Friday, June 10, 2011

Old Stuff Friday - The Soul Corner: Erma Franklin, "(Take a Little) Piece of My Heart"

Okay, you think you have it bad, overshadowed by a sibling?

How would you like to be Erma Franklin, younger sister of Aretha?

But you are a good singer in your own right, so a major record company gives you a great new song to record - "(Take a Little) Piece of My Heart". It does pretty well, reaching #62 on the Billboard charts and the top 10 on the R&B charts. Not a bad start to your career.

But a few months later, the song is covered by a band called Big Brother and the Holding Company on their debut record. As if being compared to Aretha Franklin weren't tough enough, now you have to compete with Janis Joplin?! Damn, that ain't right.

But listen to this original version, which I suspect many of you have not heard before. I love this slow groove. Erma can hold her head up high.

And Erma sang back up on various of her older sister's songs, including one you might have heard called "Respect". So Erma's place in music history is secure.

Next week I will stay with this overshadowed sibling theme. Let's see if any of you can guess what's coming. It's one of the great soul ballads, by the little known younger brother, though this song made it very big and has its rightful place in soul history. ("Anonymous" SZ in Chicago - you can't guess, you know me too well, so it's too easy for you).

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