Growing up in West Texas, our Bone Daddy, the original Sportsphile, not only was a member of the “sex, drugs and rock n roll generation”…..but was also a member of the “soul generation” …..while listening and dancing to music from the “kings of soul music”, James Brown and Ray Charles…..plus the “queen of soul music” , Aretha Franklin. The truth be known…..it was country and western music, along with soul music that BD would regularly “cut a rug” at the local Youth Center during Friday night “sock hops”….which was certainly a strange combination of music genres. Bone Daddy along with his classmates and friends were listening and dancing to music they heard on the TV programs like American Bandstand…..as well as radio disc-jockeys like Wolfman Jack…. and hearing songs like “Try A Little Tenderness”, “You Made Me Love You”, “Spanish Harlem”, “R*E*S*P*E*C*T”, “Do Right Woman….Do Right Man” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” by Aretha…..and Ray Charles songs like “I Got A Woman”, “Georgia On My Mind”, “What’d I Say”, “Hit The Road Jack” and “Unchain My Heart”….. plus, James Brown songs like “Please, Please, Please”, “I Got You (I Feel Good), “Hot Pants”, “Signed, Sealed and Delivered” and “Make It Funky”…..so, you can understand why I needed to post a tribute to “The Queen Of Soul”…..for she goes back a long way with Bone Daddy…..while her music is interwoven into his very fabric.
News & Music – 1968 – ABC News Special – “The Rise Of The Queen Of Soul” – Featuring Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin (March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018) was an American singer, songwriter, actress, pianist and civil rights activist….who began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan….where her father C. L. Franklin was a minister. At the age of 18, she embarked on a secular-music career as a recording artist for Columbia Records….and albeit her career did not immediately flourish….when she found acclaim and commercial success after signing with Atlantic Records in 1966….for that is when hit songs such as “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)”, “Respect”, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”, “Chain of Fools”, “Think”, and “I Say a Little Prayer” propelled her past her musical peers….and by the end of the 1960’s, Aretha Franklin had come to be known as the “Queen of Soul”.
Music – 1986 – Aretha Franklin Live In Concert – “I Can’t Turn You Loose” + “Shine” + “I Never Loved A Man” + “Try A Little Tenderness” + “Respect” + “Chain Of Fools” Et Al
Aretha continued to record acclaimed albums such as I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You in 1967….Lady Soul in 1968….Spirit in the Dark in 1970…..Young, Gifted and Black in 1972…..Amazing Grace in 1972….and Sparkle in 1976……but soon thereafter, she began experiencing problems with her record company….so, in 1979, The Queen of Soul left Atlantic Records and signed with Arista Records…..then she appeared in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers before releasing the successful albums Jump to It in 1982…..Who’s Zoomin’ Who? in 1985…..and Aretha in 1986 on the Arista label. In 1998, Franklin returned to the Top 40 with the Lauryn Hill-produced song “A Rose Is Still a Rose”….and later released an album of the same name…..which was certified gold. That same year, Franklin earned international acclaim for her performance of “Nessun dorma” at the Grammy Awards….after filling in at the last minute for Luciano Pavarotti….who canceled his appearance after the show had already begun….as Bone Daddy remembers watching that show….and saying that for the first 20 seconds being utterly SCANDALIZED that a soul, pop singer thought she had the chops to stand in for the great Pavarotti. No, she didn’t sing it the way HE would have….but rather, she did it HER way…. with power, depth and style…..as BD said that he learned a lesson that night….to NEVER underestimate the Queen!
News & Music – 1998 – ABC News Presents – Aretha Franklin Fills In For Pavarotti At The Academy Awards
Then in 2015, she provided a widely noted performance…..when she paid tribute to honoree Carole King by singing “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” at the Kennedy Center Honors. “American history wells up when Aretha sings”, President Obama explained in response to her performance of “A Natural Woman” at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors. “Nobody embodies more fully the connection between the African-American spiritual, the blues, R&B, rock and roll—the way that hardship and sorrow were transformed into something full of beauty and vitality and hope”. Franklin later recalled the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors as one of the best nights of her life.
Music – 2015 – The Kennedy Center Honors Carole King – Featuring Aretha Franklin – “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”
Franklin recorded 112 charted singles on Billboard….which included 77 Hot 100 entries…. 17 top-ten pop singles….100 R&B entries….and 20 # 1 R&B singles. Besides the foregoing, Franklin’s well-known hits also include “Ain’t No Way”, “Call Me”, “Don’t Play That Song (You Lied)”, “Spanish Harlem”, “Rock Steady”, “Day Dreaming”, “Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)”, “Something He Can Feel”, “Jump to It”, “Freeway of Love”, “Who’s Zoomin’ Who”, and “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)” (a duet with George Michael). She won 18 Grammy Awards. including the first eight awards given for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance from 1968 to 1975….as Aretha Franklin is one of the best-selling music artists of all time…..while having sold more than 75 million records worldwide.
Music – 1971 – WOOM Music Videos – Aretha Franklin – “Spanish Harlem”
Music – 1972 – Aretha Franklin Live – “Rock Steady”
Music – 1985 – Aretha Franklin – “Freeway Of Love”
Music – 1983 – Aretha Franklin – “Who’s Zooming Who”
Franklin received numerous honors throughout her career…..as she was awarded the National Medal of Arts and the Presidential Medal of Freedom….when in 1987, she became the first female performer to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame….. plus, she also was inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005….and into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2012. In 2010, Rolling Stone magazine ranked her # 1 on its list of the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time” and # 9 on its list of “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”. The Pulitzer Prize jury in 2019 awarded Franklin a posthumous special citation “for her indelible contribution to American music and culture for more than five decades”.
Music – 2014 – Radio City Music Hall Special – Aretha Franklin’s Tribute To Whitney Houston – “I Will Always Love You”
Franklin received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1979….had her voice declared a Michigan “natural resource” in 1985…. and became the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences awarded her a Grammy Legend Award in 1991….then the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1994…..while Aretha was a Kennedy Center Honoree in 1994…. recipient of the National Medal of Arts in 1999….recipient of the American Academy of Achievement’s Golden Plate Award presented by Awards Council member Coretta Scott King….and was bestowed the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005. She was inducted into the Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame in 2005…. and the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame in 2015…..while she became just the 2nd woman inducted to the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005…..and she was the 2008 MusiCares Person of the Year….while performing at the Grammy Awards days later. In 2019 she was awarded a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation “for her indelible contribution to American music and culture for more than five decades”. Franklin was the first individual woman to receive a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation.
Music – 1973 – Aretha Franklin – “Amazing Grace”
Music – 2017 – The New Bethel Baptist Church – Aretha Franklin – “Rock Of Ages”
Music – 1979 – Aretha Franklin + Mavis Staples – “Oh Happy Day”
Yall hear that in those Gospel songs….that’s what’s missing from today’s mainstream music…..with that pain, that struggle, that love and joy the pure release of emotion….for this lil ole chiweenie Sportsphile wants to thank you for being what you where….the Queen of Soul….for can you imagine knowing you’re at the end of your life and being in the place where it all began…..where he Dad taught the lessons of Christ…for I don’t think she was in physical pain at that moment…..as some have suggested….but rather, I think the gravity of being in the sanctuary were everything started in her life was just extremely overwhelming…..as she seemed unusually emotional ….as if she knew life was coming to a close for her and that building was making it real.
Music – 1978 – Aretha Franklin + Elvis Presley Duet – “You’ll Never Walk Alone” – In Tribute to Liverpool FC Soccer Club
In 2010 Franklin was ranked first on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Singers of All Time” and ninth on their list of “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”. Following news of Franklin’s surgery and recovery in February 2011, the Grammys ceremony paid tribute to the singer with a medley of her classics performed by Christina Aguilera, Florence Welch, Jennifer Hudson, Martina McBride, and Yolanda Adams. That same year she was ranked 19th among the Billboard Hot 100 All-Time top artists.
Music – 1987 – Aretha Franklin + George Michael Duet – “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)”
When Rolling Stone listed the “Women in Rock: 50 Essential Albums” in 2002 and again 2012, it listed Franklin’s 1967, “I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You” to be # 1 of all time. Inducted to the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2012, Franklin was described as “the voice of the civil rights movement, the voice of black America”….and asteroid 249516 Aretha was named in her honor in 2014. The next year, Billboard named her the greatest female R&B artist of all time. In 2018, Franklin was inducted in to the Memphis Music Hall of Fame.
Music – 1980 – Movie Clip From The Blues Brothers – Aretha Franklin Sings “Think”
On June 8, 2017, the City of Detroit honored Franklin’s legacy by renaming a portion of Madison Street, between Brush and Witherell Streets, “Aretha Franklin Way”…..and when it came to inspiring young“white boys” to shed their inhibitions and get out on the dance floor and “cut a rug”…..well, that is why this story has been told…..and as Bone Daddy said yesterday….“Her music is as relevant today as it was back in the 1960’s”
Music – 1968 – Aretha Franklin Live At The Hollywood Palace – With Host Sammy Davis Jr.