Aretha Franklin – March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018 –
Now here is an artist whose voice not only had incredible power, but, an amazing diversity! There have been many musical talents throughout the ages, however, if we were to apply a mathematical bell curve to them all, Aretha Franklin would appear in the top few percentile of the curve! Her voice, developed from Gospel music at a young age easily transfers into any music genre; Jazz, Opera, Soul, Rhythm & Blues, Country, Rock… just name it.
A major contributor to Jukebox Saturday Night for music nostalgia and information Peter McKay reminded us of her diversity when she saved the 40th Grammy Awards in 1998. Luciano Pavarotti was due to represent the classical music nominees and perform Nessun Dorma, a song for which the tenor had become renowned. But AFTER the show had already begun the singer pulled out sick leaving the production crew rushing to find a suitable replacement to fill the time! Aretha Franklin was due to appear in a Blues Brothers number in the show later that night and knowing the song was rushed in as the replacement. The result was nothing short of amazing, delivering one of the most memorable performances in the Awards history!
Aretha Louise Franklin was born March 25, 1942 in Memphis, Tennessee and joined Rock N Roll heaven on August 16, 2018, aged 76 after battling pancreatic cancer. She was a Singer, songwriter and pianist who began singing Gospel at the New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, where her father was a minister. Her first signing was with J.V.B. Records, before moving onto Columbia and then achieving far greater commercial success with Atlantic Records. Throughout her career Aretha Franklin had 73 entries on the Billboard Hot 100, and had 46 albums on the Billboard 200, with six in the top 10. And for 40 years no other female artist had the same success in the RnB charts.
Aptly named the Queen of Soul by the end of the 60’s Aretha Franklin received a number of honors throughout her career, including being the first female inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987, ranked 1st on the Rolling Stone Greatest Singers of All Time and also inducted to the UK Music Hall of Fame, just to name a few.
Aretha Franklin is a fan favourite amongst Jukebox Saturday Night viewers and after a quick look at some of her major hits below…you can see why!
Her 6 top 10 Albums included
– I Never Loved a Man The Way I Love You – which featured two massive hits including ‘I Never Loved a Man The Way I Love You’ and the massive Hit ‘Respect’ a song originally written and released by Otis Reading in 1965.
– Aretha Arrives (No. 5, 1967) which featured Baby I Love You
– Aretha: Lady Soul (No. 2, 1968) containing a string of massive hits – Chain of Fools, (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman and (Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You’ve Been Gone.
– Aretha Now (No. 3 ,1968) – Album Number 15 released included the hits; ‘Think’ – a personal favourite particularly when Jake and Elwood get down to it in the Blues Brothers and ‘I Say A Little Prayer’.
– Aretha Live at Fillmore West (No. 7, 1971)
– Amazing Grace, with James Cleveland (No. 7, 1972)
Her top 20 Billboard singles includes an amazing list of timeless classics:
The date of Aretha’s passing – August 16th is the same day 41 years ago that we lost the one and only Elvis Presley. It seems this date will now go down in history as the time we lost the King of Rock and now the Queen of Soul.
Thanks for the memories Aretha… your songs and ‘soul’ live on forever through your amazing musical legacy