Today, the world wakes up a little less great, there will be less songs sung, and music will be a little less sweet, one incredible songbird is forever silenced! Yesterday, we lost “The Queen Of Soul”
Unless your living in a cave, over the last 24hrs.You Have been blanketed with the music, memories and incredible greatness of one of America’s truly great treasures. Aretha Franklin !
The media has done a great job, providing us with highlights, memories, and insight, shedding a loving light on who Aretha is and how she became The first and only “Queen Of Soul” But today at SMS we’d like to add a little color to Aretha’s story, you know, “those things you didn’t know, you didn’t know ?
Didja know, that it’s true, the first time you heard of Aretha Franklin was during the “Summer Of Love” in 1967 when she “Socked it to us” with R-E-S-P-E-C-T “Resect” But that wasn’t Aretha’s debut, that happened way back in 1961 when she released her first single for Columbia “Won’t be long” was a terrible failure. Furthermore, Didja know that Aretha wasn’t the first artist to record “Respect” ? Only two years earlier in 1965 the great Wilson Pickett recorded the song and it got a fair amount of attention and radio play, we loved it, a rich, rocking mix of soul, horns and “The Wicked Pickett’s unbelievable voice. Then in 1967, we had found out about “new comer” Aretha taking her shot at the song and we firmly believed NO ONE could ever come close to Wilson’s masterpiece but Whoa, how wrong we were! Aretha turned everything around including the lyric and made it hers’ and ours’ for all of time “Take care…of TCB” Indeed!
But wait, there is so much more, less than one year later Aretha Franklin appeared on the cover of TIME magazine as the face of SOUL…Less than a year ! And, did you know that Aretha is also a great piano player, yep that’s her on respect and most of your favorites. Oh, and Aretha had an 8 octave range! So yeah Aretha could sing notes only dogs can hear! Kinda makes you wish you were a dog for, maybe 3 minutes and 22 seconds.
Aretha has 18 Grammy Awards and she’s had 72 records on The Billboard Charts ( more than any other female singer in history ) and here’s our favorite stat, although she is the one and only “?Queen Of Soul” She was the first woman to be inducted in to The ROCK and ROLL hall of fame!
However their is one last stat that makes us smile whenever we consider it!
Aretha performed at President Barrack Obama’s inaugural gala, she sang “My Coutry ‘Tis Of Thee” and of course she knocked it outta the park but the next day, it wasn’t her performance we talked about, it was the unbelievable and outrageous hat she wore! No, there’s no way to properly describe it here. But trust us….Here’s why, later that year “Aretha’s Hat” was donated to The Smithsonian Institute, and it’s been on permanent display there ever since !
“The stuff you didn’t know, you didn’t know”
Meanwhile, in case you need your memory refreshed, Here’s Aretha at the Kennedy Center in 2015 honoring among others Carole King, who wrote Natural Woman
The Queen Of Soul At the piano “KILLING” Natural Woman in a mink stole with President Obama in the audience fighting back the tears while rocking some “Air Drums” and Carole King simply losing control watching “The Queen Of Everything” bring down the House. As she will continue to do in heaven!