Bobby Franklin Insanity
Bobby Franklin Insanity
mystory (bY BOBBY FRANKLIN)
This is an answer to the question. Bobby where you been man? This is my-story not his-story or maybe we can call this the importance of family, friends and fans.
I was born in Birmingham Alabama, and grew up on Parkside and FENKELL in Detroit Michigan, during the MOTOWN, Motor City Blues, and Detroit Jazz era when music and cars ruled supreme.
I went to Mumford High School. After high school I joined the Navy, served my time, came back to Detroit and started a band called Bobby Franklin's Insanity with a group of guys that I grew up with; John Hopkins, Hubert Crawford, Mike Anthony and Michael Gray. Our music was a combination of MOTOWN, Jimi Hendrix, and modern jazz, later to be called... black rock by some.
In the spring of 1969 Bobby Franklin's Insanity went to Chicago met Curtis Mayfield and Eddie Thomas (his manager and partner), signed a contract with CURTOM Records, and Curtis Mayfield produced the single, "Bring It On Down To Me". After its release, it was under promoted, under exploited, and had a very small amount of promotion. But through all that it has still remained a favorite with many people worldwide. And I do personally thank you for your support.
Not too long after that time the band broke up and I went back to Chicago to work with Curtis as a writer and musician. During this time Curtis and I became very good friends. He was not only a good friend but also a teacher for me. (You can hear the impact of Curtis in my vocal styles on some of these songs.) We spent many hours together talking about this business of music and the art of song writing, In fact Curtis even let me borrow his guitar (a Fender Strat) to do my arrangements for my songs. Those times truly enlightened and heightened my interest in song writing. I do truly appreciate those times with Curtis and was greatly sadden by the news of his misfortune later in life. I have written a song called Curtis Was a King and I do plan to record this sometime in the future.
Now to truly understand me we have to go back to my roots where I started out on the drums when I was about 2 or 3 years old. Since my dad Robert Franklin, Sr. (Frankie) was a professional jazz drummer. It was only natural that I only wanted to be the same. I started out as a drummer in a jazz group at the age of 14 with Craig McMullen on guitar, Ed Picket on Bass, Jessie Virdon on trumpet and me on the drums. My dad pushed me to play the vibes like Lionel Hampton and learn music theoretically speaking, so I did; his input set up the foundation for my music with the rhythm from the drums, and the melodies and the chords from the vibes.
I remember one day when I was coming home from Custer School with my drum sticks in my back pocket and I saw a young brother coming across the Alden street bridge and he was playing his guitar and singing so I joined in by banging on a car or a tree or something and we jelled and decided right then at that moment we should be friends and that was the start of the Famous Bros. that day. His name is Jemy Cheers and he is a brother, a friend and a business partner, (co-publisher and co-writer of "Don't Drop the Bomb".) Being around Jemy sparked my interest in the guitar. I borrowed his one day and I've been plucking ever since.
A couple of years later I met another talented individual named Eddie Robinson, who was a great singer and pianist even at the age of 13. I was 11 years old and was ready to play somewhere so I started playing drums with Ed at the Alpha-Omega Church in Detroit, Michigan. Since that time I have worked with Eddie on many projects including Tessie Hill's Trailblazer Gospel Gold Hit. " He Keeps on Doing Great Things for Me." Eddie has served as my mentor in record producing, arranging and singing. He is still writing, producing and singing and I still work with him and Fred Hudson, (bass player and close friend) whenever he calls.
Man, through the years I've worked with all kind of artists, playing all kinds of music, from jazz to funk, to rock â€˜n roll, to gospel, to reggae. Whatever, if it is music I can deal with it. I went through a few record deals including Westbound records in Detroit where I met George Clinton, the great funkmeister. I had the pleasure of recording one of George's songs called Hit It and Quit It.
I had another record deal with Choker Campbell the Great Motown bandleader and record producer. All this time friends of mine like Fats, and William Stevens were constantly telling me "Bobby, you need to record and put out Bring It on Down again."
I've lived in Atlanta, Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles for a short while and still came back to the D, where in 1984 I became a part of a jazz duo with my uncle Andy Martin on organ and myself on drums. We later got another drummer another old friend of mine Harley Cummings and that freed me up to play my guitar again where I reestablished my roots in jazz and blues.
I was also blessed to work with a beautiful talented young lady named Andrea Batten (Bunny). She has a beautiful voice and a dynamic personality to match. We worked together for 8 ½ years. Working with her helped to rekindle my interest in singing and performing front and center once again. As you can see my family, friends, and fans helped to mold me into who and what I am today.
All of this set up the move to the CD Mr. Insanity and once again me being Bobby Franklin Insanity. This time on advice from my numerologist to drop the letter "s" from Franklin's because of the numerical values involved.
So when people ask me, what kind of music is on your CD, I say it's Olde Skool, MOTOWN, James Brown, Curtis Mayfield, black rock, Fenkell funk flava. It's Detroit music, made for the entire world. It's musical, political, spiritual and sensual songs full of good vibes for everybody. Pure message music with entertaining, interesting and at times controversial issues as subjects. Get a copy and check it out. People say "Bobby are you still crazy", I say "Yes, Krazy Bout Da Music".