Deacon Enoch Franklin, Last Surviving Member of the Gospel Clefs, Dies

gospel clefs

Deacon Enoch Franklin is farthest on the right in this photo.

Jr. Mack, a musician who has worked with groups from the Allman Brothers Band to the Sensational Six of Alabama, sent this message:

I regret to inform you that Deacon Enoch Franklin from Colonia, NJ, has passed away.

Enoch was the last surviving member of the Gospel Clefs from Newark, NJ. That’s Enoch singing the first verse of “So Good” and “I Prayed And Got Religion” (The Gospel Clefs / Savoy MG-14053). He also sang “The Lord Saved Me” from The Clefs Savoy MG 14023 album. He is heard again as the second lead singer on “Out Of The Fiery Furnace.” He comes in when the tempo picks up. He then alternates with the late Joe Deloatch.

I’d known “Deac,” as we would call him, for over 30 years. A fine man and a good solider.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Franklin died at age 82.  He owned E. Franklin & Son Auto Body Shop.  Our condolences to his family, friends, and church community.  The Gospel Clefs were an innovative singing group whose “Open Our Eyes” is one of the 100 most influential gospel recordings of all time.

For more information, visit Deacon Franklin’s obituary:

About Bob Marovich

Bob Marovich is a gospel music historian, author, and radio host. Founder of Journal of Gospel Music blog (formally The Black Gospel Blog) and producer of the Gospel Memories Radio Show.