The Cleo-Patrettes (Detroit)
Erma Franklin (Lead)
1953 - Say Would You Babe / No Other Love (JVB 23)
R&B/Soul Musician. Born Erma Venice Franklin in Shelby, Mississippi, she was the sister of singers Carolyn and Aretha Franklin, and the daughter of Rev. C.L. Franklin. As a child she moved to Memphis, Detroit, and Buffalo, where at 5 she began singing in her father's church choir with sisters Aretha and Carolyn, and during high school performed with a vocal group called the Cleo-Patrettes, which won a state talent contest and recorded for the small Detroit label JVB. The Cleo-Patrettes broke up after high school, and Franklin toured with her father's gospel group for two years; she subsequently had chances to record for Chess and to join Motown's early roster, but wound up following her father's wishes that she attend college before trying a singing career.
In 1961 she auditioned for the Epic Record Label and moved to New York to record her debut album, "Her Name Is Erma" which came out in 1962 and featured jazz, pop, and R&B tunes. One of her songs on that album, 'Abracadabra' was written by Van McCoy who would later have a success with the hit, 'The Hustle.' She soon became tired of the hassles with Epic and waited out of her contract, and spent 1961 to 1966 touring with Lloyd Price's show. Next she joined the Atlantic Record Label and her career suddenly took off more then it had before, later signing with producer/songwriter Bert Berns of Shout Records in 1967
No Other Love Say Would You Babe
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