|Birth name||Carolyn Ann Franklin|
May 13, 1944|
Memphis, Tennessee, USA
|Origin||Detroit, Michigan, USA|
|Died||April 25, 1988
Bloomfield, Michigan, USA
|Genres||Gospel, R&B, Pop, Jazz|
|Years active||1963–1976, 1980–1988|
|Labels||Double L (1963–1964)
RCA Victor (1969–1976)
Atlantic (1967–1970s - Background vocals)
|Associated acts||Aretha Franklin, Erma Franklin, C.L. Franklin, Paul King, Jimmy Radcliffe|
Around 1946, the Franklin family settled in Detroit, Michigan, where Carolyn would begin singing at her father's New Bethel Baptist Church. Inspired by her sisters' successes in the secular music field in the early 1960s, Carolyn followed Erma and Aretha into a secular recording career, first recording in 1963.
Like Erma, Carolyn's modest success in the industry wasn't matched by Aretha's blockbuster breakthrough in the late 1960s. While struggling to release a hit, she began to work behind the scenes as a songwriter, mainly for sister Aretha's work. Aretha and Carolyn's bond led to several collaborations between the two and Carolyn came up with several compositions that became classic hits including "Ain't No Way", recorded in 1968.
The ballad single was the b-side to Aretha's top ten triumph, "(Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You've Been Gone". The song was strong enough to have its own airplay and eventually hit the R&B Top 10 and also went Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Carolyn's next hit for her sister was the 1973 ballad "Angel", which also featured Carolyn, and eldest sister Erma Franklin, in background voices advising Aretha. Aretha mentioned her sister's name in the beginning of the song in a monologue describing how Carolyn came up with the song. Another song Carolyn contributed was "Pullin'" with Jimmy Radcliffe. Carolyn also wrote songs for Franklin's 1970 album Spirit in the Dark and her failed 1975 album, You.
In 1976, Carolyn retired from the music industry and occasionally continued to sing with Aretha.
Carolyn died of breast cancer at Aretha's Scenic Court home in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, on April 25, 1988, and - like other deceased family members - is interred at Detroit's historic Woodlawn Cemetery on North Woodward Avenue.
- Baby Dynamite – 1969
- Chain Reaction – 1970
- The First Time I Cried – 1972
- I'd Rather Be Lonely – 1973
- If You Want Me – 1976
- Carolyn Franklin at Find a Grave
- Carolyn Franklin's discography
- Carolyn Franklin at the Internet Movie Database
- Carolyn Franklin bio