All About Jazz

Home » Musicians » Rodney Franklin

Rodney Franklin

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

Read more







Shop Amazon

All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.