Aretha Franklin, The Queen of Soul has been a major part of the soundtrack of my life. The album ‘I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You‘ (1967) was the first collection which made an impact on me. Almost every song from the album which includes ‘Do Right Woman – Do Right Man‘, ‘A Change Is Gonna Come‘, and ‘Dr Feelgood‘ is known to people of all ages and musical interests. The opening track ‘Respect‘ has become an anthem for women all over the world, few remember that it was originally sung by Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin an accomplished pianist and arranger made this song her own. The Queen of Soul begun her recording career in 1956 with the album ‘Songs of Faith‘, Aretha came from a strong gospel background and began singing in the church choir. Her style of singing often reflected the early roots of her upbringing, ‘call and response’ was used many times between Aretha and her backing singers who included Carolyn and Erma Franklin (they have occasionally recorded songs where they took centre stage). The final studio album was ‘Brand New Me‘ was released in 2017.
Accolades for Miss. Franklin abound, she received a Hollywood Star in 1979 and was the first female to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 1987. During 2012 she was inducted to the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. She also sang ‘My Country’ at the inauguration of President Obama in 2009 and as well as her voice we all remember ‘that hat’. In 2013 she was ranked first by Rolling Stone’s list of Greatest Singers of All Time, I for one have no quarrel with this achievement.
Aretha Franklin’s career has spanned many decades, the power of her voice and her musical arrangements will live on.
RIP Miss. Aretha Franklin