Friday Hoyden: Aretha Franklin

So much to love – where to start? My favourite Aretha album cover:

album cover for Aretha's album Yeah! showing a closeup of Aretha's face - she is wearing sunglasses that have been pushed down her nose and she looks quizzically over the top of them

Album Cover - Yeah!

And my favourite ever song of hers, RESPECT, showcasing lots and lots of images of the great lady of soul:

Aretha pushing Matt “Guitar” Murphy (who cannot act, bless him) around for the Blues Brothers version of Think:

Aretha & Annie – Sisters are doing it for themselves:

(For a woeful contrast demonstrating just how bad a soul song sounds when sung by people who just don’t get it you can check out this ’80s Australian TV spot of Kylie and Dannii Minogue’s version of Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves to see it all terribly rooned. Note also how the costuming of the Minogues and the Young Talent Time dancers totally subverts the song into a bit of harmless “fun”. They were just teenagers at the time of course – I wonder what they’d make of it these days?)

To get rid of that retina-searing and eardrum-punishing from YTT, here’s how soul music can be done properly on TV, even a cheesy TV cabaret show, with this segment from 1968 with Sammy Davis Jr where he pretends he doesn’t know what “soul” is and asks Aretha to explain, which she does through singing Think and Respect, and then he “gets” it and they duet on What I Say. The visual is shocking, but the sound is pretty clear:

the hat that everybody was talking about at the Obama inauguration was this grey number with a fabulous bow and sparkling crystals

Aretha's inauguration hat

And of course, the lady loves hats. She managed to upstage a whole presidential inauguration with this one.

Categories: arts & entertainment

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3 replies

  1. I love the way that her inaugration hat has become such a meme, photoshopped onto anything and everything. I can’t put my finger on why, exactly, but it always feels to me like such a wonderful celebration of her vibrant out-there personality.

  2. Beppie – I want that hat like nothing else! Nobody could rock that hat like her, though.
    Oh, this woman is my hero. I remember watching her sing in the first Blues Brother’s movie and I knew – I wanted to be a singer and I wanted to sing THAT good. I sang Respect all the time when I was learning, not so much now because I’m way self critical and I don’t think I’m good enough to sing it. But as a singer, she’s my hero in every sense of the word. I never get tired of her music. Her voice is freakin’ eternal.

  3. Woo! I ❤ Aretha! Thanks for posting that awesome performance with Sammy Davis Jr.
    .-= Kowalski´s last blog ..Disability Crossroads =-.

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