Thursday, 23 June 2011

Aretha Franklin

Aretha Louise Franklin (born March 25, 1942) is an American singer, songwriter, and pianist.
Although known for her soul recordings and referred to as The Queen of Soul, Franklin is also adept at jazz, blues, R&B, and gospel music. Rolling Stone magazine ranked her atop its list of The Greatest Singers of All Time as well as the ninth greatest artist of all time. She has won 18 competitive Grammys and two honorary Grammys. She has 20 #1 singles on the Billboard R&B Singles Chart and two #1 hits on the Billboard Hot 100: "Respect" (1967) and "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)" (1987), a duet with George Michael. Since 1961, she has scored a total of 45 Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100. She also has the most million-selling singles of
any female artist. Between 1967 and 1982 she had 10 #1 R&B albums---more than any other female artist. In 1987, Franklin became the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She was the only featured singer at the 2009 presidential inauguration of
Barack Obama.

Aretha Louise Franklin (named for two aunts) was born in a two-room house in Memphis
located at 406 Lucy St. She was the third of four children born to Barbara (née Siggers) and
C.L. Franklin and the fifth of six overall in between past relationships by her parents. Franklin's
family moved to Buffalo, when Franklin was two, and then by four, had settled in Detroit.
Following the move to Detroit, Franklin's parents, who had a troubled marriage, split. Due to
her father's work as a Baptist minister, Franklin was primarily raised by her grandmother,
Rachel. Franklin suffered a tragedy when her mother died in Buffalo when Aretha was ten.
Franklin sang in church at an early age and learned how to play piano by ear.
By her late preteens, Franklin was regularly singing solo numbers in her father's New Bethel
Baptist Church. Franklin's father, C.L. (short for Clarence LaVaughn), was a respected and
popular preacher. Franklin grew up with local and national celebrities hanging out at her
father's home including gospel greats Albertina Walker and her group The Caravans,
Mahalia Jackson and Clara Ward, three women who played a pivotal role in her vocal
development as a child.

She released her first single for Columbia in September 1960, aged 18. It reached #10 on
Billboard's R&B chart. Her first album was released in January 1961. Due to her love of Dinah
Washington, her label had the singer record mainly jazz-influenced pop music hoping for
success with this format as the label had with Billie Holiday. Columbia founder John H.
Hammond later admitted in an interview years later that he felt Columbia didn't really
understand Franklin's background in gospel and failed to bring that aspect out in her secular
recordings. After scoring two more top ten R&B hits with "Operation Heartbreak" and "Won't Be
Long" in 1961, Franklin scored her first top 40 pop hit with her rendition of "Rock-A-Bye Your
Baby With a Dixie Melody". However later releases failed to find similar success, despite
Franklin having a near-top fifty hit with "Runnin' Out of Fools" in 1963.

After the release of a tribute album to Dinah Washington, Columbia drifted away from their
early jazz dreams for Franklin and had the singer record renditions of girl group-oriented hits
including "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's In His Kiss)", "Every Little Bit Hurts" and "Mockingbird"
but every attempt to bring her success with the material failed. Still, Franklin had already
gained a reputation for being a multi-talented vocalist and musician. During a show in 1965,
the master of ceremonies gave Franklin a tiara crown declaring her "the queen of soul". The
title would prove to be prophetic. By 1966, struggling with recording for Columbia, Franklin
decided not to sign a new contract with the label and settled with a deal with Atlantic. After
she gained success in Atlantic, Columbia would release material from Franklin's prior
recordings with the label which continued until 1969.

Franklin began recording her first songs for Atlantic in early 1967. Initially sent to Muscle
Shoals's legendary FAME studios where the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section was the in-house
band, Franklin cut her first song - the blues ballad "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love
You)", which finally allowed Franklin to show her gospel side. Tensions between Franklin's
then-husband and then-manager Ted White and a musician led to Franklin and White
hiding from public view in New York. Franklin eventually returned to the studio in New York to
record the b-side, the gospel-oriented "Do Right Woman". "I Never Loved a Man" soared up
both the pop and R&B charts upon its release peaking at number-nine and number-one
respectively. Her second single with Atlantic would also be her biggest, most acclaimed
work. "Respect", originally recorded and written by R&B singer Otis Redding, would become
a bigger hit after Franklin's gospel-fueled rendition of the song. The song also started a
pattern of Franklin in later songs during this period producing a call and response vocal with
Franklin usually backed up by her sisters Erma and Carolyn Franklin or The Sweet Inspirations.
Franklin is credited with arranging the background vocals and ad-libbing the line,
"r-e-s-p-e-c-t, find out what it means to me/take care of TCB", while her sisters shouted
afterwards, "sock it to me". Franklin's version peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100,
becoming a sixties anthem. Franklin had three more top ten hits in 1967 - "Baby I Love You",
"(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" and "Chain of Fools". "Respect" later won
Franklin her first two Grammys. She eventually won eight consecutive Grammys under the
Best Female R&B Vocal Performance category.

By the end of the year, Franklin not only became a superstar but she stood as one of the
symbols of the civil rights movement partially due to her rendition of "Respect", which had a
feminist-powered theme after Franklin recorded it. Franklin's other hits during the late sixties
included "Think", her rendition of Dionne Warwick's "I Say a Little Prayer", "Ain't No Way" and
"The House That Jack Built" among others. By the end of the sixties, Franklin's title as "the
queen of soul" became permanent in the eyes of the media. After a few struggles in 1969, she
returned with the ballad, "Call Me" in January 1970. That same year she had another hit with
her gospel version of Ben E. King's "Don't Play That Song", while in 1971, Franklin was one of
the first black performers to headline Fillmore West where she later released a live album.

That same year she released the acclaimed Young, Gifted & Black album, which featured
two top ten hits, the ballad "Daydreamin'" and the funk-oriented "Rocksteady". In 1972, she
released her first gospel album in nearly two decades with Amazing Grace. The album
eventually became her biggest-selling release ever, selling over two million copies and
becoming the best-selling gospel album of all time.

Aretha Franklin -  The Great American Songbook 2011



01. My Little Brown Book 3:19
02. Trouble In Mind 2:56
03. Try A Little Tenderness 3:16
04. It Ain't Necessarily So 2:53
05. How Deep Is The Ocean 2:48
06. Cold, Cold Heart 4:37
07. Love For Sale 2:32
08. How Glad I Am 2:33
09. Sklylark 2:53
10. This Bitter Earth 4:35
11. Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate The Positive 2:17
12. What A Diff'rence A Day Made 3:33
13. Only The Lonely 4:55
14. Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody 2:24
15. God Bless The Child 3:03
16. Say It Isn't So 3:09
17. Are You Sure 2:41
18. That Lucky Old Son 3:17


Aretha Franklin - Soul '69 



01. Jump to It [Radio Mix]
02. A Deeper Love [Morales Radio Mix]
03. A Rose Is Still a Rose
04. Freeway of Love
05. Get It Right
06. It Hurts Like Hell
07. The Only Thing Missin' [Radio Mix]
08. Who's Zoomin' Who?
09. Willing to Forgive
10. Wonderful



Aretha Franklin - Unforgettable A Tribute To Dinah Washington


01. Unforgettable
02. Cold, cold heart
03. What a diff'rence a day made
04. Drinking again
05. Nobody knows the way I feel this morning
06. Evil gal blues
07. Don't say you're sorry again
08. This bitter earth
09. If I should lose you
10. Soulville
11. Lee cross



Aretha Franklin - Let Me In Your Life 



01. Let Me in Your Life
02. Every Natural Thing
03. Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing
04. I'm in Love
05. Until You Come Back to Me
06. The Masquerade is Over
07. With Pen In Hand
08. Oh Baby
09. Eight Days On the Road
10. If You Don't Think
11. A Song For You


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