Kelly Franklin was born Ruhl Franklin Kelly II on August 29, 1947 in Charleston West Virginia. He is the son of musician Ruhl F. Kelly a guitarist and Ruth Cain Kelly a piano player.
Ruhl Kelly Sr. had played for numerous "Big Name" Country & Western bands commencing in the 1930's, and continuing into the 1960's. Among the acts that Ruhl played with were the "Sons of the Pioneers," and "Harold 'Hawkshaw' Hawkins." Ruhl Kelly Sr. passed away in 1981.
In the mid 1950's the Kelly's moved to Michigan where Kelly attended public schools, graduating from High School in Pontiac, Michigan in 1965.
Kelly was was swept up in the "Elvis Mania" of the 50's and knew what he wanted to do. Kelly Franklin began his musical career on the road with a band called "Raspberry Blue."
There he teamed with another vocalist, Billy C (Coleman), to form a blue-eyed soul act in the tradition of the "Righteous Brothers."
In 1970 Kelly was hired by boyhood friend, drummer Roger Craig, to front a group that had been known as "The Sound Commission." After several name changes, the group became best known as "August Heat."
"August Heat" comprised of Kelly Franklin on vocals and guitar, Roger Craig on drums, Bob Grant on keyboards, Tom Jagmin on lead guitar and Duane Emerick on bass guitar. "August Heat" played to standing room only crowds for several years. During this time they were signed by Ambersand Records. Their initial release, "Long Line Rider," is included on the recent compilation of recordings from Sun-Ray records. This CD is part of the label's Collector Series and is titled, "Kelly Franklin."
In 1982, Kelly received a Law degree from the University of Detroit and has practiced Law since then.