Category: retro

Guitar Boogie: Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy …

Guitar Boogie: Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page 1971 UK compilation album 

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!

Iggy Pop at the New York punk mecca Max’s Kans…

Iggy Pop at the New York punk mecca Max’s Kansas City, by Leee Black Childers.

Aretha Franklin in her dressing room at Newark…

Aretha Franklin in her dressing room at Newark Symphony Hall, 1969, by Walter Iooss Jr.

Photo

Photo

Stevie Wonder AND GROVER on Sesame Street! 197…

Stevie Wonder AND GROVER on Sesame Street! 1973, and yet, eternal

Marianne Faithfull’s record player, via

Marianne Faithfull’s record player, via

Joan Jett, Cherie Currie, The Runaways. April …

Joan Jett, Cherie Currie, The Runaways. April 1, 1977, Santa Monica Civic Auditorium

Aretha Franklin’s Grammy Award for Best Female…

Aretha Franklin’s Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for her 1971 single, “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” one of 8 in a row she won from 1968-75, via Billboard

And here’s the performance from that year’s Grammy telecast, which aired March 15, 1972 from New York’s Felt Forum.

Partying with The Who!

Partying with The Who!