Aretha Franklin Biography

The Greatest Singer Of All Time


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Aretha Franklin late live performance

Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin must have been considered as the one that got away by Berry Gordy who did try to sign her to his record label, Motown.

Born in Detroit and with a gospel singing father that managed her from an early age, Motown seemed like the natural choice.

However, Aretha’s father rejected Berry in 1960 as he didn’t believe the label was big enough for his daughter. Instead, he signed her to Columbia in 1961.

Aretha stayed with Columbia for five years without achieving any major success. By now, Motown was huge and some regret may have been in her father’s mind. Nevertheless, late 1966 Aretha signed for Atlantic records.

Just a few months later the following year, she went to a studio in Alabama that also had developed a house band, just like Motown had.

Set in Alabama, the house band strangely wasn’t made up of an all-black cast like Motown’s Funk Brothers were, the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section was all white.

After spending only one day in the studio, after a hefty argument, the session was over before it seemingly had begun.

Still, one song had been recorded this day and was quickly released. It became her first top ten hit, the tune was ‘I Never Loved A Man (The Way That I Love You)’.

This would serve as the starting point for Aretha’s incredible worldwide success.

Following her first hit, Aretha released ‘Respect’, ‘Chain Of Fools’, ‘Think’, ‘I Say A Little Prayer’, and ‘Rock Steady’.

It’s probably impossible to find a female soul singer that doesn’t hold Aretha in highest possible regard. Her influence is so important to the genre she personifies it.

In 2010, Rolling Stone magazine ranked her as #1 on their list of “100 Greatest Singers Of All Time”.

Related Pages

Respect – Guitar Lesson

‘Respect’ is probably the most famous soul song ever recorded. Breaking up the standard blues chord progression we play G7 – F7 during the verse and C7 – F7 during the chorus.

The biggest showpiece of the song is the sax solo, in the course we learn how to play it note for note on the guitar.

After over 80+ minutes of members-only videos, TAB, and live band loops practice, you play the complete song with the band.

Preview video lessons: Respect

Respect – Lyrics

(Oh) What you want
(Oh) Baby, I got it
(Oh) What you need
(Oh) Do you know I got it?
(Oh) All I’m askin’

For complete lyrics, go to Respect lyrics.

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