There were hardly any divisions. Blues, soul, jazz and rock were together in one melting pot of pop culture. What bonded them was the new, loud sound of amplified music.
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ERMA FRANKLIN & THE ELECTRIC FLAG with MIKE BLOOMFIELD
Live At Carousel Ballroom [no label, 2CD]
Live in San Francisco, in April 1968. A stereo soundboard recording.
When bittorrent first started, there was a very popular site called Sharing The Groove. It opened Pandora’s Box. Collectors rallied to the website and offered many long-forgotten recordings, previously kept on dusty shelves, locked away in storage boxes and under beds. Very popular among collectors were recordings made in San Francisco at the popular venues of the ’60s and ’70s.
Erma Franklin is sister to the well-known Aretha. Erma’s career for Shout! Records resulted in several single releases in 1967 including Big Boss Man and her take of Piece Of My Heart, which Janis Joplin defined as her stomping ground.
This recording was made when Erma took the stage at the Carousel Ballroom in San Francisco for three nights in April from the 19th to the 21st in 1968. Backing her was Mike Bloomfield’s Electric Flag, a blues rock group.
Much of the research done in identifying the date, venue and personnel was by Dave M of the westcoastacidandpsychedelia Yahoo group. Says Dave: “The week before at the Carousel (April 14, 1968), there had been an unscheduled Sunday show and jam session featuring Quicksilver Messenger Service and numerous other musicians. The tape circulates, and since Gary Duncan jokes about Easter Sunday, it makes it easy to reliably date the show. All this points to another Sunday jam session, so if I had to guess I would pick Sunday, April 21 for the date of this show. Anyway, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.”
Dave also makes some conclusions about just who was playing what. You can read it all here http://db.etree.org/lookup_show.php?shows_key=299581
This is a typical San Francisco show for its variety of styles and its close knit community of musicians. Franklin’s repertoire covered The Beatles to Stevie Wonder and even down to Elvis with Big Boss Man. The Electric Flag surprise with a Miles Davis cover. She was an R’n'B singer who was not averse to pop or rock.
Erma Franklin’s best known recording was the original version of Piece of My Heart she recorded with Bert Berns. At this concert, she gives a shout of support to a younger Janis Joplin for “making it all happen with this song”. She left the music business in the ’70s. Erma Franklin died in 2002 at age 64.
A stereo soundboard recording that’s very good.
- The Little Chicken
Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality stereo MP3s - sample rate of 192 kibit/s). As far as we can ascertain, this recording has never been officially released.
These tracks are no longer available for download. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you want to download these tracks at a later time.
Track 101. Uptight
Track 102. Day Tripper
Track 103. Drivin’ Wheel
Track 104. Drivin’ Wheel continued
Track 105. The Theme [Electric Flag’s solo instrumental is a cover of Miles Davis’ The Theme]
Track 106. Goin’ Down Slow
Track 107. Big Boss Man
Track 201. Dr. Feelgood
Track 202. I Heard It Through The Grapevine/Mercy/Tell Mama/Chain of Fools
Track 203. Piece of my Heart
Track 204. Hold On I’m Coming
Track 205. Everyday I Have The Blues
Track 206. Killing FloorProbable lineup:
Erma Franklin - vocals
Mike Bloomfield - lead guitar
Terry Clements - tenor sax
Virgil Gonsalves - baritone sax, flute
Stemsy Hunter - alto sax
Marcus Doubleday - trumpet
Herbie Rich - organ (possibly some baritone sax on 5)
Harvey Brooks - bass
Buddy Miles - drums, lead vocals (tracks 1,2,3)
Nick Gravenites - lead vocals (tracks 6,7)
Erma Franklin’s Super Soul Sister was reissued on CD in 2007. Click on the link to order the album.
The Electric Flag’s best known album is 1968’s A Long Time Comin’, a fusion of blues, rock with a horn section. Click on the link to order the album.