GBN”s Daily Drop (Bonus): Learn About Erma Franklin, Grammy Nominee and Original “Piece of My Heart” Singer (LISTEN)

by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

Today’s GBN Daily Drop podcast is a bonus episode for Sunday, March 13 and based on the “A Year of Good Black News” Page-A-Day®️ Calendar for 2022 format.

It’s about Grammy-nominated R&B and gospel singer Erma Franklin, who was born #OnThisDay in 1938 and grew up in Detroit, Michigan. Yes, she’s one of those Franklins:

You can follow or subscribe to the Good Black News Daily Drop Podcast through Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or create your own RSS Feed. Or just check it out every day here on the main website (transcript below):


Hey, this Lori Lakin Hutcherson, founder and editor in chief of, here to share with you a bonus daily drop of Good Black News for Sunday, March 13th, 2022, based on the “A Year of Good Black News Page-A-Day Calendar” published by Workman Publishing.

Today we’re going to celebrate R&B and gospel singer Erma Franklin, eldest daughter of Barbara Siggers and the Reverend C.L. Franklin, and she was born #OnThisDay in 1938.

Though known chiefly for touring with and singing backup for her younger sister (you might have heard of her – Aretha Franklin?) on songs such as “Respect” and “Jump To It,” Erma was a recording artist in her own right. When Aretha Franklin was signed early in her career to Columbia Records, Erma in kind was signed to Epic and released her one and only album for that label in 1962 entitled Her Name is Erma. The music was basically jazz standards and R&B covers and didn’t perform well.

Erma toured for a time as a featured vocalist with Lloyd Price until in 1967, she signed to a new label and scored a Top 10 R&B hit and Grammy nomination with her original recording of “Piece of My Heart”:

[Excerpt of “Piece of My Heart” by Erma Franklin]

A few years later, that song would become a rock n roll staple when remade by Janis Joplin. Erma Franklin also recorded another Top 40 R&B hit “Gotta Find Me A Lover (24 Hours A Day)”:

[Excerpt of “ She also covered “Son of a Preacher Man” on her Soul Sister album before her sister Aretha did on the same on her This Girl’s In Love With You album:

[Excerpt of “Son of A Preacher Man” by Erma Franklin]

Erma also recorded a stand-out version of the Doors’ song “Light My Fire”:

[Excerpt of “Light My Fire” by Erma Franklin]

And not to be outdone by her songwriting sisters, Erma even wrote some of her own material, such as the could-have-been-a-hit with-proper-promotion song “You’ve Been Cancelled”:

[Excerpt of “You’ve Been Cancelled” by Erma Franklin]

Although Erma’s singing career had its peaks and valleys, her career in public service in her home state was steady.

Erma devoted most of her time and energy to Boysville of Michigan Inc., the largest childcare agency in the state, and acted as the liaison for twenty-five or more similar agencies in Michigan for decades.

In 1992, Erma Franklin’s singing career experienced a resurgence when in Great Britain, her original version of “Piece of My Heart” was re-released after its use in a popular Levi’s Jeans commercial.

It hit number nine in the UK, and Erma made her first and only solo music video, which is available on YouTube.

To learn more about Erma Franklin, check out the sources provided in today’s show notes and in the episode’s full transcript posted on And of course, you can stream or buy her music online.

This has been a bonus daily drop of Good Black News, based on the A Year of Good Black News Page-A-Day Calendar for 2022,” published by Workman Publishing.

Intro and outro beats provided by and produced by White Hot.  Excerpts of music by Erma Franklin were included in today’s episode under fair use.

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