A VERY DETAILED BIOGRAPHY OF "THE QUEEN OF SOUL" OR "LADY SOUL" - ARETHA FRANKLIN


Dec 16, 2004


The Bottom Line Aretha Franklin was born on 25 March 1942 in Memphis, Tennessee the 4th of 6 children. Aretha began singing gospel in her father's church in the early 1950's.

At the age of 2 in 1944 her family moved from Memphis to Detroit, Michigan. Aretha’s father was the “Reverend Cecil La Vaughan Franklin” who was pastor of the 4,500 member New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan. Mr. Franklin was the most famous and in demand gospel preacher in the 1950’s commanding upwards of $4,000.00 a sermon and was dubbed the Million-Dollar Voice. . Her mother and father both sang gospel in his church and they convinced her to sing with them. Aretha also had 2 very talented sisters Erma and Carolyn that were convinced by their parents to sing at church and they would also have a professional singing career. Erma was born on 13 March 1938 in Shelby, Mississippi and she would have 2 charting singles and 1 charting album. “Piece Of My Heart” which became a #12 pop hit for “Janis Joplin with Big Brother & The Holding Company” in 1968 was her 1st hit single in 1967 peaking at #10 on the R&B chart and at #62 on the pop chart.

Her other charting single was “Gotta Find Me A Lover (24 Hours A Day)” that peaked at #40 on the R&B chart for her in 1969. Her one charting album was “Soul Sister” that peaked at #199 on the pop chart. Carolyn was born on 13 May 1944 in Memphis, Tennessee and she would have 2 charting singles during her career. In 1969 she released “It’s True I Gonna Miss You” that peaked at #23 on the R&B chart and at #119 on the pop chart. “All I Want To Be Is A Woman” was her other charting single in 1970 and it peaked at #108 on the pop chart. Carolyn was also a very good songwriter and some of the songs she wrote were “Without Love”, “Baby, Baby, Baby”, “I Was Made For You” and “Sing It Again-Say It Again”. Carolyn died on 25 April 1988 in Bloomfield Hills, MI and Erma died on 7 September 2002 in Detroit, MI both of cancer. Aretha’s mother “Barbara Betty Franklin” left the family in 1948 and died in 1952.

Aretha was given singing lessons in the early 50’s by family friends “Mahalia Jackson”, “The Ward Sisters”, “Frances Steadman” and “Marion Williams”. Her father offered to pay for professional piano lessons for her but she turned him down and self-taught herself by listening to jazz pianist, “Eddie Heywood” records. Eddie had 2 songs on the pop singles chart in 1956 with the biggest of these being a #2 hit “Unchained Melody” that he accompanied “Hugo Winterhalter & His Orchestra” on. Gospel singer “Reverend James Cleveland” who’s biggest selling record would be his only #1 hit gospel album in 1990 titled “Having Church” moved in with the family next. On a side note in 1962 a very young “Billy Preston” would play the organ in “The Cleveland Singers” who were Cleveland’s backup group. The biggest influence over Aretha’s career is said to be hymn writer and gospel singer “Clara Ward” of “The Ward Sisters”. Aretha had heard her sing “Peace In The Valley” at a relative’s funeral and decided then that she wanted to sing professionally herself.

At the age of 12 in 1954 she was promoted from the choir to become a featured soloist and her very first solo song was “Precious Lord”. In 1955 she signed a contract with Chicago’s “Checker” records and “JVB” records. At the age of 14 in 1956 she went on the road with her father and his “Gospel Revival” and she recorded Ward hymns. Her very first release was “The Gospel Sound Of Aretha Franklin” on “Checker/Battle” records where she not only sang but played the piano as well but it failed to make any of the charts. The album also included the song “The Day Is Past And Gone” which she would sing 17 years later at Clara’s funeral. In 1957 at the age of 15 she was the unwed mother of a baby boy from “Ken Cunningham”. She next started taking voice lessons from “Leora Carter” and made her very first personal appearance on a bill with comedian “Buddy Hackett” at the Trade Winds in Chicago, IL. Up until 1960 she mostly released devotional material which included the singles “Never Grow Old” backed by “You Grow Closer”, “Precious Lord” Pt. 1 & 2 and “Love is The Only Thing backed by “Today I Sing The Blues”.

After dropping out of High School at the age of 18 in 1958 and having the second of her to be 4 children, she began touring as a gospel vocalist. Aretha was encouraged by “Sam Cooke” who’s biggest hit was the single “You Send Me” that went to #1 in 1957 and she decides to change her style of singing. In 1959 she decides to move away from her family in Detroit leaving her 2 sons Clarence and Edward with her great-grandmother and moves to New York City where she begins dance lessons. On 1 August of 1960 she makes her first secular recordings cutting “Right Now”, “Over the Rainbow”, “Love Is The Only Thing” and “Today I Sing The Blues”. “Curtis Lewis” who wrote the song “Today I Sing The Blues” takes Aretha’s demo of the song to “John Hammond” A&R man of “CBS/Columbia” records. The owner of the studio where she recorded the song, “Joe King” hears of Hammond’s interest in the song and invited him to the studio. After “Major Mule Holly” a bassist and “Teddy Wilson” a jazz pianist arranges an audition for her with John he immediately signs her to a 5-year contract and King becomes her manager.

In October her first release on “Columbia” is “The Great Aretha Franklin” a mixture of jazz, R&B and old standards, but it fails to make any of the album charts. In November her debut single on “Columbia” is “Today I Sing The Blues” with “Love Is The Only Thing” on the flip side and it peaks at #10 on the US R&B chart. On 11 December she makes her New York stage debut at the Village Vanguard club where she sings a program of old standards. On 27 February 1961 the single “Won’t Be Long” with the “Ray Bryant Combo” as her backing band is released and it peaks at #7 on the R&B chart and at #76 on the pop chart. In July she releases “Maybe I’m A Fool” but it fails to make the singles charts. In October she released her version of a #1 hit by “Al Jolson” in 1918 with “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby With A Dixie Melody” written by “Sam M. Lewis” and it peaks at #37 on the pop singles chart. The flip side of that single “Operation Heartbreak” peaks at #6 on the R&B chart. Jolson would always introduce himself “as the world’s greatest entertainer” and his favorite saying was “you ain’t heard nothin’ yet!”.

In January 1962 “Aretha” is released and it peaks at #38 on the pop album chart. “I Surrender Dear” debuts on 3 February and it goes to #87 on the pop chart. The song had previously been a #3 pop hit for “Gus Amheim” in 1931. The flip side of Aretha’s single was “Rough Lover” and it charted separately later peaking at #94 on the pop chart. In April “The Electrifying Aretha Franklin” is released but it fails to make the album charts. She next marries Detroit businessman “Ted White” who becomes her new manager. On 21 July “Don’t Cry Baby” makes its’ chart debut and peaks at #92 on the pop singles chart. She has her first national TV appearance on “American Bandstand” as the only guest on 2 August. She covers a #6 pop hit by “Ted Lewis” next in “Try A Little Tenderness” that only makes #100 during a 1 week only stay on the pop singles chart on 29 September. Over the years it would be covered again by “Otis Redding”, “Three Dog Night”, “Billy Thunderkloud and The Chieftones” and “The Commitments” to name a few with Redding’s version peaking the highest at #25 in 1967. It was first a #6 pop hit by “Ted Lewis” in 1933. My favorite version of this song was done by the “Three Dog Night”.

She releases “The Tender, The Moving, The Swinging Aretha Franklin” in November and it peaks at #69 on the US pop album chart. On 15 December she covers an old blues standard written in 1926 with “Trouble In Mind” and it peaks at #86 on the pop singles chart. She released one album in 1963 in January titled “Laughing (On The Outside) but it fails to chart. She released 3 singles this year as well in “Say It Isn’t So”, “Skylark” and “Johnny” with the flip side of this one being her very first Christmas release titled “Kissin’ By The Mistletoe”. None of these 3 singles made any of the charts. Her next appearance on TV is on the 90 minute “Mike Douglas Show” shown in the afternoon in Syndication on 26 June 1964. “Runnin’ Out Of Fools” is her next release on 19 September and it peaks at #57 on both the pop and R&B singles charts. She released “Unforgettable: A Tribute to Dinah Washington” that debuts in October but it fails to make the album charts.

“Winter Wonderland” backed by “The Christmas Song” is released in November but it fails to make the singles charts. In December “Runnin’ Out Of Fools” the album debuts and would peak at #84 the next year on the pop chart and go all the way to #9 on the R&B chart. She performs on “Shindig” on ABC TV on 2 December. Other guests on the show this day were “Freddy Boom Boom Cannon”, “The Chambers Brothers”, “Donna Loren”, “The Righteous Brothers”, “Bobby Sherman” and “Bobby Vinton”. Aretha makes her 2nd appearance on “Shindig” on 27 January 1965 along with “Little Anthony & The Imperials”, “Duane Eddy”, “The Zombies”, “Glen Campbell”, “Freddy & The Dreamers”, “Ray Peterson”, “The Righteous Brothers”, “Susan Barrett” and “The Serendipity Singers”. On 30 January she released “Can’t You Just See Me” but it stalled at #96 on both the R&B and pop singles charts.

She appears on “Shindig” again on 10 March with “Dobie Gray”, “The Drifters”, “Tony Bennett”, “The Everly Brothers”, “The Righteous Brothers”, “Mickey Rooney Jr.”, ”John Andrea” and “The Beau Brummels”. The single “I Can’t Wait Until I See My Baby’s Face” is released in May but fails to chart. 7 July she is on “Shindig” again this time with “The Kinks”, “Sonny & Cher”, “Marianne Faifthfull”, “Donna Loren”, “The Gauchos”, “Bobby Sherman”, “Billy Preston” and “The Eligibles”. Aretha and “Sonny & Cher” appear on “Where The Action Is” on ABC TV on 30 July. She releases the album “Yeah!!! – In Person” in November that peaks at #101 on the pop chart and goes to #8 on the R&B chart. In July 1966 “Sweet Bitter Love” is released but doesn’t make any of the singles charts. Her last non-compilation album on “Columbia” is released in August titled “Soul Sister” and it goes to #132 on the pop chart and to #8 on the R&B chart.

In September Aretha is unwilling to renew her contract with “Columbia” and signs a new deal with “Atlantic” records in a biding war, giving her $25,000 as an incentive. Producer “Jerry Wexler” sees that her singing career was heading in the wrong direction and decides to turn her back to her gospel, soul, R&B roots. In the meantime “Columbia” releases “There Is No Greater Love” followed by “Hands Off” but both singles failed to chart. “Columbia” releases the single “Cry Like A Baby” is released next in November and it peaks at #27 on the R&B chart. The song would be a #2 pop hit in 1968 for “The Box Tops”, a #44 pop hit for “Kim Carnes” in 1980 and a #70 country hit for “Joe Stampley” in 1975. “Columbia” released the final single by Aretha on their label titled “Until You Were Gone” in January 1967. On 27 January Aretha begins her first recording session for her new label at the Florence Alabama Music Emporium (FAME) owned by “Rick Hall” in Muscle Shoals.

The recording session was to be a full week with other musicians as her session band in “Cissy Houston”, “Duane Allman” and “Eric Clapton”. She was only able to record one song before a fight broke out between her drunken husband Ted and a session’s horn player and they both decided to return to New York City. On 8 February the song that Aretha was able to record that day in Alabama “I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)” begins to get radio airplay off of demo tapes on some of the bigger R&B stations. Wexler flies the musicians to New York and Aretha with her two sisters Carolyn and Erma record “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” for the B-side of the single. On the 24th, Detroit declares “Aretha Franklin Day” and “Martin Luther King Jr.” presents her with the Southern Christian Leadership Award at Cobo Hall. Her single is finally released on 4 March and later peaks at #9 on the pop chart, goes all the way to #1 on the R&B chart for the first of 7 weeks and is her first gold record. The flip side charts separately on the R&B chart and peaked at #37.

On 29 April “Respect” written by and a #35 pop hit in 1965 for “Otis Redding” is released and goes to #1 on the pop chart and stays there for 2 weeks. It also goes to #1 on the R&B chart where it stays for 8 weeks and is her 2nd gold selling record. “King Curtis” who had a #1 R&B hit in 1962 with “Soul Twist” played the saxophone backing up Aretha on the song. The flip side of Aretha’s hit was “Dr. Feelgood” that she co-wrote with her husband Ted. In 1962 the group “Dr. Feelgood & The Interns” released a different version of the song written by “Willie Perryman” that peaked at #66 on the US pop singles chart. In 1989 “Motley Cure” released a version of the song that they wrote and it went to #6 on the pop chart and was followed by an album of the same name that went all the way to #1 on the chart. In the UK “Respect” was released in May with a different song on the B-side in “Save Me” and the record peaked at #10 there. “Columbia” records released “Aretha Franklin’s Greatest Hits” in June and it goes to #94 on the pop album chart and to #10 on the R&B album chart.

Her first gold album “I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)” is released next in July and it goes to #2 on the pop chart and is her second #1 on the R&B album chart and later peaks at #36 in the UK. Around about this time the music industry began calling Aretha “Lady Soul”. On the 22nd her 3rd consecutive gold selling single “Baby I Love You” makes it debut and peaks at #4 on the pop chart, goes to #39 in the UK and goes to #1 on the R&B chart where it stays for 6 consecutive weeks. She performs at New York’s 1st ever Jazz Festival on 12 August at Downing Stadium. “Columbia” releases “Take A Look” on 2 September and it goes to #56 on the pop chart and to #28 on the R&B singles chart. In October “Aretha Arrives” previously recorded in New York City in June and it peaks at #5 on the pop chart and goes to #1 on the R&B album chart. This is followed the same month by “Take A Look” a compilation album on “Columbia” that goes to #173 on the pop chart and all the way to #22 on the R&B chart.

On 30 September “A Natural Woman (You Make Me Feel Like)” backed by “Baby Baby Baby” makes its’ debut going to #8 on the pop chart and peaks at #2 on the R&B singles chart. The song was co-written by singer/songwriter “Carol King” with Wexler and “Gerry Goffin” and was also covered by “Jody Miller” in 1974 and went to #46 on the country chart. “Mary J. Blige” did her own version of the song in 1995 but it only made it to #95 on the pop chart and peaked at #38 on the R&B chart. The single is re-released in October with the A-side reading (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” and a new B-side in “Never Let Me Go” but this one fails to chart anywhere. On 23 November Aretha is on the Lady In The Show float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. “Chain Of Fools” with “Prove It” on the flip side is released on 9 December with a blues guitar intro by “Joe South” and it goes to #2 on the pop chart, to #1 on the R&B chart and is her 4th gold selling single.

In the UK “Chain Of Fools” is released with her version of a #1 pop hit by “The Rolling Stones” in 1965, “Satisfaction” and it peaks at #37 there. “Columbia” releases “Mockingbird” next on 23 December and it would stall at #94 on the pop chart. On the 27th she appears on the NBC TV show “The Kraft Music Hall” with “Woody Allen” and “Liza Minnelli”. In December Aretha is named Billboard magazine’s Top Female Vocalist Of The Year. Aretha had 9 songs on the chart in 1968 and 4 of those all sold over a million copies each. She had 2 singles this year hit #1 on the R&B chart with “(Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You’ve Been Gone” that peaked at #5 on the pop chart and “Think” that peaked at #7 on the pop chart. “Think” was co-written by Aretha and her husband Ted and it peaked at #25 in the UK.

“I Say A Little Prayer” a #4 hit last year for “Dionne Warwick” is Aretha’s biggest hit in the UK this year when it peaks at #4 there. In the UK it is released as the A-side with “See-Saw” as the B-side. In the US it is the B-side with the A-side being “The House That Jack Built” that peaked at #6 on the pop chart and at #2 on the R&B chart. “See-Saw would become the A-side of her next US release with “My Song” on the B-side. She had 3 albums on the chart this year and the biggest of these was “Aretha: Lady Soul” that peaked at #3 on the jazz chart, at #2 on the pop chart at #1 on the R&B chart and at #25 in the UK. “Eric Clapton” would guest on the song “Good To Me As I Am To You” on the album. Her biggest selling album in the UK this year was “Aretha Now” that peaked at #6 there and peaked in the US on the jazz chart at #9, on the pop chart at #3 and went to #1 on the R&B chart. On 29 February Aretha won her first Grammy Award for “Respect” as Best R&B Recording and Best R&B Solo Vocal Performance by a Female in 1967 at the 10th Annual Grammy Awards.

On 16 March she appeared on “Happening 㣨” on ABC TV with “James Brown”, “Jackie DeShannon”, “Bill Medley”, “Jay North” and “Tommy Roe”. This day was one of the very rare occasions that “Paul Revere & The Raiders” did not appear on the show. She flies to the UK and on the 21st she performs on the BBC1 TV show “Top Of The Pops” as the only guest this day. On 4 April “Reverend Martin Luther King” was assassinated by “James Earl Ray” while standing on a balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. His funeral service was held on 9 April in Atlanta, Georgia and Aretha returned from her first tour of Europe to attend the service where she sang “Precious Lord”. She returned to Europe to finish her tour and on the 7th May while performing at the Olympia Theatre in Paris, France her show is recorded for a future live album release. She returns to the US in June to headline the Soul Together concert at the newly opened Madison Square Garden (the old one was recently tore down) in New York City to raise money for the “Martin Luther King” Memorial Fund.

She next opens the Democratic National Convention in July in Chicago, IL singing “The Star Spangled Banner”. On 2 November she appeared on “The Hollywood Palace” on ABC TV with “Sammy Davis Jr.”, “Corbett Monica, “Spanky & Our Gang” and “Johnny Whitaker”. On 15 February 1969 “Vickie Jones” is arrested on fraud charges for attempting to personate Aretha in concert in Fort Myers, Fl. Aretha has 6 charting songs on the singles chart this year. “Share Your Love With Me” was her biggest selling of these this year where it went to #13 on the pop chart and is her only #1 hit on the R&B chart this year. She had 4 albums released this year, 2 of which were previously recorded but unreleased on “Columbia”. Three of the 4 albums made the charts with 2 of them going to #1 on the R&B chart “Aretha Franklin: Soul 㣩” which peaked at #15 on the pop chart. Also “Aretha’s Gold” on “Columbia” was her first ever #1 record for that company and it peaked at #18 on the pop album chart.

She win’s Best R&B Female Vocal Performance on 12 March for “Chain Of Fools” at the 11th annual Grammy awards. Her only TV appearance this year was on 4 May on “The Andy Williams Show” on NBC with Andy’s wife “Claudine Longet” and “Roger Miller”. Also this month she works on her new album with “Duane Allman” joining in on slide guitar. On 13 June she performed at Soul Bowl 㥍 at the Houston Astrodome in Houston, Texas with “Ray Charles”, “Percy Sledge”, “Sam & Dave”, “The Staple Singers”, “Jimmy Witherspoon”, “Johnny Guitar Watson”, “Clara Ward” and many others. On 22 July she is arrested in a parking lot in Detroit, Michigan for causing a disturbance. In October she records at Criteria Studios in Miami, Florida and Allman once again adds contributions. This year she divorces her husband Ted after he had struck her in public and he had shot her production Manager. She had one son with Ted his name was “Theodore Richard White III”. Her father is arrested this year for Marijuana possession and its’ rumored Aretha begins drinking very heavily.

Six more songs make the singles chart in 1970 including her 9th gold selling one in “Don’t Play That Song”. It was a cover of a #11 hit in 1962 by “Ben E. King”. It peaked at #11 on the pop chart and was the 2nd of 2 #1 hits on the R&B chart with the other being “Call Me” that peaked at #13 on the pop side. Both of her album releases this year peak at #2 on the R&B chart. “This Girls In Love With You” peaked at #17 on the pop chart and included “Let It Be” recorded the previous December before “The Beatles” version is released in March of this year and goes to #1 for them on both the pop and Adult Contemporary charts. The album also included “Eleanor Rigby” that they had peak at #11 in 1966 for them also released as a single for Aretha the previous December that peaked at #17 for her. Also included on the album is “Son Of A Preacher Man” originally a #10 hit for “Dusty Springfield” in 1969 and “The Weight” a song that “The Band” released in 1968 and peaked at #69 for them. Her other #2 album this year on the R&B side was “Spirit In The Dark” that peaked at #25 on the pop chart.

She returned to Miami in March to record more songs this time with “The Dixie Flyers”. On 11 March she won Best R&B Female Vocal Performance of the year for “Share Your Love With Me” at the 12th Annual Grammy Awards. In August she returned to New York City to record and one of the songs she cuts is “Bridge Over Troubled Water” with “Billy Preston” that was a #1 hit earlier in the year for “Simon & Garfunkel” that will be released next year. On 14 August she appeared on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” on NBC TV along with Dr. Paul Ehrlich” “Lada Edmund Jr.” and “Ben Wattenberg”. Some sources indicate she began a relationship with her road manager “Ken Cunningham” and some sources indicate that she married him this year. In September she has a new backing band with “King Curtis” on saxophone, “Cornell Dupree” on guitar, “Richard Tee” on piano, “Jerry Jemmott” on bass and “Bernard Purdie” on drums.

She appeared on “This Is Tom Jones” on 9 October on ABC TV with “Bob Hope”. On the 12th she made her 2nd appearance on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” this time with “Gene Chandler”, “Suzanne Charney” and “Jerry Lewis”. In November Franklin covered the very first charting single by “Elton John” in 1970 “Border Song (Holly Moses)”. It only peaked at #92 for Elton but Aretha’s version peaked at #37 on the pop chart. Aretha’s album “Spirit In The Dark” released in October was predominately filled with cover songs of “B. B. King”, “Ben E. King”, “Dr. John” and “Jimmy Reed”. Allman appears again on 2 songs on the album in “Pullin’” and “When The Battle Is Over” which was co-written by “Dr. John” and “Jessie Hill”. It was first performed by “Delaney & Bonnie” on their debut album in 1969 titled “Accept No Substitute”.

1971 would see 5 more singles on the charts with the biggest of these being “Spanish Harlem” with “Dr. John” on keyboards. It was previously the debut charting record for “Ben E. King” on 31 December 1960 where it peaked at #10 for him. Aretha’s version peaked at #6 on the Adult Contemporary chart, at #14 in the UK, at #2 for 2 weeks on the pop chart and topped the R&B chart selling gold. She had 2 albums on the charts this year the first was “Aretha Live At Fillmore West” that peaked at #7 on the pop chart and hit #1 on the R&B chart. Her other album release was the compilation “Aretha’s Greatest Hits” on “Columbia” that peaked at #19 on the pop chart and at #3 on the R&B chart. She performed on NBC TV’s “The Flip Wilson Show” on 18 February with Charlie Callis” and “David Frost”. On the 5th through the 7th of March she performs with “Ray Charles”, “King Curtis” and “Tower Of Power” at the Fillmore West in San Francisco. On the 16th she is awarded as Best R&B Female Vocal Performance for “Don’t Play That Song” at the 13th Annual Grammy Awards.

On 13 August “King Curtis” was stabbed to death on the street in New York City and on the 17th Aretha would sing at his funeral. “Reverend Jesse Jackson” presides over the funeral with a sermon and it is also attended by “Stevie Wonder”, “Cissy Houston” and others. Her final appearance on TV this year was on 3 September on “The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson” along with “Gary Coleman”, “Pat Henry”, “Mary Ann Mobley” and “Karen Morrow”. Aretha had 4 more songs on the singles chart in 1972 and the biggest seller of these was her only gold one this year in “Day Dreaming” that peaked at #5 on the pop chart. Her only song to make the R&B chart this year was “Wholy Holy” in August that peaked at #81 on the pop chart and at #49 on the R&B chart. The record also included vocals from “James Cleveland” and “The Southern California Community Choir”. The song was co-written by “Alfred Cleveland”, “Renaldo Benson” and “Marvin Gaye”. This is not the same song written by and sung by “Neil Diamond” in 1969 that went to #6 and was also spelled differently as “Holly Holy”.

On 14 January this year she appeared in episode #68 of “Room 222” on ABC TV titled “Where Is It Written? playing the character “Inez Jackson”. On the 20th she appears on “The Flip Wilson Show” again this time with “George Carlin” and “Dom DeLuise”. She sings “Take My Hand, Precious Lord” at the funeral of her friend “Mahalia Jackson” on 11 February. She wins Best R&B Female Vocal Performer again at the 14th Annual Grammy Awards this time for her version of “Bridge Over Troubled Water”. She had 3 albums on the chart this year with the biggest one being her double gospel album “Amazing Grace” released in September that peaked at #7 on the pop chart and at #2 on the R&B chart. Also appearing on the album was “James Cleveland” and “The Southern California Community Choir” that was recorded at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church on South Broadway in the Watts district of Los Angeles in January.

Also this year Aretha wrote the score for the Sports & Recreational Documentary “Black Rodeo”. Also providing music for the Movie was “Ray Charles”, “B. B. King”, “Little Richard” and “Joe Simon”. The film starred “Muhammad Ali”, “Bud Bramwell”, “Clarence Gonzalez”, “Pete Knight”, “James Thomas” and “Sandra Young”. She had 3 singles on the charts in 1973 with the biggest of these being her only gold seller this year in “Until You Come Back To Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)” that peaked at #3 on the pop chart and tops the R&B chart. The song was co-written by “Morris Broadnax”, “Clarence Paul” and “Stevie Wonder”. She wins Best R&B Female Performance again on 3 March for her album “Young, Gifted And Black” at the 15th Annual Grammy Awards. Also this night she wins the Best Soul Gospel Performance for her album “Amazing Grace”. She makes her first ever appearance on “The Midnight Special” next on the 30th with “Carol Burnett”, “Ray Charles & The Raelets”, “Bill Cosby”, “Freeman King”, “Murray Langston” and “Earl Scruggs”. She also has her first appearance on the syndicated show “Soul Train” on 14 April with her father the “Reverend Cecil L. Franklin”.

Also in April she begins a major US tour performing in stadiums all across the country. Her only charting album this year is “Hey Now Hey (The Other Side Of The Sky)” released in August and produced by “Quincy Jones”. It was recorded in Los Angeles and it peaked at #30 on the pop chart and at #2 on the R&B chart. On 13 June she appears on tape on “Soul Train” on its’ “The Best Of Soul Train” show along with “Chuck Berry”, “James Brown”, “Teddy Brown”, “The Four Tops”, “Al Green”, “The Jackson 5”, “Curtis Mayfield”, “The O’Jays”, “The Supremes”, “The Temptations” and “Stevie Wonder”. On 7 July “Angel” debuts on the chart co-written by her sister Carolyn and “Sonny Saunders” and it peaked at #20 on the pop chart and went all the way to #1 on the R&B chart. The song was first recorded by legendary rocker “Jimi Hendrix” and it appeared on his 1971 album “The Cry Of Love” that peaked at #6 on the pop chart and at #3 on the R&B chart and at #2 in the UK for him. This would become his only platinum-selling album when it was declared that by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) in August 1998, which was 18 years after his death.

Her only album release in 1974 was “Let Me In Your Life” in April and it peaked at #14 on the pop chart and it topped the R&B chart. Aretha in April is made an Honorary Doctor of Law at Bethune-Cookman College in Daytona Beach, Florida. Three singles are on the charts this year including her cover of a #8 pop hit in 1968 by “Marvin Gaye” and “Tammi Terrell” in “Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing”. It peaked at #47 on the pop chart and at #6 on the R&B chart for her in August. Some of the artists appearing on her songs this year include “Stanley Clarke”, “Eumir Deodato”, “Cornell DuPree”, “Gwen Guthrie”, “Donny Hathaway”, “Cissy Houston”, “Bob James”, “Hugh McCracken”, “Chuck Rainey” and “Willie Weeks”. Aretha makes her second appearance on “The Midnight Special” on 31 January 1975 with “Bachman-Turner Overdrive”, “Joan Baez”, “David Bowie”, “The Byrds”, “Ray Charles”, “Bobby Darin”, “The Doobie Brothers”, “B. B. King”, “Gladys Knight”, “Roger McGuinn” and “Helen Reddy”.

She wins her 10th Grammy on 1 March when she wins Best R&B Female Vocal Performance for “Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing” at the 17th Annual Awards show. Her 3rd appearance on “The Midnight Special” is on 15 August with “Glen Campbell”, “Gwen McCrae”, “Helen Reddy” and “Uriah Heep”. Aretha had 3 songs on the R&B chart this year in “Mr. D.J. (5 For The D.J.)” was the only one that crossed over to the pop chart where it peaked at #53. It debuted on the charts on 20 September and peaked at #13 on the R&B chart. Two albums were released this year and both made the charts. The biggest seller of these 2 was “With Everything I Feel In Me” that peaked at #57 on the pop chart and at #6 on the R&B chart released back in January.

On 31 January 1976 Aretha is named Favorite Female Artist Soul/R&B of the year at the 3rd Annual American music Awards in Sata Monica, CA. On 5 June she sings on “American Bandstand” along with “The Cate Brothers”. In July “Sparkle” the title song from the Musical Drama of the same name is her only album release this year and it peaks at #18 on the pop chart and peaked at #1 on the R&B chart. The song “Sparkle” never released as a single appears as the 1st track on the album of the same name and it was composed by “Curtis Mayfield”. The Movie itself starred “Irene Cara”, “Philip Michael Thomas”, “Lonette McKee”, “Dwan Smith”, “Mary Alice” and others. On 10 September she hosted “The Midnight Special” with guests “The Impressions”, “The Marshall Tucker Band”, “The Movies”, “Lou Rawls” and “Paul Williams”. Her last TV appearance of the year was on “Soul Train” on 13 November with “Stephen Burroughs” and “Ronnie Dyson”.

Aretha sings “God Bless America” for “President Jimmy Carter” at his Inaugural Eve Gala in Washington, DC on 19 January 1977. On the 28th she is on “The Midnight Special” once again with “Alice Cooper”, “The Bee Gees”, “George Carlin”, “Captain & Tennille”, “Rita Coolidge”, “Earth, Wind & Fire”, “Kris Kristofferson”, “Helen Reddy” and “Neil Sedaka”. Three nights later she wins Favorite Female Artist Soul/R&B at the 4th Annual American Music Awards. She is the host again on 25 March on “The Midnight Special” with “The Babys”, “Brian Cadd”, “”Glen Campbell”, “Queen”, “Neil Sedaka” and “Thin Lizzy”. On 18 June the biggest seller of her 2 charting singles this year “Break It To Me Gently” is released. It peaked at #85 on the pop chart and went all the way to #1 on the R&B chart. This is not the same song that was a #4 hit in 1962 for “Brenda Lee” or the #11 hit for “Juice Newton” in 1982. She misses 3 scheduled shows at the London Palladium in November due to contractual problems regarding transportation and accommodations costs for her entourage.

Aretha’s six-year relationship with Cunningham ended this year. They had one child together, his name is Kecalf and is her 4th boy. Aretha hosts’ “The Midnight Special” again on 27 January 1978 with “Black Oak Arkansas”, “The Four Tops”, “Dan Hill”, “Fred Travalena” and “Barry White”. On 18 February she appears on “American Bandstand” with “Gene Cotton”. On 12 April she marries actor “Glynn Turman” with her father presiding over the wedding. It is held in her father’s church the New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit and “The Four Tops” sang “Isn’t She Lovely” at the end of the ceremony. She releases one album this year in June titled “Almighty Fire” that peaked at #63 on the pop chart and goes to #12 on the R&B chart. She also released the title song from that album this month and it peaked at #12 on the R&B chart. She sang the song “Nobody Does It Better” the theme song from “The James Bond” Movie “The Spy Who Loved Me“. The stars of this Action film were “Roger Moore”, “Barbara Bach”, “”Richard Kiel”, “Bernard Lee”, “Desmond Llewelyn”, “Lois Maxwell” and many, many others. The song was composed by “Marvin Hamlisch” and sung by “Shirley Bassey” in the Movie.

On 13 February 1979 she began a cabaret season at Harrah’s restraurant in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. “Ladies Only” was her only single release this year in October and it peaked at #33 on the R&B chart. Her only album released this year was “La Diva” also in October produced by “Van McCoy” who had a #1 disco hit with “The Hustle” in 1975. It peaked at #146 on the pop chart and at #25 on the R&B chart. She had no live TV appearances this year but was shown via tape on the “Soul Train” special “Tribute To Aretha Franklin” on 8 December celebrating her career. On 20 June 1980 “The Blues Brothers” an Action Comedy directed by “John Landis” is released where Aretha plays the part of “Mrs. Murphy” a Soul Food CafĂƒ© Owner/Waitress and sings “Think”. Other stars in the Movie were “Dan Aykroyd”, “James Belushi”, “Stephen Bishop”, “James Brown”, “Cab Calloway”, “John Candy”, “Ray Charles”, “Steve Cropper”, “Carrie Fisher”, “Henry Gibson”, “John Lee Hooker”, “Chaka Khan”, “Steve Lawrence”, “Frank Oz”, “Paul Reubens”, “Steven Spielberg”, “Twiggy” and tons more.

In July she ended her 15-year association with “Atlantic” records and signed a new deal with “Arista” records under the guidance of its’ president “Clive Davis”. She next provides music for the score of “Stations Of The Elevated” a “Visual Arts Documentary” starring “Charles Mingus”. On 25 October her debut album on her new label “Aretha” makes its’ debut and would go to #47 on the chart and to #6 on the R&B chart. The album was co-produced by Aretha and “Chuck Jackson”. She appeared on “Saturday Night Live” on NBC TV for the first time on 6 December with “Ellen Burstyn” and “Keith Sykes”. Her version of “The Doobie Brothers” #1 hit in 1979 “What A Fool Believes” peaks at #46 in the UK on 13 December. Her only single release this year is also on “Arista” and it debuted on 27 December titled “United Together” written by “Chuck Jackson” and “Phil Perry”. It peaked at #56 on the pop chart and would go to #3 on the R&B chart the next year. The next night she appeared on the PBS series “Omnibus” hosted by “Hal Holbrook”.

Some of the artists contributing to her songs this year were “Paulinho DeCosta”, “Cornell DuPree”, “Scott Edwards”, “David Foster”, “Paul Jackson Jr.”, “Louis Johnson”, “Marcus Miller”, “Greg Phillinganes”, “Bernard Purdie”, “Richard Tee” some of the members of the group “Toto”. It is also rumored to be the final ever bass work from “James Jamerson”. On 30 May 1981 “Come To Me” with “School Days” on the flip side debuts and peaks at #84 on the pop singles chart and at #39 on the R&B chart. “School Days” was also the song on the B-side of her last UK hit single. On 29 August “Love All The Hurt Away” a duet with “George Benson” is released and it peaked at #46 pop, goes to #6 on the R&B chart and peaks at #49 in the UK. Her only album release this year is also titled “Love All The Hurt Away” that peaks at #36 on the pop chart and goes to #4 on the R&B chart. She was also a award presenter this year at the 23rd Annual Grammy Awards Show on 25 February.

On 24 February 1982 Aretha wins Best R&B Female Vocal Performance for “Hold On, I’m Comin’” at the 24th Annual Grammy Awards. It was released as the B-side to her single “Love All The Hurt Away” that made #53 on the Club Play singles chart. “Sam & Dave” had a gold seller of “Hold On” that went to #21 for them on the pop chart in 1966. In August she takes part in the “Budweiser Superfest” at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA with “Ashford & Simpson”, “Patti Austin”, “James Ingram”, “Luther Vandross”, “Stevie Wonder”, and others. On 21 August her only charting single this year debuts “Jump To It” at it goes to #42 in the UK, peaks at #24 on the US pop chart, peaks at #4 on the Club Play singles chart and goes to #1 on the R&B chart where it stays for 4 weeks. The album of the same name produced by Vandross is released next in October and it peaks at #23 on the pop chart, peaks at #1 on the R&B chart and is another gold seller.

On 25 November she performs at the “Bob Marley” Performing Center in Montego Bay, Jamaica at the Jamaica World Music Festival with “The Clash”, “The Grateful Dead”, “Gladys Knight” and others. She also performed this year on the special “It’s Not Easy Bein’ Me: The Rodney Dangerfield Show” with “Bill Murray” and “Valerie Perrine”. On 17 January 1983 she won Favorite Album R&B/Soul at the 10th Annual American Music Awards for “Jump To It”. On 30 July her single “Get It Right” also written and produced by Vandross backed by “Giving In” debuts and it peaks at #61 on the US pop chart. The single is also released in the UK this month with “Jump To It” on the B-side and it peaks at #74 there. “Get It Right” the album also produced by Vandross is released in August. It stops at #36 on the pop chart, goes to #21 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and to #4 on the R&B album chart. Her final record released this year in October was “Every Girl (Wants My Guy)” and it peaks at #7 on both the R&B chart and the Hot R&B/Hip-Hot Singles & Tracks chart.

1984 was a very slow year for Aretha as she released no singles and her only TV appearance this year was on 16 January on The American Music Awards. One album was released this year of gospel songs by “Chess” records “Never Grow Old” was credited to both Aretha and her father. It was a collection of live recordings they made in his church together but it failed to chart. Aretha won Favorite Female Artist Soul/R&B at the 11th Annual American Music Awards. She is honored this year by Ebony Magazine with their Annual Award For American Black Achievement. She is sued this year by the producer of the Broadway musical “Sing”, “Ashton Springer” for breach of contract. He wins $234,364 dollars because of Aretha’s continuing to worsen fear of flying that makes her fail to appear for the show opening. She also divorces her husband “Glynn Turner” this year.

In May 1985 Aretha’s voice is proclaimed “One of Michigan’s Natural Resources” by the state government. “Freeway Of Love” released on 22 June becomes Aretha’s first Top 10 pop hit in 10 years. It went to #11 on the Adult Contemporary chart, to #3 on the pop chart, to #2 on Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart and hit #1 on both the R&B chart and the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart. It would only peak at #68 in the UK. One source indicates that on 11 July burglars shot her father in his own house. Another source indicates he was shot during a civil rights campaign. Whichever story is correct he did survive the shooting but lapsed into a coma from which he never awoke. She releases the album “Who’s Zoomin’ Who?” in July produced by “Narada Michael Walden” and it goes platinum. It went to #13 on the pop album chart, to #3 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and to #49 in the UK. She makes her only TV appearance this year is on “American Bandstand” on 10 August with “Billy Ocean”.

She released the title track from her current album next on 28 September and it makes 5 different US charts. It peaks at #10 on the Adult Contemporary chart, at #7 pop, at #4 on the Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart, to #2 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hot Singles & Tracks chart and tops the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart. It went all the way to #11 in the UK and was her first top 20 hit there since 1971. On 19 October “Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves” is released with “Annie Lennox & The Eurythmics” and it peaks at #18 on the US pop chart and at #9 in the UK. Guest artists that assisted Aretha this year on her recordings were “Carlos Santana” on guitar, “Clarence Clemons” on sax, “Peter Wolf” on vocals, “Walter Afanasieff” and “Preston Glass”. “Another Night” from her last album debuts on the US singles charts on 18 January 1986. It peaked at #22 pop, #21 Adult Contemporary, #12 on the Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart, at #9 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hot Singles & Tracks chart and at #4 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart. It would go to #54 on the UK singles chart.

She won Favorite Female Video Artist Soul/R&B on 27 January at the 13th Annual American Music Awards. On 25 February she also won Best R&B Vocal Female Performance for “Freeway Of Love” at the 28th Annual Grammy Awards. In May “Freeway Of Love” is re-issued in the UK and peaks at #51 this time around. “Ain’t Nobody Ever Loved You” backed by “Integrity” is released next in August and peaks at #30 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hot Singles & Tracks chart and at #9 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart. The title song from “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” the Comedy Movie backed again with “Integrity” debuts on the singles charts. It was produced by co-writer “Keith Richards” and previously a #3 US pop hit and a #1 hit in the UK in 1968 by “The Rolling Stones” debuts on the singles charts. “Penny Marshall” who played “Laverne DeFazio” in “Laverne & Shirley” from 1976 to 1983 directed the Movie. The Movie starred “Whoopi Goldberg”, “Stephen Collins”, “Jonathan Pyrce”, “John Wood”, “James Belushi”, “Carol Kane”, “Annie Potts” and others.

This year “Until You Say You Love Me” from Aretha’s last album is heard in the Comedy Movie “Nothing In Common”. “Garry Marshall” who was one of 3 executive producers of “Laverne & Shirley” directed this Movie. It starred “Tom Hanks”, “Jackie Gleason”, “Eva Marie Saint”, “ Hector Elizondo”, “Barry Corbin”, “Bess Armstrong” and others. Aretha appeared in the Musical Rock Video this year “Women In Rock” with “The Bangles”, “Pat Benatar”, “Janis Joplin”, “Jefferson Airplane”, “Carole King”, “Brenda Lee”, “Madonna”, “The Pretenders” and “Linda Ronstadt”. In October a second album titled “Aretha” also on “Arista” is released and peaks at #51 in the UK, at #32 on the US pop chart and at #7 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. On 6 December her next single “Jimmy Lee” debuts on the charts peaking at #20 on the pop chart, at #17 on the Adult Contemporary chart and at #2 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hot Singles & Tracks chart.

On 21 January 1987 she became the first female ever inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. “Keith Richards” inducted her at the second Annual Awards dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. On 21 February her single “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)” a duet with “George Michael” co-written by “Climie Fisher” and “Dennis Morgan” makes its’ chart debut. The song makes 5 US charts and peaks at #1 for 2 weeks and was her first #1 pop hit since “Respect” in 1967. It also goes to #1 on the UK and was her first and only #1 single ever in that country. “Rock-A-Lott” debuts on the singles chart next on 20 June and peaks at #82 on the US pop chart. It peaks at #25 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hot Singles & Tracks chart and at #4 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart. She appeared and sang “America The Beautiful” at the WWF’s Wrestlemania event on 29 March at the Pontiac Silverdome in Pontiac, Michigan in front of 93,173 fans. Other special guests that appeared this night were “Alice Cooper”, “Mary Hart” and “Bob Ueker”.

“Her father who was shot in July 1985 and after never coming out of his 2-year coma passed away on the 27th of July. The “Reverend Jesse Jackson” presided over the funeral that was attended by over 10,000 people including the mayor of Detroit. From the 27th to the 29th of July she records gospel songs in memory of her father at his church the New Bethel Baptist Church on Linwood street in Detroit with guests “Reverend Jesse Jackson”, “The Franklin Sisters” and “Mavis Staples”. The Mayor of Detroit at that time “Coleman A. Young” renamed Linwood Street to “C. L. Franklin” boulevard. He also renamed a park 2 blocks away from his house to “C. L. Franklin Park”. In October “If You Need My Love Tonight” is released but only makes the Hot R&B/Hip-Hot Singles & Tracks chart where it stops at #88. In November the gospel double-album she recorded in July in memory of her father “One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism” is released and it makes 4 US charts. It went to #106 on the pop chart, to #34 on the Top Contemporary Christian chart, to #25 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and topped the Top Gospel album chart.

In February 1988 she releases her cover of a #4 hit in 1964 by “The Edwin Hawkins Singers” in “Oh Happy Day” from her last album but it fails to make any of the charts for her. The flip side of this single would be her rendition of “The Lord’s Prayer”. On 2 March 1988 she won Best R&B Vocal Performance by a Female for “Aretha” and best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group for “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)” at the 30th Annual Grammy Awards. PBS-TV airs “Aretha Franklin: The Queen Of Soul” on 22 August, a one-hour documentary with special guests “Ray Charles”, “Eric Clapton”, “Whitney Houston” and “Smokey Robinson”. Aretha along with “Joe Cocker” and “Robert Palmer” appear on the video “James Brown And Friends: Set Fire To The Soul this year as well. She wins Best Soul Gospel Performance for a Female on 22 February 1989 for “One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism” at the 31st Annual Grammy Awards.

On 15 April the single “Through The Storm” a duet with “Elton John” debuts on the charts. It peaked at #41 on the UK chart, at #17 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hot Singles & Tracks chart, to #16 on the pop chart and goes to #3 on the Adult Contemporary chart. The album of the same name that includes duets with Elton, “James Brown” before he was put in jail, “The Four Tops”, “Kenny G.” and “Whitney Houston” is released in May. It peaked at #46 in the UK, at #55 on the US pop album chart and at #21 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. On 1 July “It Isn’t, It Wasn’t, It Ain’t Never Gonna Be” a duet with “Whitney Houston” debuts on the singles charts. It peaked at #29 in the UK, to #41 on the US pop chart, to #18 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play singles chart and at #5 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hot Singles & Tracks chart. “Gimme Your Love” is her final release this year in November and it peaks at #48 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hot Singles & Tracks chart.

On 26 April 1990 Aretha is ordered by New York US District Judge “Whitman Knapp” to pay $209,364.07 with interest because of her failure to appear in “Sing, Mahalia, Sing”. In August on the 9th and the 10th she performs at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. On 5 Dec ember she is honored by the NARAS (National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences) as a Living Legend. This would be the very first year since Aretha started releasing records in 1960 that no records were released by her a span of 30 years. Aretha would next sing at the funeral of US Army Specialist “Anthony Riggs” on 23 March 1991 at the Little Rock Baptist Church in Detroit. Riggs had just returned from the Gulf War where he was a part of a Patriot missile battery group. He had been back stateside for one day before he was murdered. It was at first believed it was a random act of violence by his wife and brother-in-law would be arrested for his death.

“Everyday People” was covered next by Aretha and released in July and it peaked at #69 in the UK. “Sly & The Family Stone” previously had a #1 US pop hit with the song in 1968. It went to #33 on the US Hot Dance Music/Club Play singles chart and at #13 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hot Singles & Tracks chart. From the 15th to the 18th of August she performed at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada for the first time. In August “What You See Is What You Sweat” produced by Vandross, Walden, “Elliot Wolf”, “Burt Bacharach” and “Carole Bayer Sager” and many others is released. It includes “Everchanging Times” a duet with “Michael McDonald”. It stalled at #153 on the pop album chart and went to #28 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. She returned to Radio City Music Hall in September for additional dates. “Someone Else’s Eyes” is released this month as well and goes to #53 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hot Singles & Tracks chart.

She next leads labor union workers at the Westin Hotel in Detroit, singing a belated “Happy Birthday” to the Reverend “Jesse Jackson” on 20 October. On 11 November she plays herself on the CBS TV show “Murphy Brown” in episode #84 titled “The Queen Of Soul”. The star of the show “Candice Bergen” who played Murphy got the chance of a lifetime to interview Aretha. Also in November “What You See Is What You Sweat” the single is released and becomes her very first record to not make any of the charts. On 25 February 1992 her and McDonald perform their duet song “Everchanging Times” at the 34th Annual Grammy Awards show at Radio City Music Hall. The very next night she is honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Rhythm and Blues Foundation’s 3rd Annual Pioneer Awards at the Rainbow Room in New York City. In February “You Can’t Take Me For Granted” with “Everchanging Times” on the flip side is released. The B-side duet with McDonald makes the Adult Contemporary chart where it peaks at #11.

In April the Movie soundtrack album for the Urban Comedy “White Men Can’t Jump” is released with “If I Lose” by Aretha on it and it peaks at #92 on the US album chart. The Movie starred “Wesley Snipes”, “Woody Harrelson”, “Rosie Perez”, “Tyra Ferrell”, “Kadeem Hardison” and others. Aretha sings “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and “Everyday People” on 12 June at the Man Of The Year tribute honoring “Clive Davis”. The ceremony was held at the New York Friar’s Club in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. She opens the second day of the Democratic National Convention singing “The Star Spangled Banner” on 14 July at Madison Square Garden in New York City. On the 18th she attends the wedding of “Whitney Houston” to “Bobby Brown” in Mendham, NJ and “Stevie Wonder” performs at the ceremony. In September “Rhino” records in association with “Atlantic” releases the 4-CD, 86-track box set “Queen Of Soul: The Atlantic Recordings”. It only appears on one chart, which was the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart where it only peaked at #99.

Aretha attended The Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration Of The Performing Arts this year along with “Walter Cronkite”, “Sally Field”, “Herbie Hancock”, “Gregory Peck”, “Robert Redford” and many others. The ceremony has been held yearly since 1978 at the Kennedy Center For The Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. The Honorees this year were “Lionel Hampton”, “Paul Newman”, “Ginger Rogers”, “Paul Taylor”, “Joanne Woodward” and “Mstislav Rostropovich” a Russian cellist, pianist and conductor. On 17 January 1993 Franklin performs at A Call For Reunion: A Musical Celebration at the inaugural festivities at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. On the 19th she sings “I Have A Dream” for President elect “William Clinton” at An American Reunion: The 52nd Presidential Gala” from the US Air Arena in Landover, Maryland. The event was shown live on CBS TV and also singing at the event were “Michael Jackson”, “Barry Manilow” and “Barbra Streisand” who sand “Children Will Listen”, “Evergreen” and “God Bless America”.

“Queen Of Soul: The Atlantic Recordings” wins Best Album Notes (I didn’t know there was such a category) at the 35th annual Grammy Awards on 24 February. On 27 April she tapes her very first TV Special “Aretha Franklin Duets” with performances with “Gloria Estefan”, “Elton John”, “George Michael”, “Bonnie Raitt”, “Smokey Robinson” and “Rod Stewart”. The show is broadcast on FOX TV on May the 9th. On 30 April she is one of 8 celebrities honored at the 8th Annual Essence Awards at the Paramount Theater in New York City. “Rhino” records releases “Chain Of Fools” a 10-song greatest hits compilation album on 21 September but it fails to chart. On 16 October Aretha sings the US “National Anthem” before game 1 of the 1993 World Series at the Sky Dome in Toronto, Ontario, Canada between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Toronto Blue Jays. On 2 November the album by “Frank Sinatra” titled “Duets” is released that includes “What Now My Love” a duet between Aretha and Frank.

She appears again this year at The Kennedy Center Honors: A Celebration Of The Performing Arts to Honor “Marion Williams”. Other attendees and presenters were “Jason Alexander”, “Scott Bakula”, “Tony Bennett”, “Ted Kopel”, “Little Richard”, “Billy Preston” and many others. The other 4 Honorees were “Johnny Carson”, “Arthur Mitchell”, “Georg Solti” and “Stephen Sondheim” once again broadcast on CBS. This year Aretha appeared on the PBS series Soundstage in previously recorded footage from Chicago’s Park West Club from 1985. The show included her singing 15 of her biggest hits and is then packaged as a Video called “Aretha Franklin: Soundstage” on “Rhino Home Video”. Also this year Aretha sings “A Deeper Love” for the Religious Comedy “Sister Act 2: Back In The Habit”. The Movie starred “Whoppi Goldberg”, “Kathy Najimy”, “Lauryn Hill”, “Barnard Hughes”, “James Coburn”, “Maggie Smith” and others.

“A Deeper Love” is released as a single on 2 February 1994 and peaks at #5 in the UK. In the US it peaked at #63 on the pop chart at #30 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles And Tracks chart and tops both the Hot Dance Music/Club Play singles chart and the Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart. She next sings “A Deeper Love” and receives a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 36th Annual Grammy Awards at New York City’s Radio Music Hall on 1 March. The song was written and produced by “Robert Clivilles” and “David Cole” 2 members of the group “C & C Music Factory”. The soundtrack album when released on “Hollywood” records peaked at #74 on the US pop album chart and at #40 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. On the 12th she appears with “Nancy Kerrigan” on “Saturday Night Live”. Two nights later she is on “The Late Show With David Letterman” with comedian “Alan King” on CBS TV.

“Greatest Hits (1980 – 1994)” on “Arista” is also released this month and peaks at #27 on the UK album chart. It peaks in the US at #85 on the pop chart and at #23 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. She next takes part in the 7th Annual Essence Awards show on 22 April. On 1 May she performs at the 25th annual New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. “Willing To Forgive” debuts on the singles charts on 14 May and peaks at #17 in the UK. It also makes 5 different US singles chart including the new Rhythmic Top 40 chart peaking at #35 but it peaks the highest at #5 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles And Tracks chart. The flip side of the single “Jump To It” charts separately on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play singles chart where it later peaks at #18. On 20 June she performs at the White House in Washington, D.C. for “President William Clinton”. She appears again on “The Late Show With David Letterman” this time with comedian “Roseanne Arnold” on 7 September.

On 8 October she performs to a sell-out crowd of 3,400 fans at the Star Plaza Theater in Merriville, IN during her current North American tour. She next performs on 3 November at Carnegie Hall in New York City to benefit the New York chapter of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences. “Queen Of Soul: The Very Best Of Aretha Franklin” on “East West” records is released in the UK this month and peaks at #20 on the album chart there. On 25 November she hosts the 3rd Annual Franklin Scholarship Awards Dinner And Dance at Cobo Exhibition Hall in Detroit with performances from “Chaka Khan” and “Tevin Campbell”. On 4 December she is one of 5 honorees at the 17th Annual Kennedy Center Honors for her cultural contributions and is the youngest ever honoree to this point at the age of 52. The other 4 honorees this day are “Kirk Douglas”, “Morton Gould”, “Harold Prince” and “Pete Seeger”. Other celebrity performers and presenters were “Alan Alda”, “Lauren Bacall”, “Joan Baez”, “Michael Douglas”, “Arlo Guthrie”, “Patti LaBelle”, “Tony Randall and many others.

Aretha appeared in a TV Special this year “Christmas At Home With The Stars” with “Toni Braxton”, “Kenny G.”, “Ashley Olsen” and “Mary-Kate Olsen”. She also appeared this year in “The Atlantic Records Story” with “LaVern Baker”, “Solomon Burke”, “Ray Charles”, “Ben E. King”, “Wilson Pickett”, “Sony & Cher” and others. On 10 January 1995 she performs at a tribute concert for jazz singer “Ella Fitzgerald” at the Universal Amphitheater in Universal City, California. Ella would die on 15 June the following year at the age of 78 from complications associated with diabetes. “Another Night” a song she first recorded back in 1985 and was on her “Who’s Zoomin’ Who” album that year debuts on the Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales chart even though it is never released as a single and it later peaks at #3 on that same chart.

Saks Fifth Avenue of New York this month files a suit in Michigan’s Oakland County Circuit Court against Aretha alleging she owed them $262,851.15 in credit card charges not paid. The charges were dismissed, but her troubles didn't end there. The IRS issued liens against her for not paying $500,000 in taxes, even though she was estimated to be worth around $20 million. On 2 September see sings “I Can’t Turn You Loose”, “Natural Woman” and with “Al Green” “Freeway Of Love” at the concert for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame at Cleveland Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio. On the 29th she performs at the KISS-FM Classic Soul concert at New York’s Madison Square Garden along with “The Isley Brothers”, “Gladys Knight” and “Kool & The Gang” in front of a sell-out crowd of 15,174 fans.

The soundtrack album for the Romantic Comedy “Waiting To Exhale” is released on 28 November and it contains “It Hurts Like Hell” sung by Aretha and composed by “Babyface” who was born “Kenneth Edmunds”. The Movie directed by “Forest Whitaker” starred “Angela Bassett”, “Loretta Devine”, “Gregory Hines”, “Whitney Houston”, “Lela Rochon”, “Wesley Snipes” and others. The album goes all the way to #1 on both the pop chart and the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Aretha appeared this year on the TV Documentary special on PBS “The Sounds Of Soul” that later would be broken up into parts for video release and get a new name. Aretha’s video appearance can be found on “The History Of Rock ‘N’ Roll, Vol. 5”. Others that appeared in the Documentary were “James Brown”, “Solomon Burke”, “Jerry Butler”, “Ray Charles”, “Sam Cooke”, “Marvin Gaye”, “Patti LaBelle”, “Prince”, “Wilson Pickett” and many others.

Also this year Aretha announced that she had signed a 1.2 million-dollar deal with Villard Books to co-write her autobiography with “David Ritz”. “It Hurts Like Hell” never released as a single appears on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles And Tracks chart next on 13 March 1996, later peaking at #51. On 27 April she takes part in the 25th Anniversary National Cultural Showcase at Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center. On 5 May Major League Baseball begins a promotional campaign on ESPN where Aretha and a few of the Detroit Tigers Baseball players sing “Take Me Out To the Ballpark”. On 19 August she sings at “President Bill Clinton’s” 50th Birthday party celebration concert at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The soundtrack album to the Movie “The First Wives Club” that includes Aretha singing “Think” is released on 17 September and it goes to #90 on the pop chart and to #61 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The Feminist Comedy starred “Goldie Hawn”, “Eileen Heckart”, “Dan Hedaya”, “Diane Keaton”, “Bette Midler”, “James Naughton”, “Sarah Jessica Parker”, “Bronson Pinchot” and others.

Aretha’s song “I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)” appears this year in the Crime Drama “Bound”. The Movie directed by “The Wachowski Brothers” starred “Gina Gershon”, “Barry Kivel”, “Christopher Meloni”, “Joe Pantoliano”, “Jennifer Tilly” and others. On 19 January 1997 she sings at the 53rd Presidential Inaugural Gala in Washington, D.C. She next gets’ inducted into the Hall Of Fame at the 28th Annual NAACP Image Awards on 8 February in Pasadena, California. On the 26th she joins “Mary J. Blige”, “Brandy”, “Whitney Houston”, “Chaka Khan” and “CeCe Winas” in a medley from “Waiting To Exhale” at the 39th Annual Grammy Awards at Madison Square Garden. The next night she is the host at the 8th Annual Pioneer Awards held by the Rhythm & Blues Foundation at the New York City Hilton Hotel. She next is awarded an Honorary Doctor Of Music degree at the New England Conservatory on 18 May.

Aretha next travels to Detroit to attend and sing at the funeral for “Lawrence Payton” who had been a member of “The Four Tops” for 43 years at the age of 59 on 25 June. Also attending was the remaining 3 members “Berry Gordy”, “Smokey Robinson” and others. Payton had died on the 20th at his home in Southfield, Michigan due to liver cancer. On the 6th of November she performs at a gala to celebrate the $7 Million renovation of the Marcus Performing Arts Center’s Uihlein Hall in Milwaukee, WI. She next is a guest along with “Claire Danes” on the 13th on “The Rosie O’Donnell Show” a syndicated afternoon talk show. On 5 December she leads the Greater Grace Temple congregation in song during former mayor “Coleman A. Young’s” funeral in Detroit.

On 23 February 1998 Aretha performs in a tribute to MusiCares Person Of The Year Italian Opera singer “Luciano Pavarotti” at its’ annual charity event dinner held at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. Pavarotti was scheduled to sing on the 25th at the 40th Annual Grammy Awards but because he was ailing asked Aretha to sub for him and she sang his signature piece “Nessun Dorma” and afterwards she received a standing ovation for her performance. After she sang for him at this show, the emotionally overwhelmed tenor rushed onto the stage as the audience threw flowers at her feet. The next night she is one of the guests on “The Late Show With David Letterman” along with “Eric Bergoust”, “David Fat Head Newman” and “Susan Sarandon”. On 10 March after having recently signed a new contract with “Arista” to provide 3 more albums paying her $10,000.00 “A Rose Is Still A Rose” her newest album makes its’ chart debut. It went to #30 on the US pop album chart and to #7 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The album also included contributions from “Dallas Austin”, “Sean Puffy Combs”, “Jermaine Dupri”, “Michael J. Powell”, “Daryl Simmons” and “Nara Michael Walden”.

The CD-single of the same name debuts on the chart 4 days later and would make 5 US charts peaking the highest at #1 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play singles chart and it would later peak at #22 in the UK. The song was written and produced by hip-hop singer “Lauryn Hill” a member of the group “The Fugees”. On 14 April she performs at Divas Live: An Honors Concert For VH1 Save The Music live from the Beacon Theater in New York City. Also performing was “Maria Carey”, “Celine Dion”, “Gloria Estefan” and “Shania Twain”. The live concert was recorded for release on video and renamed “VH1 Divas Live”. “Here We Go Again” a 3 song CD-single with “In The Morning” and “Nessun Dorma (live)” debuts on the charts on 18 July. The CD-single would make 4 US charts peaking the highest at #1 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play singles chart and it went to #76 in the UK. On 30 August she is shown on VH1 TV’s “Behind The Music” along with “James Brown”, “John Fogerty”, “P. J. Rourke” and “Grace Slick”.

She next performs at the Mentoring’s Big Night At The Garden” on 24 September at Madison Square Garden with “Boyz II Men”, “Natalie Cole” and “Barry Manilow”. The album “VH1 Divas Live” is released on 6 October with 14 songs on it from their live concert in April. The album goes to #21 on the US pop chart and to #12 on the Top Canadian Albums chart. In November “Greatest Hits” a 2-CD 41-track compilation album on “Global” records is released in the UK only and it goes to #38 there. She takes part next on 13 December in the 17th Annual Christmas In Washington concert taped at the National Building Museum and would air on NBC TV on the 18th. This year Aretha appears in “Motown 40: The Music Is Forever” a 2-part TV Musical History special. Other personalities also appearing were “Michael Bolton”, “Mariah Carey”, “Dick Clark”, “Rick James”, “Little Richard”, “Rod Stewart” and many others. She also performed on the TV special this year “A Celebration Of America’s Music” with “George Benson”, “Dave Brubeck”, “Bill Cosby”, “Herbie Hancock”, “Al Jarreau”, “Nancy Wilson” and others.

Aretha also reprised her role as “Mrs. Murphy” in the Action Comedy “Blues Brothers 2000” directed by “John Landis”. Others appearing in the Movie were “Dan Aykroyd”, “James Brown”, “Eric Clapton”, “Bo Diddley”, “Dr. John”, “Eddie Floyd”, “John Goodman”, “Isaac Hayes”, “B.B. King”, “Wilson Pickett”, “Lou Rawls” and others. Aretha sang an updated version of “Respect” that she had recorded just for this Movie. At the beginning of 1999 she began work on a new album of gospel music for the Michigan Opera Theater. On 18 May she performed on “The Late Show With David Letterman” who also had as a guest this night “Keri Russell”. On 28 September her 251-page autobiography co-written by her and Ritz titled “Aretha Franklin From These Roots” is finally released. She appeared on the Musical TV special this year “Arista Records’ 25th Anniversary Celebration”. Also in attendance this night were “Bobby Brown”, “Natalie Cole”, “Sean P. Diddy Combs”, “Kenny G”, “Danny Glover”, “Whitney Houston”, “Carole King” and many others.

She started up a new company called “Crown Productions” planning documentary films on herself, her deceased father and on the “Reverend Jesse Jackson” and an unspecified fourth project over the next six years. On 14 February 2000 she was the only guest on the syndicated “Oprah Winfrey Show”. In December the tabloid “Star” magazine printed a story about Aretha supposedly quoting unidentified 'insiders' and 'pals' of Franklin who claimed to be worried about the 60-year-old singer's drinking. They claim it had led to her canceling many performances over the years. Also this month Aretha releases a 10-track album called “Gospel Greats” on “Rhino Flashback” records and it went all the way to #18 on the Top Gospel Album chart. On 10 April 2001 VH1 presented its’ yearly “VH1 Divas Live” show this year titled “The One And Only Aretha Franklin”. Guests included “Marc Anthony”, “The Backstreet Boys”, “Mary J. Blige”, “Celia Cruz”, “Herbie Hancock”, “Janet Jackson”, “Kid Rock”, “Jill Scott” and many others.

On 14 April she appears in the PBS series” Walk On By: The Story Of Popular Song” in the episode titled “Atlantic Crossing”. Others appearing either live or via archived video footage included “Burt Bacharach”, “The Beatles”, “Pat Boone”, “Eric Burdon”, “Ray Charles”, “Elvis Costello”, “Ray Davies”, “Bob Dylan”, “The Lovin’ Spoonful”, “Roger McGuinn”, “The Rolling Stones”, “Neil Sedaka” and many, many more. In December “Rhino” records re-releases “The Very Best Of Aretha Franklin, Vol. 1” that they had originally released on 22 March 1994 but failed to chart. This time it goes to #20 on the Top Internet Albums chart. Aretha also appeared this year in the 5-part Mini series “Say It Loud: A Celebration Of Black Music In America". Others that performed were “George Benson”, “Al Green”, “B. B. King”, “Gladys Knight”, “LL Cool J”, “Brian McKnight”, “Donna Summer” and others.

On 5 January 2002 she appeared on the 4-hour ABC TV special “An Evening Of Stars: A Celebration Of Educational Excellence” a fundraiser for the UNCF (United Negro College Fund). Other stars performing included “Debbie Allen”, “Babyface”, “Boyz II Men”, “Destiny’s Child”, “Boney James”, ”Donnie McClurking” “Chante Moore” and “Lou Rawls”. In June of Aretha sued the “Star”, as described in this article in the L .A. Times, "Franklin Rebuts Tabloid in Defamation Suit”. It goes on to say that “Grammy Award winner Aretha Franklin is suing the Star tabloid magazine, alleging defamation over a story that said the singer has a drinking problem that's threatening her life and career”. The lawsuit is a rebuttal that “everything in the article is false” said Franklin's lead attorney, Barry B. Langberg of Los Angeles and also said “Literally millions of people read that garbage”.

She co-hosted the TV special this year “Rhythm, Love And Soul” with “Lou Rawls” and “Mary Wilson”. Others that appeared on the show were “Blue Magic, “Carl Carlton”, “Gloria Gaynor”, “Billy Paul”, “Freda Payne”, “Peaches & Herb”, “Edwin Starr”, “The Three Degrees” and others. Also this year she sang “Respect” in the Romantic Comedy “Two Weeks Notice”. The Movie starred “Sandra Bullock”, “Hugh Grant”, “Norah Jones”, “Robert Klein”, “Mike Piazza”, “Donald Trump” and others. On 25 March 2003 she is shown on BBC TV’s new “Top Of The Pops 2” which shows archive footage from the old “Top Of The Pops” shows of the past. Also on this shows’ episode is a live interview with “Norah Jones”. She released “The Only Thing Missin.” on 13 September and it goes to #7 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play singles chart and stops at #53 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks chart. On the 24th she is a guest once more on the “Oprah Winfrey Show” with “Tammi Anderson” and “Mary J. Bleige”.

“So Damn Happy” was released on the 16th of September. It peaked at #33 on the US pop album chart and went to #11 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Album chart. Two songs on the album were co-written and co-sung with Aretha and “Mary J. Bleige” in “No Matter What” and “Holdin’” both. In November Aretha gave these answers to the "Proust Questionnaire" in Vanity Fair magazine:

Perfect happiness: "It's never going to be absolutely perfect. There will always be something you would change if you could."
Most overused phrase: "You know what I'm sayin'."
Greatest regret: "Not learning to read music."
Change one thing about yourself: "My weight, but I'm working on it. I will return!"
Quality you like in a man: "Straight-up honesty and good taste."
Quality you like in a woman: "Honesty, style, and realness."
Most dislike: "Bad manners."
Motto: "Live and let live."

Aretha and “Lou Rawls” host the TV special “American Soundtrack: Rhythm, Love And Soul”. Guests included “Jerry Butler”, “Carl Carlton”, “Gloria Gaynor”, “Thelma Houston”, “Demond Wilson” and others. She also appeared this year in the Canadian Documentary special “Tom Dowd And The Language Of Music”. Others appearing were “Ray Charles” and “Eric Clapton” live and on archive footage were “Ginger Baker”, “John Coltrane”, “Otis Redding” and others. She was honored this year at the 9th Annual Walk Of Fame ceremony. Celebrities that performed this night were “Mary J. Blige”, “The Isley Brothers”, “Norah Jones”, “Alicia Keys”, “Chaka Khan”, “Ruben Studdard” and others.

On 20 April 2004 “The Proud Family” original TV soundtrack album is released and includes “Respect” sung by Franklin. The animated cartoon series can be seen on The Disney channel and on Toon Disney in the US and on The Family channel in Canada. “Wonderful” from her album “So Damn Happy” debuts on the “Top R&B/Hip-Hop Singles And Tracks chart next on 1 July and it peaks at #46 on that chart. She is heard next on 17 September on “The Travis Smiley Show” on NPR (National Public Radio) that targets mostly the African-American community. Aretha is expected to release a gospel Christmas album from a concert she had at the New Bethel Baptist Church in 1996 featuring herself, “Bobby Jones”, “New Life”, and “Vanessa Bell Armstrong”. Her focus this year has been on opening a chain of Aretha's Chicken and Waffles restaurants in three casinos proposed for downtown Detroit.

When Aretha is not taking care of business, she says, “I'm very domestic I like to cook and do my own cleaning”. And she likes getting out her rod and reel. “I love to fish, bring it home, skin it, fry it and have a ball," she has said. "We went up to Rondeau Bay in Canada last year, the fish were small, but we had a good time, that is, until the mosquitoes ran us back into the car." One of my many favorite CD’s by Aretha is ”ARETHA’S BEST” that was released on “Rhino” records on 15 May 2001. The songs on this CD are listed below followed by the length of each and then my rating of each song.

1. Respect – 2:25 – 5
2. Think – 2:19 – 5
3. Freeway Of Love – 5:52 – 5
4. Baby, I Love You – 2:43 – 5
5. A Natural Woman (You Make Me Feel Like) – 2:45 – 5
6. Day Dreaming – 4:00 – 4
7. I Say A Little Prayer – 3:35 – 5
8. The House That Jack Built – 2:21 – 5
9. (Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You’ve Been Gone – 2:26 – 5
10. Spanish Harlem – 3:34 – 5
11. Jump To It – 4:16 – 4
12. I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me) – 4:01 – 5
13. Chain Of Fools – 2:49 – 5
14. Rock Steady – 3:14 – 5
15. Who’s Zoomin’ Who? – 4:44 – 5
16. Until You Come Back To Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do) – 3:27 - 5
17. I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You) – 2:51 - 4
18. Call Me – 3:56 – 5
19. Do Right Woman, Do Right Man – 3:16 – 4
20. Bridge Over Troubled Water – 5:33 – 5

TOTAL POINTS: 96 POINTS DIVIDED BY 20 SONGS = 4.80 or 4 3/4 STARS

Rating Key:
5 –Great
4 – Very Good
3 – Good
2 – Fair
1 – Poor
0 – This song does not belong here!


Billboard US Top 100 Pop Singles for “ARETHA FRANKLIN”

1. Won’t Be Long – Debut 02/27/61, Peaked at #76 (with “Ray Bryant Combo”)
2. Rock-A-Bye Your baby With A Dixie Melody – Debut 10/0961, Peaked at #37
3. I Surrender Dear – Debut 02/03/62, Peaked at #87
4. Rough Lover – Debut 02/10/62, Peaked at #94 (B-side of #3)
5. Don’t Cry, Baby – Debut 07/21/62, Peaked at #92
6. Try A Little Tenderness – Debut 09/29/62, Peaked at #100
7. Trouble In Mind – Debut 12/15/62, Peaked at #86
8. Runnin’ Out Of Fools – Debut 09/19/64, Peaked at #57
9. Can’t You Just See Me – Debut 01/30/65, Peaked at #96
10. I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You) – Debut 03/04/67, Peaked at #9 (GOLD)
11. RESPECT - Debut 04/29/67, peaked at #1 for 2 weeks (GOLD)
12. Baby I Love You – Debut 07/22/67, Peaked at #4 (GOLD)
13. Take A Look – Debut 09/02/67, Peaked at #56
14. A Natural Woman (You Make Me Feel Like) – Debut 09/30/67, Peaked at #8
15. Chain Of Fools – Debut 12/09/67, Peaked at #2 for 2 weeks (GOLD)
16. Mockingbird – Debut 12/23/67, Peaked at #94 (Peaked at #5 in 1974 for “Carly Simon” and “James Taylor”)
17. Soulville – Debut 05/09/64, Peaked at #121, Re-released on 02/24/68, Peaked at #83
18. (Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You’ve Been Gone – Debut 03/02/68, Peaked at #5 (GOLD)
19. Ain’t No way – Debut 04/06/68, Peaked at #16 (B-side of #18)
20. Think – Debut 05/18/68, Peaked at #7 (GOLD)
21. You Send Me – Debut 06/15/68, Peaked at #56 (B-side of #20)(#1 pop hit for “Sam Cooke” in 1957)
22. The House That Jack Built – Debut 08/17/68, Peaked at #6 (GOLD)
23. I Say A Little Prayer – Debut 08/17/68, Peaked at #10 (B-side of #22)
24. See Saw – Debut 11/23/68, Peaked at #14 (GOLD)
25. My Song – Debut 11/30/68, Peaked at #31 (B-side of #24)
26. The Weight – Debut 02/22/69, Peaked at #19
27. Tracks Of My Tears – Debut 03/15/69, Peaked at #71 (B-side of #26)(#16 pop hit for “The Miracles” in 1965)
28. I Can’t See Myself Leaving You – Debut 04/19/69, Peaked at #28
29. Gentle On My Mind – Debut 05/10/69, Peaked at #76 (B-side of #28)(First sang by “Frank Sinatra” in 1960)
30. Share Your Love With Me – Debut 08/02/69, Peaked at #13(#42 pop hit for “Bobby Blue Bland” in 1963)
31. Eleanor Rigby – Debut 11/08/69, Peaked at #17 (#11 pop hit in 1966 for “The Beatles”)
32. Call Me – Debut 02/07/70, Peaked at #13 (this version was composed by Aretha)
33. Son Of A Preacher Man – Debut 02/14/70, Peaked at #13 (B-side of #32)(#10 pop hit in 1969 for “Dusty Springfield”)
34. Spirit In the Dark – Debut 05/23/70, Peaked at #23
35. Don’t Play That Song – Debut 08/08/70, Peaked at #11 (GOLD)(#11 pop hit by “Ben E. King” in 1962)
36. Border Song (Holy Moses) – Debut 11/21/70, Peaked at #37 (Composed by “Elton John” and went to #92 on the pop chart for him in 1970)
37. You And Me – Debut 11/21/70, Peaked at #37 (B-side of #36)(with the “Dixie Flyers”)
38. You’re All I Need To Get By – Debut 02/20/71, Peaked at #19 (Composed by “Ashford & Simpson”)(Biggest hit for “Marvin Gaye” and “Tammi Terrell” when it went to #7 pop in 1968)
39. Bridge Over Troubled Water – Debut 04/17/71, Peaked at #6 (GOLD)(#1 pop hit for “Simon & Garfunkel” in 1970)
40. Brand New Me – Debut 04/17/71, Peaked at #6 (B-side of #39)(#24 pop hit in 1969 for “Dusty Springfield)
41. Spanish Harlem – Debut 07/31/71, Peaked at #2 for 2 weeks (GOLD)
42. Rock Steady – Debut 10/30/71, Peaked at #9 (GOLD)
43. Oh Me Oh My (I’m A Fool For You Baby) – Debut 01/15/72, Peaked at #73 (B-side of #42)(#22 pop hit for “Lulu” in 1970)
44. Day Dreaming – Debut 03/18/72, Peaked at #5 (GOLD)
45. All The King’s Horses – Debut 06/03/72, Peaked at #26
46. Wholy Holy – Debut 08/19/72, Peaked at #81 (with “James Cleveland” and “The Southern California Community Choir)(Composed by “Renaldo Benson”, “Al Cleveland” and “Marvin Gaye”)
47. Master Of Eyes (The Deepness Of Your Eyes) – Debut 02/10/73, Peaked at #33
48. Angel – Debut 07/07/73, Peaked at #20 (this version was composed by “Carolyn Franklin” and “Sonny Saunders”)
49. Until You Come Back To Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do) – Debut 11/24/73, Peaked at #3 (GOLD) (Composed by “Morris Broadnax”, “Clarence Paul” and “Stevie Wonder”)
50. I’m In Love – Debut 04/06/74, Peaked at #19
51. Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing – Debut 08/31/74, Peaked at #47 (#8 pop hit in 1968 for “Marvin Gaye” and “Tammi Terrell”)
52. Without Love – Debut 11/16/74, Peaked at #45 (First recorded by “Mother Earth” in 1968)
53. Mr. D.J. (5 For The D.J.) – Debut 09/20/75, Peaked at #53
54. Something He Can Feel – Debut 06/12/76, Peaked at #28
55. Jump – Debut 10/02/76, Peaked at #72 (this is not the same version recorded by “Van Halen” in 1974)
56. Look Into Your Heart – Debut 02/05/77, Peaked at #82
57. Break It To me Gently – Debut 06/18/77, Peaked at #85 (this is not the same version recorded by “Brenda Lee” or the one recorded by “Juice Newton”)
58. United Together – Debut 12/27/80, Peaked at #56
59. Come To Me –Debut 05/30/81, Peaked at #84 (this version was composed by “Willard Eugene Price”)
60. Love All The Hurt Away – Debut 08/29/81, Peaked at #46 (with “George Benson”)
61. Jump To It – Debut 08/21/82, Peaked at #24
62. Get It Right – Debut 07/30/83, Peaked at #61
63. Freeway Of Love – Debut 06/22/85, Peaked at #3
64. Who’s Zoomin’ Who – Debut 09/28/85, Peaked at #7
65. Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves – Debut 10/19/85, Peaked at #18 (with “Annie Lennox” and “The Eurythmics”)
66. Another Night – Debut 01/18/86, Peaked at #22
67. Jumpin’ Jack Flash – Debut 09/27/86, Peaked at #21 (#3 pop hit in 1968 for “The Rolling Stones”)
68. Jimmy Lee – Debut 12/06/86, Peaked at #28
69. I KNEW YOU WERE WAITING FOR ME – Debut 02/21/87, Peaked at #1 for 2 weeks (with “George Michael”)
70. Rock-A-Lott – Debut 06/20/87, Peaked at #82
71. Through The Storm – Debut 04/15/89, Peaked at #16 (with “Elton John”)
72. It Isn’t, It Wasn’t, It Ain’t Never Gonna Be – Debut 07/01/89, Peaked at #41 (with “Whitney Houston”)
73. A Deeper Love – Debut 02/12/94, Peaked at #63 (#44 pop hit in 1992 for “Clivilles & Cole”)
74. Willing To Forgive – Debut 05/14/94, Peaked at #26
75. A Rose Is Still A Rose – Debut 03/14/98, Peaked at #26 (GOLD)
76. Here We Go Again – Debut 07/18/98, Peaked at #76

SOME SONG LYRICS

A NATURAL WOMAN
Looking out on the morning rain
I used to feel uninspired
And when I knew I had to face another day
Lord, it made me feel so tired
Before the day I met you, life was so unkind
But your love was the key to peace my mind

Cause you make me feel, you make me feel, you make me feel like
A natural woman

When my soul was in the lost-and-found
You came along to claim it
I didn't know just what was wrong with me
Till your kiss helped me name it
Now I'm no longer doubtful of what I'm living for
Cause if I make you happy I don't need no more

Cause you make me feel, you make me feel, you make me feel like
A natural woman

Oh, baby, what you've done to me
You make me feel so good inside
And I just want to be close to you
You make me fell so alive
Cause you make me feel, you make me feel, you make me feel like
A natural woman

CHAIN OF FOOLS
Chain, chain, chain, chain, chain, chain
Chain, chain, chain, chain of fools
Five long years I thought you were my man
But I found out I'm just a link in your chain
You got me where you want me
I ain't nothing but your fool
You treated me mean oh you treated me cruel
Chain, chain, chain, chain of fools

Every chain has got a weak link
I might be weak child, but I'll give you strength
You told me to leave you alone
My father said come on home
My doctor said take it easy
Whole bunch of lovin is much too strong
I'm added to your chain, chain, chain
Chain, chain, chain, chain,
Chain, chain of fools

RESPECT
(oo) What you want
(oo) Baby, I got it
(oo) What you need
(oo) Do you know I got it?
(oo) All I'm askin'
(oo) Is for a little respect when you come home just a little bit
Hey baby just a little bit when you get home
just a little bit mister, just a little bit

I ain't gonna do you wrong while you're gone
Ain't gonna do you wrong (oo) 'cause I don't wanna (oo)
All I'm askin' (oo)
Is for a little respect when you come home just a little bit
Baby just a little bit when you get home just a little bit
Yeah (just a little bit)

I'm about to give you all of my money
And all I'm askin' in return, honey
Is to give me my profits
When you get home just a, just a, just a, just a
Yeah baby just a, just a, just a, just a
When you get home just a little bit
Yeah just a little bit

Ooo, your kisses (oo)
Sweeter than honey (oo)
And guess what? (oo)
So is my money (oo)
All I want you to do (oo) for me
Is give it to me when you get home re, re, re ,re
Yeah baby re, re, re ,re
Whip it to me respect, just a little bit
When you get home, now just a little bit

R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Find out what it means to me
R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Take care, TCB

Oh sock it to me, sock it to me,
sock it to me, sock it to me
A little respect sock it to me, sock it to me,
sock it to me, sock it to me
Whoa, babe just a little bit
A little respect just a little bit
I get tired just a little bit
Keep on tryin' just a little bit
You're runnin' out of foolin' just a little bit

SPANISH HARLEM
There is a rose in Spanish Harlem
A red rose up in Spanish Harlem
It is a special one, it's never seen the sun
It only comes out when the moon is on the run
And all the stars are gleaming
It's growing in the street right up through the concrete
But soft and sweet and dreamin'

There is a rose in Spanish Harlem
A red rose up in Spanish Harlem
With eyes as black as coal that look down in my soul
And starts a fire there and then I lose control
I have to beg your pardon
I'm going to pick that rose and watch her as she grows in my garden

I'm going to pick that rose and watch her as she grows in my garden

There is a rose in Spanish Harlem
La-la-la, la-la-la, la-la-la-la

THINK
You better think, think, think about what you're trying to do to me
Yeah, think, think, think, let your mind go, let yourself be free

Let's go back, let's go back, let's go way on back when
I didn't even know you, you came to me and too much you wouldn't take
I ain't no psychiatrist, I ain't no doctor with degree
It don't take too much high IQ's to see what you're doing to me

You better think, think, think about what you're trying to do to me
Yeah, think, think, think, let your mind go, let yourself be free

Oh freedom, freedom, freedom, freedom, freedom, yeah freedom
Freedom, freedom, freedom, freedom, freedom, ooh freedom

There ain't nothing you could ask I could answer you but I won't, I won't
I was gonna change, but I'm not, to keep doing things I don't

You better think, think, think about what you're trying to do to me
Yeah, think, think, think, let your mind go, let yourself be free

People walking around everyday, playing games that they can score
And I ain't gonna be the loser my way, ah, be careful you don't lose yours

You better think, think, think about what you're trying to do to me
Yeah, think, think, think, let your mind go, let yourself be free

You need me, need me and I need you, don't you know
Without each other there ain't nothing people can do

Oh freedom, freedom, freedom, freedom, freedom, yeah freedom
Freedom, freedom, freedom, freedom, freedom, ooh freedom

There ain't nothing you could ask I could answer you but I won't I won't
I was gonna change, but I'm not, if you're doing things I don't
You better think, think, think about what you're trying to do to me
Yeah, think, think, think, let your mind go, let yourself be free

JAGUARDOG’S FINAL THOUGHTS

First off let me apologize to everyone for such an unbelievably long review today. I took almost 8 full days putting this one together and tried to be as detailed as possible. I didn’t feel I would do her much justice if I left out a lot. I also thought several times over the past week if maybe I should post a 2 part review for the first time. I know a lot here do part reviews but I didn’t feel it was right to make my readers have to go through 2 reviews to get the complete story? I could be all wrong on this but I hope this is the best way in the end? What is usually 9 to 11 pages of word typing ends up being 22 this time around. Maybe the best way to read this is a little today and a little tomorrow etc. if you haven’t already read it all? I do know if I ever decide to do a review on any or all of my all-time 3 favorite artists “The Beatles”, “The Beach Boys” or “Elvis Presley” that I am positive I will have to post 2 or 3 parts since they have such long detailed careers.

Now back to our regularly scheduled program already in progress: I found this quote that I thought was very true and very appropriate. “There are certain musical notes that can be played on a saxophone that are chilling; similarly, there are sounds above the twelfth fret on a guitar that are orgasmic - Aretha Franklin is better than any instrument, as she can hit notes that do not exist in instrumental terms.” Aretha’s fear of flying is said to have stemmed from a bad flight that she had experienced in 1982. Since that incident she has traveled by custom tour bus, which she claims has great advantages. She is quoted as saying “I get to see America" and she loves to just get off the bus at anytime and walk into a Wal-Mart store and have herself a ball as long as she is not recognized. She is however taking desensitization classes that she hopes will help her fly again someday soon so she can fly to Italy. Pavarotti said to her once “You are scared of the plane, he told her. I'll come to pick you up in my private jet.”

From September 1987 to July 1993 Aretha could be heard singing the theme song for the NBC TV comedy show “A Different World”. Aretha had 20 #1 hits on the R&B singles chart, more than any other R&B artist ever. From 1967 to 2003 she has collected 16 Grammy awards. Besides her autobiography I spoke about earlier she also is included in “Higher Ground: Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, Curtis Mayfield and the Rise and Fall of American Soul” that was released in hardback in March 2004. It also came out on 22 March this year in paperback. Here is a list of some other very interesting books about Aretha:

 Aretha Franklin: Motown Superstar
 I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You: Aretha Franklin, Respect and the Creation of a Soul Music Masterpiece
 Aretha: A Biography of Aretha Franklin
 Divas: Aretha Franklin

Aretha’s musical sound was amiable, beautiful, boisterous, cathartic, celebratory, confident, dramatic, earnest, earthy, exuberant, fiery, feisty, gritty, happy, harmless, interesting, joyous, moody, natural, open, organic, passionate, plaintive, poignant, rambunctious, refreshing, romantic, rousing, sensual, sexy, spiritual, stylish and warm. She has sang many different styles over the years contemporary, gospel, pop, rap, R&B and soul. My collection at one time included very many of Aretha’s records. I had all but 3 songs on the album above I reviewed on singles. I also owed 10 of her albums just behind “The Beatles”, “The Beach Boys”, “The Monkees”, and “Elvis Presley” for the most albums by an artist. So I owned more albums by her than any other female I followed and any other R&B/Soul artist I followed. I’m sorry to say I do not own any singles or albums by her anymore but I do have 5 CD’s. I guess you could say Aretha is an institution of sorts, who is assured the ability to draw live audiences and immense “RESPECT” (pun intended) for the rest of her life.

Thanks for dropping by and reading today and if you only partly read it because it was sooooooooo long I can really understand. Thanks for reading, rating and commenting if you have time. Up next is a great group of guys from the UK who formed in Manchester, England in 1961. They had only 5 singles make the US charts all went top 50 and only 3 albums. The group “Freddie & the Dreamers” were considered the clowns of the 60’s British Invasion. I hope everyone has a very safe, happy and Wonderful holiday season and God bless You ALL, “Merry Christmas”.

POSSIBLE UPCOMING REVIEWS:

(F)
FREDDIE & THE DREAMERS - UP NEXT
FREE – MAYBE?
BOBBY FREEMAN
BOBBY FULLER FOUR, THE
BILLY FURY

(G)
PETER GABRIEL
MARVIN GAYE
J. GEILS BAND, THE
GENESIS
GERRY & THE PACEMAKERS
DEBBIE GIBSON
GARY GLITTER
GO GO'S, THE
GOO GOO DOLLS, THE
LESLEY GORE
GRAND FUNK RAILROAD
AMY GRANT
GRASS ROOTS, THE
GRATEFUL DEAD, THE
AL GREEN
GUESS WHO, THE
GUNS N' ROSES


(MORE TO COME)

SOME MUSIC SOURCES USED INCLUDE:

http://www.allmovie.com
http://www.allmusic.com
http://www.amazon.com
http://www.ask.com
http://www.billboard.com
http://www.biography-search.com
http://www.bizrate.com
http://www.80sretromusic.com
http://www.famousbirthdays.com
http://www.icebergradio.com
http://www.imdb.com
http://www.infoplease.com
http://www.leoslyrics.com
http://www.lyrics.com
http://www.lyricsconnection.com
http://www.lyricsfind.com
http://www.lyricsworld.com
http://www.movies.go.com
http://www.mtv.com
http://www.rockhall.com
http://www.rockonthe net.com
http://www.rollingstone.com
http://www.surfablebooks.com
http://www.tvguide.com
http://www.tvtome.com
http://www.user.tninet.se
http://www.vh1.com
http://www.worldhistory.com

AND

http://www.aristarec.com
http://www.ivillage.com
http://www.musicbase.h1.ru.com
http://www.oreenscott.com
http://www.pbs.org
http://www.phillywire.com
http://www.swingingchicks.com
http://www.warr.org/franklin.com

FAMOUS PERSONALITIES BORN ON 25 MARCH

HENRY FITZ-EMPRESS – UK, Henry II, King of England – 25 MARCH 1133
CATHERINE BENINCASA – Italian – Saint Catherine of Siena – 25 MARCH 1347
ISAAC INGALLS STEVENS – US soldier, Major General of the Union Army – 25 MARCH 1818
WILLIAM THOMPSON MARTIN – US soldier, Major General of the Confederate Army – 25 MARCH 1823
ARTURO TOSCANINI – Russian violinist, conductor & composer – 25 MARCH 1867
BELA BARTOK – Hungarian classical pianist and composer – 25 MARCH 1881
ED BEGLEY SR. – US actor, starred in “On Dangerous Ground” – 25 MARCH 1901
BINNIE BARNES – UK actress, starred in “Last of the Mohicans” – 25 MARCH 1905
DAVID LEAN – UK actor and director, starred in “A Passage To India” – 25 MARCH 1908
HOWARD COSELL – Sports announcer and analyst – 25 MARCH 1920
NANCY KELLY – US actress, starred in “The Bad Seed” – 25 MARCH 1921
SIMONE SIGNORET – German actress – 25 MARCH 1921
MARY FLANNERY O’CONNOR – US writer, wrote “A Good Man Is Hard To Find” – 25 MARCH 1925
JAMES LOVELL JR. – US astronaut – 25 MARCH 1928
JOHNNY BURNETTE – US singer, - 25 MARCH 1934
GLORIA STEINEM – US writer and feminist leader – 25 MARCH 1934
HOYT AXTON – US country singer and songwriter – 25 MARCH 1938
ANITA BRYANT – US actress, singer and Miss Oklahoma in 1958 – 25 MARCH 1940
ARETHA FRANKLIN – US singer and the “Queen of Soul” – 25 MARCH 1942
PAUL MICHAEL GLASSER – US actor, starred in TV series “Starsky & Hutch” – 25 MARCH 1943
FRANK OZ – US puppeteer, “The Muppets” – 25 MARCH 1944
BONNIE BEDELIA (Culkin) – US actress, starred in the trilogy “Die Hard” series – 25 MARCH 1946
ELTON JOHN (Reginald Kenneth Dwight) – UK singer and pianist – 25 MARCH 1947
KELLY GARRETT – US actress and singer, starred in “Your Hit Parade” – 25 MARCH 1948
NICK LOWE – UK singer and member of “Brinsley Schwartz” – 25 MARCH 1949
MARY GROSS – US actress, starred in “The Santa Clause” – 25 MARCH 1953
STEVE NORMAN – UK singer and saxophone player, member of “Spandau Ballet” – 25 MARCH 1960
PETER O’BRIEN – Australian actor, starred in “The Violent Earth” - 25 MARCH 1960
JOHN STOCKWELL – US actor, producer and screenwriter, starred in “Top Gun” – 25 MARCH 1961
SARAH JESSICA PARKER – US actress, starred in “Sex in The City” – 25 MARCH 1965
TOM GLAVIN – US professional baseball pitcher – 25 MARCH 1966
JEFF HEALEY – US guitarist, singer and songwriter, leader of “The Jeff Healey Band” – 25 MARCH 1966
TATJANA PATITZ – German supermodel and actress, starred in “Rising Sun” – 25 MARCH 1966
DEBI THOMAS – Canadian figure skater, Olympic Bronze medalist in 1988 – 25 MARCH 1967
DAN WILSON – US professional baseball catcher – 25 MARCH 1969
SHERYL SWOOPES – US professional basketball player in the WNBA – 25 MARCH 1971
MONICA CROSCICKA-WNETRZAK – Polish beauty contestant, Miss Poland & Miss Universe 1996 – 25 MARCH 1976
AMY SMART – US actress and model, starred in “Starship Troopers” – 25 MARCH 1976

Read all comments (17)

About the Author

Epinions.com ID:
Member: Ron Drain
Location: Jacksonville, Florida, USA
Reviews written: 236
Trusted by: 482 members
About Me: I LOVE Music/TV/Movies & sports like Football - NFL/College, Baseball, Olympics - Summer/Winter and Wrestling.