Born: September 16, 1958 Primary Instrument: Keyboard
Rodney Franklin was something of a child prodigy while growing up in his hometown of Berkeley, Ca. taking piano lessons at the age of 6 at the Washington Elementary School. Upon graduation he worked extensively with John Handy in San Francisco and subsequently toured with Bill Summers, Freddie Hubbard and Marlena Shaw.
In 1978 he signed with Columbia Records and recorded his debut album for the label, “In The Center,” a jazz-fusion workout. His second album, “You'll Never Know,” aided by the hit single, The Groove which sparked a popular dance craze (dancers had to freeze in time with the track's breaks), Rodney hit the Top 10 of the singles charts and saw “You'll Never Know” rise in the album listings.
“Although subsequent releases also recorded on the CBS label have included “Rodney Franklin” (1980) “Endless Flight” (1981) “Learning To Love” (1982) “Marathon” (1984) “Skydance” (1985) and 'It Takes Two' (1986) they never came anywhere near repeating the extraordinary success of “You'll Never Know,” but they did establish Franklin as a considerable name in the fusion market, particularly with “Marathon.”
In 1988 he switched labels to BMG, recording “Diamond Inside You” which featured lead vocals by Jennifer Holliday on the single Gotta Give It Up. Franklin also produced and released an album on Nova Records titled “Love Dancin'” in 1992. He remains a respected keyboard player and fusion artist.