Category: queen of soul

Aretha Franklin, my edit of original by Hank P…

Aretha Franklin, my edit of original by Hank Parker via cbsnews

Aretha, backstage at Fillmore West, February 1…

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

Aretha Franklin, 1960

Aretha Franklin, 1960

Aretha Franklin, 1970, via billboard

Aretha Franklin, 1970, via billboard

Aretha Franklin, the first woman inducted into…

Aretha Franklin, the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, via rockhall.org

Aretha Franklin and Keith Richards. It was the…

Aretha Franklin and Keith Richards. It was the 80s. Don’t ask.

Aretha Franklin, 1968, by Don Hunstein

Aretha Franklin, 1968, by Don Hunstein

Aretha Franklin, “Rock Steady” on The Flip Wil…

Aretha Franklin, “Rock Steady” on The Flip Wilson Show, aired January 20, 1972. 

Released as a single in February 1971, peaking at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100, and #2 on the Soul Singles chart, this Aretha-penned track gets a blazing new life just 4 days before the release of the astounding Young, Gifted and Black LP. Not only have you never heard this song like this before, you may never have heard Aretha like this before: pedal to the metal and soaring, even by her own elevated standards. 

It’s also inspiring to see the Queen of Soul, “Natural Woman” resplendent in natural hair and an African-inspired gown in this pivotal TV appearance, as detailed in Rickey Vincent’s Party Music: The Inside Story of the Black Panthers’ Band and How Black Power Transformed Soul Music. 

Aretha herself said, “I believe that the black revolution certainly forced me and the majority of black people to begin taking a second look at ourselves. It wasn’t that we were all ashamed of our ourselves, we merely started appreciating our natural selves…you know, falling in love with ourselves just as we are. We found that we had far more to be proud of.

“I must say that mine was a very personal evolution – an evolution of the me in myself. […] I know I’ve improved my overall look and sound, they’re much better. And I’ve gained a great deal of confidence in myself.” 

(More here, although note that Vincent is off on the date of this broadcast, which I verified here. A great read nonetheless.)

This is the sound of Aretha’s newfound confidence, my friends, with one of 1971′s greatest singles taken to new heights. “Rock steady, baby – that’s what I feel now. Let’s call this song exactly what it is!” 

TURN IT UP!

Aretha Franklin, 1970, via billboard

Aretha Franklin, 1970, via billboard

squeezemylemon: The world has been so fortunat…

squeezemylemon:

The world has been so fortunate to have shared its existence with this remarkable lady.

Rest in peace Queen Aretha.

Aretha Louise Franklin (March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018)

Wow! Amazing work here, @squeezemylemon! The one thing I hated about this movie was its misogyny, and one of the things I loved most is that Aretha blew right past the shrew stereotype the script tried to shackle her with – all the more egregious because of the brutality that Aretha faced at the hands of the men in her life, and all the more triumphant because she was having none of it. None. Of. It. You don’t even need to hear the music to feel it in these gifs.