The Trinikas

Before adopting the Trinikas name, Marsha Bratton, Debbie Sheffield, Georgetta Dixon, and Lenise "T-Bird" Morgan sang to hospital patients as part of their junior high school's Paramedical Career Club. Debbie's father, Leslie Sheffield, had been a pioneer on the outer-west jazz circuit, and his insistence that Debbie learn to compose and play the piano ultimately gave her singing group a leg up over their peers. In 1962, they met Richard Gilleland, who had opened a local franchise branch of Saugus, California-based Century Records and planned to release high school music program fundraising albums. The Trinikas and Gilleland journeyed to Independence, Missouri's Cavern Studio to record "Black Is Beautiful," b/w "Remember Me" in 1969. The Trinikas' recordings at Cavern would be their last: Marsha Bratton, the daughter of a stern minister, was on restriction the night of Douglas High's talent show, but she snuck out and performed. On the way home, Bratton's car was struck by an oncoming vehicle, killing her instantly. Douglas High's fundraising album was released by Century in the spring of 1970, carrying a dedication to Marsha Bratton.

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