Erma Franklin's musical accomplishments will forever be overshadowed by those of her younger sister Aretha, especially since she recorded very sporadically through the '60s. As a singer in her own right, Franklin is best known for recording the original version of "Piece of My Heart," which of course became one of Janis Joplin's signature tunes in a much different arrangement. Franklin was born March 13, 1938, in Shelby, MS, and moved with her family to Memphis, Buffalo (where she made her singing debut in her father's church at age five), and finally Detroit. She sang with sisters Aretha and Carolyn in their church choir, 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.