Category: aretha franklin 1971

Aretha Franklin and Dr. John, 1971, via Dr. Jo…

Aretha Franklin and Dr. John, 1971, via Dr. John’s Facebook page.

The Doctor guested on a couple of Aretha’s 1971 singles, notably playing percussion on “Rock Steady” (released in February; I wrote about that here), and playing keyboards on Aretha’s cover of “Spanish Harlem”, a July 1971 single that became the opening track of Aretha’s Greatest Hits, released that September. It

spent three weeks at #1 on the US soul charts and two weeks at #2 on the Pop chart on the way to selling over 1 million copies.

(btw, the b-side referenced here, “Lean On Me”, isn’t a cover of the song that Bill Withers hadn’t written yet, of course, but rather the 1970 Vivian Reed original, a fantastic track, one of Aretha’s most powerful performances – but no Dr. John means that I’ll save it for another day.)

Aretha, backstage at Fillmore West, February 1…

Aretha, backstage at Fillmore West, February 1971, by Jim Marshall

Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul, having wor…

Aretha Franklin: The Queen of Soul, having worked up a mighty, mighty sweat, with surprise guest Ray Charles on the song “Spirit In The Night,” March 7, 1971, photo by Jim Marshall.

Aretha’s shows on March 5-7 produced a stunning live album, Aretha Live at Fillmore West. It was released just two months later, on May 19, 1971. Highly, highly recommended.