Wednesday, 6 May 2015

In Memory of Father J. Franklin....

So, very exciting news, as I'm sure all you vinyl junkies can relate to, I finally got my hands on an original copy of an extremely hard to find Funk album I've been looking for, for ages.... 'Father Jezebel Franklin & his All-Star Altar Boys'. 

Released on a small, obscure County Sligo record label, 'Demon Records', which has long ceased operations. This Nineteen Sixty Eight long-player was the first and only release from 'Christian Funk' pioneer Father Jezebel Franklin, a Roman Catholic priest from the parish of Knockmore, near Lough Conn in County Mayo.

Father J. Franklin, as well as being the local parishioner and pillar of the community, was also a well seasoned musician. And with his live band the 'All-Star Altar Boys' he took the visceral, sexual Funk groove's of James Brown and fussed them with the moral, spiritual teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. A powerful combination that took the late Nineteen Sixties, Connaught Showband scene by storm for a number of months. Particularly during the Nineteen Sixty Eight period of Lent.


Below is a .wav file of 'Loose With Her Juice' ripped from the vinyl record

As a humble, retiring and devout member of the cloth, very little is know about Father Jezebel Franklin. He appears to receive production credits on 'Demon Records' Nineteen Sixty Nine release, 'The Singing Sister's of The Catholic Ladies Institute of Theology (C.L.I.T)'. A religious recording of the now dispelled County Kerry monastic order's choir. But after this Father J. Franklin seem's to disappear totally from the world of recorded music.

Irish Music

According to local sources Father Jezebel Franklin continued to perform live with various lineup's of the 'All-Star Altar Boys' for a number of years. But unfortunately, like many of the great County Mayo Jazz and Funk musician's of the period, Father Franklin was drawn into the dark and dangerous world of drug addiction. Local new's archives from the period state Father Franklin died as a result of a heroin overdoes on the 2nd of June, Nineteen Seventy Two, "behind Misses Gleeson's cake and bun stand at the Knockmore Village Summer Fair". A sad and untimely demise for the originator and purveyor of 'Christian Funk'.

R.I.P 'Father Jezebel Franklin'
7th of September, 1938 - 2nd of June, 1972.

(Funeral mass card courtesy of Knockmore parishioner Bridget Bernadette Kelly)  

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