The Suffers Debut

Looking sharp, a Houston band gets a lot of love from David Letterman — and even a kiss — on national TV

Houston band gets a lot of love from David Letterman — and even a kiss

Kam Franklin of The Suffers with David Letterman
David Letterman hugged and kissed singer Kam Franklin after the Suffers performed on his show Monday night. bamitskam / Instagram
The Suffers on David Letterman
The male band members, in background, looked sharp in Strong Suit suits and Eton shirts and ties. Photo courtesy of CBS
The Suffers private performance at M Penner
The Suffers performed at a party at M Penner last week to thank owners Karen and Murry Penner. Photo by Rena Iglehart
Kam Franklin of The Suffers on Letterman
Kam Franklin raises the roof at the Letterman show. Courtesy of CBS
The Suffers pose in front of David Letterman show theater
The Suffers posed for a selfie in front of the Ed Sullivan Theatre, where the David Letterman show is filmed. listenyoungman/Instagram
Kam Franklin of The Suffers with David Letterman
The Suffers on David Letterman
The Suffers private performance at M Penner
Kam Franklin of The Suffers on Letterman
The Suffers pose in front of David Letterman show theater

In their national television debut, the Houston soul band the Suffers brought down the house and got a lot of love from David Letterman Monday night.

Led by singer Kam Franklin, the band thrilled the studio audience at New York's iconic Ed Sullivan Theater with the song "Gwan" from their extended EP, Make Some Room. It featured strong vocals from Franklin, a bongo solo by Jose "Chapy" Luna and a killer horn section, with Jon Durbin on trumpet, Michael Razo on trombone and Cory Wilson on saxophone.

At the end of the performance, Letterman hugged and kissed Franklin and paid the band the highest compliment, declaring to the national audience, "If you can't do this, get out of the business, you know what I mean?"

The set also had a Houston touch as drummer Nick Zamora's drumset was emblazoned with a diagram of Houston's freeways, designed by Houstorian founder James Glassman. 

The band looked particularly sharp, with the 11 male band members outfitted in attire from the new Strong Suit collection from M Penner. The suits, which retail for $595 to $795, are aimed at younger customers between the ages of 25 to 40 whose interests are likely to include pop music. 

  "They are just the sweetest kids," Karen Penner said. 

When the band learned of the Letterman gig, a representative approached M Penner owners Murry and Karen Penner about being outfitted in suits for the show. "They knew they wanted to step it up," Karen Penner recalled.

The Penners jumped at the opportunity, picking suits in similar shades, either solid navy, solid charcoal, or navy-and-charcoal pinstripe. To add a pop of color to match the floral Modcloth dress worn by Franklin, who accessorized her outfit with Lucchese cowboy boots, the Penners selected a variety of shirts and ties from Eton and had the band members selected their favorites. Some chose bow ties; others long ties; men's shirts ranged from patterned to floral.  

To thank the Penners, the band performed last week at a party at the store to launch the Strong Suit menswear collection and benefit Houston Grand Opera. "They are just the sweetest kids," Karen Penner said.

Watch the Suffers perform on Letterman:

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