robey) - 3:28
3.) Son of a Preacher Man (John Hurley - Ronnie Wilkins) - 2:34
4.) Gotta Find Me a Lover (24 Hours a Day) (Eugene Record - Carl Davis) - 2:14
5.) Baby I Love You (Ronnie Shannon) - 2:01
Following the album's release Franklin found herself at odds with Brunswick, which inexplicably refused to finance a follow-up LP with sister Aretha handing production. Franklin responded by simply sitting out the remainder of her contract. Other than occasional dates supporting Aretha, Erma kept her distance from the music business. Living in Detroit, she became active in various charitable causes. Sadly, she died of cancer in September, 2002.
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