Everyone knows that Aretha Franklin is the Queen of Soul. Growing up in Detroit, she was the daughter of one of the most charismatic evangelists in the city. So, you would think she would become a great gospel singer and she did. But it was in R&B and Soul that she is best know. Aretha was the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She has more Grammys for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance Awards (eleven) than any other artist. She sang at the inauguration of two American Presidents. In 1992, she sang at President Bill Clinton’s inauguration. Then again in 2008, President Obama asked her to sing at his inauguration. She sang “My Country ‘tis of Thee”. She has lived a life dedicated to the music that we all love. Still somewhat active today, this little tribute to Aretha Franklin is written with all the love I can give it.
This is the first in a series of books about the Legends of Soul. I started with Aretha because, well, she is the Queen. Aretha could easily be put into the category of rock and roll. In fact, she has done it all. She sings rock, soul, R&B, gospel, jazz and blues and we’ll talk a little about these as we review her life. This is not a long book. It is not an exhaustive biography. Here, I concentrate on the music and the life that made that music. The subjects that are covered, among other things, are: Introduction, In the beginning..., Early success, The Atlantic years, R-E-S-P-E-C-T, The civil right movement, The Seventies, Reinventing Herself, The Blues Brothers, "Jumpin Jack Flash", In Decline, 50 Years in Show Business, Legacy of Aretha Franklin, Selected Discography.