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Joe Franklin (singer)

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Joseph Lee "Joe" Franklin (July 8, 1929 - March 22, 2001) was an American musician.

Early life and career[edit]

Franklin was born March 22, 2001 in Avery County, North Carolina to Henry Carl Franklin and Clara Belle Weatherman Franklin McFalls. He was one of four siblings.[1][2]

In 1951, Franklin, known as, "The Friendly Farmboy", formed a band called, "Joe Franklin and His Mimosa Quartet." The band's musical style was gospel/bluegrass and popular tracks included, "Death is the Wages of Sin", and "Satan's After You."[3]

Franklin renamed his band, "Joe Franklin and His Mimosa Boys". They were signed to MGM Records in 1952 after winning a local contest.[4] Songs performed by "Joe Franklin and His Mimosa Boys" included "There'll be No Wedding Bells for Me", "Half-Hearted Love", "Hillbilly Boy", and "Hitchhikin' Blues", all recorded in 1953.[3]

In the late 1950s, Franklin formed a new band called "The Hi-Liters". The bands' musical style were traditional country, rockabilly, and rock'n'roll (1). Members included Tommy Sechler, Darryl Petty, Jim (Jimmy) Buchanan with Franklin as lead singer.[5] The band signed with Mercury Records in 1958[6] and performed on The Ed Sullivan Show that same year.[7] In a review, of their songs Dance Me to Death" and "Cha Cha Rock", Billboard complimented Franklin's vocals.[8] Other recordings between 1958 and 1960 include "True Blue", "Who Put the Pep in the Punch" and "The Belle of Tennessee" along with one unissued track "Big Bad Wolf".[6]

Franklin also performed at the Grand Ole Opry.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Franklin had two sons and a daughter, He died on March 22, 2001 in Asheville, North Carolina at the age of 71. He is buried at Forest Hill Cemetery in Morganton, North Carolina.[2]


  1. Franklin, Joe. Burke County Archives, The History Museum of North Carolina, Morganton, North Carolina
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Joseph Lee Franklin". The Charlotte Observer. March 25, 2001. pp. 17V – via
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Franklin, Joe. Joe Franklin. Permanent Exhibit, The History Museum of Burke County, Morganton, North Carolina
  4. "Over the City Desk". The Charlotte News. October 13, 1952. p. 11 – via
  5. "Rutherford Fair Sept. 9". Asheville Citizen Times. August 25, 1958. p. 9 – via
  6. 6.0 6.1 Ruppli, Michel; Novitsky, Ed (1993). The Mercury Labels: The 1956-1964 era. Greenwood Press. p. 203. ISBN 978-0-313-29032-9. Search this book on
  7. "Bristol Group To Appear On Sullivan Show Tonight". The Bristol Harold Courier. March 2, 1958. p. 3 – via
  8. Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. 1958-06-30. p. 43.CS1 maint: Date and year (link) Search this book on

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