We’re back for a new year and new episodes! This week, Bethanne is covering one of the greats: Aretha Franklin. We walk through her career, accolades, and some amazing moments. Bethanne submits an application for her to become a Patron Saint of our podcast. Does she make the cut? Listen and find out.
Show Notes and Images
Today. When I made a quiche, I made a song as I do when I cook about quiche and take tax out of this like air fryer guy. And it was to the tune of. Little drummer boy ki ki kick kick. It was so mad. That’s great. Um, where are you going? Um, this is my house. I hope your mic pick that up so you can put that in there.
It’s something about these recordings. We’ve done it once in a while, where we record like, In the morning, we’ve never done a full episode the morning. No, we’ve just done some interviews, but then it’s just more free flowing. We’re more, we’re not a deadline to get home and go sit as asleep. We’re not pissed off from work.
Yeah. It’s just a chill. Relax. You’re hearing some stories already. Uh, the thing I was going to start this episode with in a shower this morning, I was thinking about how. You know, when we were like 14 and we were all getting on MySpace and Karen through like, don’t talk to strangers on the internet. Yeah.
And now we spend a lot of her time talking to strangers and the friends I’ve made are strangers on the internet. I know all of my hobbies involve talking to strangers on the internet about the podcast feeling we’ve divided. That’s what I’m saying? Like on the internet, we spend a lot of time talking to strangers on the internet.
We’re talking at strangers on the internet right now. So hello, strangers from the internet doing what our parents said not to do. Yep. Hey, it’s been successful so far. It’s true. It’s pretty fun. Um, welcome to 2022. Woo. I’m Leah I’m Bethann. And this is your rock. You
let me turn down. Thermostat.
Wow. I don’t think we have any, but she’s a cute moose. Make other boy looses go, wow. This is how this day is going to go. I just want to let you know, I have a beer pint glass. I don’t know how many, probably like 16 ounces and it’s filled with a mimosa and Leah poured the champagne strong. It’s mostly champagne.
I’ve had a sip to twos, reasonable sized gulps. You also spoke quite a bit on your couch when you’re not up. Where it dropped right there. Oh, roadie we’ll look it up later. He’s an alcoholic. Uh, as I was saying, I don’t think we have any official business announcements we need to make at this point in the show, other than welcome to the new year, new release day, we’re trying this Wednesday release out.
I don’t know if you’ll like it, but let us know if you have thoughts on what day of the week this comes out. I completely forgot. We were releasing on all Wednesdays. I thought that was just a fluke. We decided no, we said let’s trust. That’s true. That’s true. We did. We did. It’s coming to me. You know, I have to like be refreshed about three or four times before it’s somewhat sticks in my brain.
The plan right now has main episodes on Wednesdays interviews on Mondays or Fridays, depending on. When the interview happens and how many we have in our back log, I’m going to cut that as a snip. So I play it over and over again. So I remind myself of the new schedule. Do that, just make it your ringtone, just when you call me, which is never, literally never call set up for my mom.
Then I’ll then I’ll hear about two times a day. If you hear, if you set for your dad, you’ll hear it every time we’re recording. Cause that’s right to call, correct. Especially when it’s an interview to. We’ll just be sitting there and there’s just like a FaceTime request coming through while we’re on this interview with my dad’s picture of him, like getting too close to the camera.
I just picture to the generic old man, Facebook selfie that that’s it. Just add a unit brow for the Italian aspect, a little Italian flair. Uh, that was all I had to say. Or you’re listening to this. Leave us a view. Yes. Especially on Spotify. Now that it’s an option. Yeah. Spotify, apple podcast. Google doesn’t have reviews as far as I know, but if you own a Spotify account, whether it’s paid or not, you can leave us a review.
Same with apple podcasts, whether you use it or not leave us a review. All right. Let me get a goal because it gets more fun. It does get more fun. The more intoxicated we get, you can almost reach it. There you go. Ottoman was further than I thought. Okay. So it’s only right that we start 20, 22 with an icon and it can be argued that Reetha Franklin is one of the most well-known and.
Respect newer artists of a lifetime. Did you know? I was tempted to do a full pun filled in intro. I believe it. Anyway. Um, this is going to be, like we say, for all of our major artists, uh, taco bell drive-through version of a Reetha story, meaning I can’t talk about. Everything, but it’s not like we’re getting our normal menu items.
This round, we’re getting the, we’re going during happy hour. We’re getting the potato griller and a freeze and we’re getting on the road. Okay. Cause there is a lot to cover just to give you an insight. She did 39. Albums through her career. My artists did 70. Oh, okay. That’s fine. So, you know, but I feel your pain.
Yeah. So we’re not gonna really touch on her albums too much, mainly. It’s a Reetha you’ve heard the songs. Um, you can Google it. Yeah. But we’re going to cover the good moments, some of the sad moments and ultimately why she’s considered the queen of soul and just a fucking legend all around. I’m going to put a couple of trigger warnings on this episode.
Um, mainly for some sexual assault, it’s really quite uncomfortable details surrounding that as also mild talk about domestic violence. Other than that, let’s just get into it. So Reetha Louise. Franklin was born in Memphis, Tennessee on March 25th, 1942 after my birthday. Oh, it is almost birthday buddies that we are definitely areas together.
My artists is an Aries Aries it’s arguments. If you’re moving.
Um, her mom, Barbara Siggers, Franklin was a singer songwriter and piano player. Her father cl Franklin was a Baptist minister who started with like circuit preaching at the age of 18. When Aretha turned five, her family moved to Detroit where cl took up a permanent position at new Bethel Baptist church.
And later on, you would get involved as a, um, civil rights leader. Um, which we’ll talk about more later. Here’s the part of the story I don’t particularly like, but we might as well get it out of the way. So see ya. And I’m annoyed to act like I’m annoyed. I have to talk about this because it shows like how someone’s stupid actions gets tied to like your story, which I don’t think is fair, but I think we have to talk about it cause it affected Aretha.
Um, so cl had like a lot of extra marital affairs and one of them. Being he had a congregation member named Mildred Jennings. Um, she was 12 at the time he was 25. She had a child, the fuck. Yeah. And he was not punished for it. And she had her child strip away from her and she was forced to go live with relatives.
And this just really like.
It caused, I think I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me stop myself. So like I mentioned, this is a bummer that we just have to like bring this up, but like, Because I wanted this to be about RESA and offer accomplish accomplishments and her stories, but I wanted to cite an interview. Um, it was for, I can’t think of the publication.
I read it on Yahoo, taking it from another publication. So, you know, it’s legit. So Courtney B Vance, he played cl in Lovecraft. Um, and. He cites first that cl definitely does some horrible things, but he brings like a perspective because like you hear that and you’re just like, you know me, what the fuck, everybody, what the fuck?
That’s a collective understanding and a correct response. But he does bring some like perspective that I don’t think I would’ve really put in mind. And he said, quote, the black community was, and still is very forgiving because the black community was harmed so much and had to deal with so much, especially back in the sixties, fifties and forties, which those folks grew up in.
So they know the mess that cl was, but they knew the. They came from. So we’ll see that perspective throughout the episode, for sure. So after this long thread of affairs, this one happens and like cl I’m sorry. Aretha’s mom. Barbara is like, we’re done. They don’t like ever officially divorced, but she moves the Buffalo takes her, um, a Reese’s half-brother with her and she’ll like, come and visit, um, her and her sisters, uh, to Michigan.
A few times. Um, but basically there were several one women in Aretha’s life and cleaned her grandmother and gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, which I also learned, helped inspire Martin Luther king Jr. Is I have a dream speech. Wow. Martin Luther king Jr. Was also a family friend of the Franklins. So it’s really cool history there, but, um, they would take care of her.
Mahalia would become a mentor on to, uh, Reetha um, time magazine. I think this was an article that came out in like, 1970 timeframe, 1967, but they basically claimed that like Barbara abandoned her family, but like, that’s just not true at all. And everything has disputed it, but they try to put her mom in a bad light, which I think is interesting.
But anyway, when her mom moved to Buffalo Aretha originally wanted to move there, but her dad said that just wouldn’t be possible. And then sadly, her mom died of a heart attack at 35. Wow. And Aretha was only 10 years old. And like that just affected her, her whole life. I mean, I completely understand why, but she could never speak of it.
But luckily she had like know mother type figures in her life to help guide her. Anyway. So as far as for our siblings go, like I mentioned, she has her half-brother Vaughn. She has Irma and Carolyn who we’ll talk about. And then she has another brother named Cecil and we’ll, like I said, we’ll talk more about Irma and Carolyn in a bit.
So it’s easy to see if he can tell how Reetha got involved in music. I mean, Mahalia Jackson is like taking care of you. Her mom is a singer songwriter and accomplished pianists. Her dad was also a gospel singer. Um, she actually joined the church choir when she was a toddler. Dang. That’s dedication. How do you put a robe on a toddler?
I just want to know. She probably got to where her. Probably, but I also want a robe to be on a toddler. So it’s like pooling at the bottom, like a long curtain point at the bottom. I just put her in an acolyte robe and said, here you go. Yeah, this, this, this will work. Um, growing up, everything learned how to play piano by ear, her family, you know, noting her musical talent, did the right thing and hired a piano teacher to teach her.
But when the teacher arrived, she had. Around the house. I also did this, but instead of it being a piano teacher at my house, it was a college student in a John Ratcliffe costume while I was at Disney world. And it was a Pocahontas, but we both recognize when it’s time to hide. And if she didn’t, you know, hide away, she actually wouldn’t have developed.
What’s known as her unique signature sound. We’ll talk more about it, but like she has been considered as a genius in songwriting and she’s all, self-taught, it’s pretty incredible. Um, her father would take her on his gospel caravan tours around to different churches. Her sisters would also like occasionally join as well because they are singers.
Um, her father, like I also kind of mentioned well connected. So including them, Holly Jackson. I read that opportunities throughout her life to meet Sam cook, Claire award, Dinah, Washington, smokey Robinson, Martin Luther king Jr. Was a close friend of the family, um, right around the age of seven. You know, she’s singing already, she’s playing piano already and she’s surrounded by all these famous people.
And they started taking notice of her talent. So. When she met smokey Robinson around that age, he said he just heard her like play these really complex chords and heard her sing and said she is like a wonder child and Dinah Washington, when she heard her said, she’s the next one, which is a big thing coming from Dyna.
Um, her family, like at that point, knew this girl is going to have a career in music and her dad took it on himself to be the manager of her at age 12. And she signed with a local Detroit record company to start her career as a gospel singer and songwriter. However, at that same age, as she’s starting her career music, uh, Reetha becomes pregnant and has a son named Clarence after her.
Not, no, no, no. It’s not that I know, but it’s not that. And we’ll talk, we’ll talk about that in a second, but yeah. So like when her family found out, cause you know, like if you get, cause that’s, that’s like a preteen, not even a teenager, mom, it’s like a preteen. I mean, so her family, like. They like didn’t freak out necessarily at it being like this life altering events, they instead like considered, Hey, this happened and we’re going to move on.
We’re going to make this work. And so. They knew that even though she had a child early, she still had things to do. And after she gave birth, she went right back to school. And her sister Irma said regarding this time in life, it was understood that our babies would be welcomed into the world and cared for, with limitless love.
It was also understood that our future is women, our education and our career would not be compromised by these early birth. Good for them. Yeah. Um, so her first album was in 1956 at age 14. It was called songs of faith. It was recorded in her family church, but only like a few singles would be released from it.
And album wouldn’t actually see the light of day until like 1965 when checker records got ahold of it. And then at eight 14, I read the, has another son. And his name was Edward Jr. So here’s the interesting tidbit. Both of these sons had the same father, but that wasn’t known until they found Aretha’s handwritten.
After her death. Oh. Cause she didn’t have an official will, but they found three handwritten wills. And up to this point, she never had a lawyer that was like, Hey, maybe you should write a will. Yeah, no, that’s that’s really bad. Mandatory handwritten wills. And. Up to that point. It was assumed that the first child was of a classmate.
I forget his name, but it was a different classmate named Edward Jordan who fathered both children. Um, and it was like a big deal. Cause it caused a lot of legal, a lot of legal issues, but she did this because like, I’m assuming she did this because she didn’t want like Edward Jordan getting anything good for her, especially when it came to the care for sons.
To quote, uh, her in regard to her will for Clarence his father, Edward Jordan senior, should never receive or handle any money or property belonging to Clarence or that Clarent receive as he has never made any contribution to his welfare future, past monetary material, spiritual, et cetera. So she just like, cause he left the family in, have anything to do with it.
She’s like, oh, you’re not getting anything involving my kid and his finances at the last minute. Bye. Love. Uh, excuse me, you didn’t contribute anything to this bye. Yeah. Um, so after having Edward, she did drop out and she went the route of pursuing her musical endeavors and raising kids. Her family was there to support her the entire way.
Both her. Grandma and Irma, her older sister took turns taking care of the kids and she would tour and sing gospel with her father and his gospel caravan. And actually one of those tours at age 16 was to support Martin Luther king, Jr. Which I think is just really cool. Super cool. So I’m one of these sores.
She meets jazz musician as film. And CLL asked if he could like coach young Aretha and seal. I’m sorry. Fillmore. He like was known for coaching singers. Like he helped coach Marilyn Monroe. Um, and he declined because he said she didn’t need any help. She already had her signature style and it was something that couldn’t be taught.
And at this point she’s getting close to 18. Like they kind of knew this is what you’re going to do. Uh, Reetha knew that as well, but she knew that she couldn’t do it in gospel. I mean, gospel is a smaller market. So she and said wanted to be like Sam cook and go into pop. So her father agreed to it helped her move to New York to pursue it.
After recording two demos, Columbia record hears it and calls her in the producer there. Excuse me, the producer there at the time, John Hammond. Called her and quote, untutored genius and signed her like right away as something that’s called a 5% artists, which I’m assuming you get 5% of the co for a six year contract in 1960.
That sounds like a shitty deal, but okay. It does, right. You’re a genius. Here’s 5%. Like it doesn’t no, no, it doesn’t make sense to me. So her first single on Columbia was today. I sing the blues, which was released in September of 1960. It placed number 10 on the hot rhythm and blues chart. Her first album was self-titled and released in 1961.
Keep in mind she’s 18 years old at the time. Um, The album starts picking up traction, one magazine, labeled her as the new star, a female vocalists, a one radio station, when as far to do like a literal coordination and give her a crown and call her the queen of soul, ah, in special point for 1960, whatever, that’s a, that’s a good idea.
It’s precious, very precious. But also around this time of her first album, she meets 29 year old headway. We don’t like Ted, we don’t like Ted, but you know, she does. After a year later they get married and he starts becoming the new manager will pick up that story in a bit. So after her first album, 1962, she puts out two more albums.
Why not? The first one’s called the electrifying Aretha Franklin. And the second one’s called the tender, the moving, the swinging Reetha Franklin, which reminds me of like the. Uh, game drops for Pokemon like Pokemon red and blue Pokemon sword and shield. Do you want the Aretha soul edition or the Aretha tender edition?
Each one has a different, you know, Pokemon. So you have to think about that. Um, a different. Uh, character, but anyway, um, we’re going to skip ahead here to 1966, which puts her at the end of her contract. So I’m assuming, you’re thinking where’s the song respect we’re getting there, but six years and eight albums late later, um, she’s playing just nightclubs and theater circuits, which is still like making money, but it’s like not the success that I think she thought she’d have.
Columbia was hoping for. And like at the end of her contract, she ended up owing the money, which is stupid. I think she got the stupidest contract ever by Columbia and they took advantage of her, but. Along this time in November of 1966, Aretha moves over to Atlantic records and works with a producer by the name of Jerry Wexler.
And Jerry saw something that Columbia never did besides talent, um, and good business practices. Um, he wanted to help, uh, Reetha tap into her gospel roots and bring forth a new energy to R and B and soul, which is exactly. What happened because 1967 Aretha puts out the song respect. So I didn’t know this, the song respects.
I mean, I should have guessed because it’s 1967, this song respect was originally recorded by Otis Redding. I didn’t know that in 1965, I love this story of the song. So let’s talk about Otis’s version for a second, cause you’re really going to see the genius of Aretha here in Otis’s first. The first lyrics are what you want, honey.
You got it. What you need, baby? You got it. All I’m asking is you give me a little respect when I come home. Oh, okay. I was going to say, I can’t imagine a man singing the song now. It makes sense. Yeah. And all of the women collectively around the world went, Hmm. They’re lining up to buy their fuck. The patriarchy he chains.
Yes, exactly. So Aretha and her sisters, because her sisters. Her rights. I’m a first songs and did some backup vocals for her. They changed the lyrics. Sightly. You see the oldest version that exists. I don’t really care for it, but it reinforces traditional gender roles. Doesn’t it. So, I mean, it’s man goes to work, man makes money.
Man wants respect slash sex from women, went home and in return you get like a new fangled washing machine or something. Um, but she flipped the script and now it reads from a woman’s perspective. What you want, baby? I got it. What you need? Do you know? I got it. All I’m asking is for a little respect when you come.
That’s how you fucking do it. That’s how you fucking do it. And then her and her sisters, cause they weren’t done there. They had in the quintessential most quoted line, R E S P C T don’t you. To me, Ari SPC T, and then soccer team. We soccer to me I was literally listening to Aretha and I was getting pumped, listening to this.
You can get pumped. You can’t that in her song thing, man, I can listen to that. Okay. So after, cause you know, Otis is going to hear this, he hears it and he goes, that little girl took my song away from me. Oh, I’m so sorry. I think he did it as a way of respect though. Cause he re I mean, no pun intended, but he did it like understanding cause they were in the same circles and Otis Ryan is a cool dude, but, and it was, it was really common during that time where if someone.
Headed off with the song, they just pass it around the side. Someone did. So he didn’t take any offense to it. I guarantee you I’m rolling. So noted about the song that quote respect was no longer a man’s petition, a pathetic petition. Yes. I added that in for some spice. It was something of a threat, as you also likely know, this song became an Anthem for women.
Women everywhere, but it also wasn’t Anthem for civil rights. And because the song was released in the summer of 1967, there was a lot of political unrest, um, during the civil rights them and Aretha mentioned, like she didn’t write the song from a politics perspective, but she was honored that it’d become a battle cry for a nation.
Um, and I mean, it’s just really cool because she was already like, In the trenches, so to speak with Martin Luther king Jr. In that community and her music just gets picked up. But we’ll talk more about that later. So the golden era of Haretha, that’s what people call it, I guess, is from 1967 to 1972, which is really like a small window.
It’s obvious. It’s interesting because like a Risa is such a powerhouse and rightly so, and it’s not that the other music she’d had before and after was bad, it was good music, but you know, each artist has its peak. Um, I just saw her as it’d be like a little bit longer. Um, anyway, during those times she puts out such hits, baby.
I love you. You make me feel like a natural woman chain of fools. Uh, think. I say a little prayer, my two fun facts about some of those songs, chain of fools was originally written for Otis Redding. It was duped again. Sorry. Don’t on Otis. Um, but yeah, he didn’t get it. Um, and then you make me feel like a natural woman was written by Carol King and Gerry Goffin, who was her husband at the time, which we covered in a previous episode is she will rock you, go back and listen, go listen to our Carol King.
Yep. So by 1968, she was just one of the most popular singers in America. But let’s scooch over just for a second to 1969. And we’re going to pick up our old friend Teddy because in 1969, after eight years of marriage, he’s leaving the pitcher by. Yeah. Why are we saying good written sets, honey? Well, let me tell you.
Um, he was abusive to Haretha, uh, she w for example, she was supposed to perform at this hotel, but she got banned due to an altercation with Ted that Ted started, but she’s snuck in any way and performed for two hours. So, yeah. Um, Ted also caused a lot of fights, um, when she got picked up by. Uh, Atlantic, they went to the record, the studio, and he just started a fight with a trumpet player.
He claims, he says same racist. He probably didn’t like, he was just using like very like cool and hip language. Um, anyway, Ted came over, beat the shit out of him, and then he beat the shit out of the producer. No reason why, but that like, literally, I think they like didn’t return to the city for a month because of that incident.
But shortly after that she recorded respect, which is interesting. Um, number four, this isn’t funny, but it kind of is funny, but it’s not, but it is. After they were in the midst of their divorce. Ted came over to Aretha’s house when they were having a gathering and he shot Sam Cooke’s brother in the groin.
I don’t know why there’s no context to that story. Other than that, you just shot him in the groin. I would love some context about the story. Same, but maybe when we do a Sam Cooke episode, maybe, maybe it’ll come up. Yeah, maybe it will come up. Anyway. So the duke clearly has the issues he’s leaving the pitcher and Aretha’s brother Cecil is stepping in to manager.
Another interesting event happened in 1969. There was a criminal racket hearing thing in which the dude’s like forced a woman who like look and sang like a Reetha and made her. Impersonate Aretha for in front of audiences for a fraction of the cost. Like they build her as a wreath of Franklin. They duped everybody.
Yeah. They duped, everybody got their money. The dudes went to jail. The woman was set free. I think her name was Vicky. Jo. What’s her name. So she would go on to actually have a minor career, but then the same thing happened to her. We’re so inserted, impersonating her for a fraction of that. Funny, but not funny.
It’s exactly. So apparently this is a thing in the sixties where people don’t like have the intelligence to like research, like can’t just Google a picture of them. Like, well, it’s true, but like, well, no there’s posters, but I mean, if I dress like this, I’m showing a picture of our next artist you don’t look like.
And that was the only, you’re not nearly that tall. She’s short. She’s five. No, according to the book that she wears long dress. Anyway, but if I, this is the only picture you had of Loretta Lynn, and I’ve put on this and put on a wig and got on stage. You wouldn’t know any better. That’s true. So, anyway, that’s the thing in the sixties, which is a common phrase we say, and this is a podcast.
So also during this golden era of Aretha, she released nine albums. So. In five years? Yes. So she released 11 with Columbia nine with, uh, called Lantech cap. And, um, I’m sorry, just for that golden era alone. And then at the end of that golden era, there is this documentary. Uh, that was filmed called amazing grace.
So the concept of it was a Reetha wanted to produce a gospel album since that is her roots. And she was going to do this two night, um, performance at this church in Los Angeles. And they were going to record it in the church with a live audience. And there was a documentary crew that filmed it. Um, the documentary though, wasn’t really still 2018 due to technical difficulties with sinking the audio.
It’s actually a really cool, it’s kind of a cool story. So it’s an interesting story. I’ll say that. So basically like when they couldn’t get the audio to sync because no one had. There is no a select both Franklin. We have been doing film up to this point for like what, 60 years. And no one thought to bring a clapper.
So like they didn’t clap the audio so they couldn’t sync it. That’s embarrassing. And it sat in the Warner brothers, you know, vault for like, but it didn’t get burned in the fire. Didn’t get burned in. Dude, actually, it’s funny. It got rescued in 2007. This dude bought it. We almost lost it because she did lose a lot of stuff in the 2008 fire.
This dude bought it from, you know, uh, from Warner brothers and like, uh, Reetha like tried to stop it from getting released, which is kind of interesting. I think it’s because like it wasn’t her team doing it and she was afraid how she was going to be portrayed. Um, but eventually. It got released after she passed, but her family, like he worked with the family to get it released, but yeah, like as far as for the, oh, and he like him and his friend like invented this process to sync the audio perfectly.
So it was really cool, but anyway, so I watched part of it and it’s like really moving. Like, even if you’re not religious, just hearing the music and the choir, like, it was just incredible to see. You know, because I am the way I am. If you do watch it, there’s this mural of Jesus in the background of the stage and Jesus in this mural is, um, full of the Swalley spirit.
If you know what I mean. The dude is like walking through some water and he’s got some muscles do that. What it is like an old spice commercial before its time. I will say my inappropriate comment for after your recording. So anyway, so after 1972, Oh, and one thing I forgot to mention, um, that album amazing grace, one of the top selling gospel albums of all time.
It’s sold 2 million copies alone.
So after that grace, after that golden era, her career does take a little bit of a dip. Um, I mean, she’s still putting out music. I’m sure she still has an audience. I guess she just didn’t reach the level of success for a while. Um, I mean, like, we kind of mentioned few reasons for this. Most likely had to do a lot with like changing culture music around that time disco’s coming in, everyone’s hating themselves because they’re listening to disco, you know?
So, um, but there’s also two other events that happen in her life during the seventies. One of them definitely contributed to it. She is just in, in the seventies, in these incredible, like depressive ebbs and flows where she like. You know, Jerry Wexler is trying to get her to record. They have the band ready and he’s like holding her hand, tried to convince her to go in.
Cause she’s just so she can’t move. Cause she can’t do it anymore, but she would do it and then it would go like perfectly. Um, she’s also developing a fight with alcoholism, which is just really tough. And there was like a point where she like had to be hospitalized for a little bit because of it. Um, and then in 1979, Um, this is a little bit less unrelated.
Um, but cl was shot point blank in his Detroit home. And he would remain in a coma for five years. Damn. And like, he didn’t make it, they had to like take him off life support. Cause there was like, no hope that. So in 1980, after releasing another eight albums with Atlantic mind you, she moved over to a RESA records and began this new Renaissance.
And it’s kind of interesting because yes, it’s a Renaissance of music and albums. Not really anything that I feel like has held over as respect, but I think in the eighties was. You know, make charting and things like that, but it’s also really significant in the concerts and appearances she had. So this period with Arista is from 1980 to 2007 and she did the following.
She put out 10 album. She was the first woman to be inducted into the rock and roll hall of fame. At that time, she performed at the Royal Albert Hall for queen Elizabeth. The second, um, she made one of the best guest appearances of all time and the blues brothers. Um, if you haven’t seen the film, please go watch it.
There’s like a full of like musicians and famous actors, but her scene, she’s like the wife of. Guitar Murphy. Who’s in the blues brothers band and she performs, think in the restaurant. And like, you just see the blues brothers, you see John Belushi and Dan Akroyd, just dancing to it on the tables and things like that.
It’s a great scene. Um, she also performed for Pope Francis. There was one moment where she had a sub in for Luci. Uh, hello, Pavarotti, Pavarotti. I can’t believe I’m gonna have to restate that as bear seen as an Italian Pavarotti, um, and got a standing ovation, like he literally was sick and she was the call-in.
Yeah, I’m, I’m really trying to picture a setting in which this audience comes
She tore the house down. I love that. Um, she collaborated with artists like Luke Luther Vandross and Lauren Hill. She performed at president bill Clinton’s inaugural ball. She was awarded the presidential medal of free freedom from the big w himself w w. I mean, this is like incredible, like her career up to this point, everything that she is able to achieve after leaving Arista, she put out a couple Christmas albums performed at president Barack Obama’s inaugural ball.
I think she also performed at the actual inauguration. If I remember correctly, um, from 2008 to 2017, she would perform and do other artists’ renditions, including Adele’s rolling of the deep, I didn’t know, listen to this. Yes, it’s great. And then in 2017, she starts canceling some shows due to health issues.
Um, with November 7th being her last performance was at the 25th. Anniversary gala for Elton John’s aids foundation. And then in August 16th, 2018, she sadly passed away at the age of 76 from pancreatic tumors. But I want to talk about just like why her life is so important because there’s no doubt that like a reason.
Through everything from losses and her upbringing, domestic violence, bowels with depression and alcoholism, like she remained focused on producing some of the best songs that we have in the American repertoire today. And I mean, her singing voices inspired like so many after her, like Christina Aguilera, Adele, Amy Winehouse.
All your main soul or soul based singers look to Aretha. And here’s some accolades I missed just, just a couple, just a few, but let’s go ahead and mention them. Anyway, she received 18 Grammys and 44 nominations. She also received a Hollywood walk of fame star. And she was previously ranked at the number one spot of rolling stones hundred greatest singers of all time was didn’t she take the top spot again?
I don’t, I haven’t seen that list. Okay. Anyway, um, she has been inducted into not only the rock and roll hall of fame, but the Memphis hall of fame, the national women’s hall of fame, the UK music hall of fame, the gospel music hall of fame. So any of the hall of fames she’s in it. And she has been awarded.
Honorary doctorates from 12 universities, including Harvard, Yale, and Princeton dam and including the presidential medal of freedom. She also received the national medal of arts and she has been portrayed in television and film, but like I said, why is she successful? Because I think Aretha is one of those artists that we’ve grown up with and we’ve heard her music and we know the power ballads say.
But why, why does she hold this such monumental place in American history? So I started researching it and I’m going to start with a quote from president Barack Obama, who sums us up pretty well. Quote, nobody embodies more fully the connection between the African-American spiritual, the blues R and B in rock and roll.
That hardship and sorrow were transformed into something full of beauty by Italian hope, American history, Wells up when Aretha sings. That’s why when she sits down at a piano and sings a natural woman, she can move me to. The same way that Ray Charles version of America, the beautiful will always be in my view, the most patriotic piece of music ever performed because it captures a fullness of the American spirit experience, the view from the bottom, as well as the top, the good and the bad, the possibility of sin, synthesis, reconciliation and transcendence.
So, like I mentioned, she’s a child of a civil rights activists, despite his faults. He was monumental in helping plan the walk of freedom and the March in Washington with Martin Luther king Jr. Um, and stepping outside of her dad’s shadow. She was a beacon musically to the black people in America. And her scene helped Nollie empower and overcome the struggles that came with racial segregation and liberation.
Um, Craig Warner, who is a professor of Afro studies at the university of Wisconsin. Madison said, quote, she helped us make sense of experiences insisting with enormous grace of fire that women’s voices had to be part. Had to be a part of every conversation. She holds a special place in the hearts of Vietnam veterans who knew she sung, I say a little prayer to help them survive and heal.
So Aretha was there championing on the silver rights. She also was like, she championed like a lot of people’s rights, not just civil rights, indigenous American rights and things along those lines. Um, but she was there as the beacon, so to speak musically at the nation’s like hardest and darkest moment and at the assassination.
Assassination of Martin Luther king Jr. She was the one who sang at the funeral as a moment of reverence, hope and faith in my view, Aretha embodied that journey and that heartbeat of black women in her community. And it is why I am presenting the application for Reetha Franklin to receive probably the most honorary title she’s received.
Like she’s even received like posts, harmlessly, human, sleep, whatever that word is. Same from like a Nobel peace prize. Like this is better than not, in my opinion. She is, I would like her to receive the patron Saint hood of, she will rock you. And upon acceptance, this will bring us up to seven patron saints, Saint Stevie Nicks.
The wonder you haven’t proved any of these. I’m just gonna say them. You’ll let me know your name. Um, say Dolly Parton, the nurturer, say sister Rosetta Tharpe, the pioneer Saint Tina Turner, the overcomer Saint Bonnie Raitt, the fighter Saint Cass, Elliot the dreamer, and now say Aretha Franklin, the champion.
Approved. We need a patron, same song that goes, oh, you better? Thank God. SPCT please leave that in there. Add some like, uh, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene Jolene.
So anyway, that’s my episode. It’s probably going to be a teeny bit shorter than what we do. But like I said, with these longer artists, he ends up being a shorter episode tense. Honestly, it’s weird, the shorter, the artists, the longer the episodes, but these ones tend to be because there’s so much to condense and you got to, I could tell you about every album that came.
All 39 and you would have turned us off. So I’m going to start on my own Mosa cause I drank my thirsty.
Thanks for listening. You can leave us a review on apple podcast, Spotify or good goodbye. A special, thanks to death and fun for intro riff, you can visit our website at, she will rock you.com and there you’ll find our socials. Shownotes cut a contact, us merge links. And very soon we will have a patron site page up.
Yes. And remember, don’t do drugs. Don’t do drugs.