Frankie Brunson's been around and involved in music a long time. Nearly 70 years old, the Buffalo, NY-reared entertainer is the son of a local preacher. Even before high school graduation (Hutchinson High) he was making a name locally as Little Frankie. He sang with the Lynn Hope Quintet who recorded on Aladdin, Chess, and King Records from 1951 to 1960; one of his songs "I Believe in You" was recorded by Jerry Lee Lewis and he cut the critically acclaimed Big Daddy Blues album on Gee Records in the late '50s, but hit consistently in the '70s as the leader of People's Choice.
He debuted in 1956 on Groove Records with "Charmaine," a smallish hit; subsequent releases on RCA didn't do as well. In Philadelphia he hooked up with the Fashions (Brunson, Roger "Punchy" Andrews, Dave Thompson...) and made a couple of singles on V-Tone Records, most notably "I'm Dreaming." As Big Daddy, so name for his gruff singing style and not his stature, (Brunson is very short) he cut singles on Wynne, PMB, and Gee Records in 1959. Alternating between names, he cut two that didn't go on Gee in 1960 as Frankie Brunson before reverting back to Big Daddy for "The Teacher Parts 1 & 2" on Crackerjack Records. The Fashions regrouped in 1962 for one single on Ember Records "Try My Love" b/w "I Just Got a Letter." Next came a Frankie Brunson single on Fairmount then yet another Fashion's revival on Cameo Records in 1964 with "Baby That's Me."
It was on Cameo that Brunson formed a friendship with Leon Huff and Kenny Gamble, where both worked. The Fashions evolved into People's Choice; Brunson, Andrews, and Thompson were joined by Leon Lee and sometimes Guy Fiske and Bobby Eli and became a hot item in the Philly area; their first three recordings dropped on Palmer Records (1966-1967) with "Savin' All My Love" issued twice. A one off on Phillips in 1969 "Lost and Found" b/w "Keep Holding On" paved the way for the groups' breakout on the Phil-L.A. of Soul label in 1971 when Brunson was 40 years old via "I Like to Do It" and "Wootie-T-Woo" two other singles weren't as successful.
Brunson reunited with Gamble & Huff in 1973 to record on the hot songwriters/producers TSOP label, a division of Philadelphia International Records, debuting with "Love Shot" b/w "The Big Hurt," while it failed to do much outside of Philly a tight alliance had been made. Still Leon Lee left to cut a solo on Crossover Records entitled "He Was the Man" (1974) beginning a succession of various members wading in and out the group to band with the core trio.
"Party Is a Groovy Thing" broke in 1974 and PC toured the Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York areas (as far west as Buffalo and Pittsburgh) on a regular basis. They followed it with their biggest hit "Do It Anyway You Wanna" then the energetic "Nursery Rhymes," "Here We Go Again," and other delightfully funky, hardcore Philly sounds. Gamble switched them to Philadelphia International in 1978 for their final recordings. A final single came out on Casablanca Records in 1980 with the outrageous title "My Feet Won't Move, But My Shoes Did the Boogie." They gigged around Philly until Brunson suffered a minor heart blockage in 1984 causing them to disband after racking up ten funk and disco hits on Billboard's R&B chart. Brunson return to Buffalo in the late '80s, reunited with his kids and joined St. John Baptist church where he sung in the choir until it was necessary for him to have a pacemaker installed.