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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Aretha Franklin: Night Life

Aretha doing an old blues standard, made famous by Jimmy Witherspoon.


Oliver said...

What gets me is that people have the nerve to try and compare young upstarts like Joss Stone to a genius like Aretha Franklin!

What Aretha has, you don't just acquire from listening to a few soul records and then proclaim, "I'm a soul singer!" There is LIFE behind Franklin's voice. One that lived in a Jim Crow America, filled with hate, racial discrimination and segregation. All of that "life" is in Miss Franklin's voice.

In an attempt to find a "white Queen of Soul," America latches on to any white singer who imitates the "black sound" and declares her as " probably the next Aretha." Rubbish!

Just listen to what Aretha does to Willie Nelson's composition here. She transforms it into classic blues. And, it is a variation on what she recorded in the studio on this tune. She's "in the moment" and interprets these lyrics from her very SOUL. That's part of what soul music is all about.

There are many genuine soul singers in Aretha's league, all of them different with their own individual styles that "upstarts" couldn't be compared. Mavis Staples, Bettye LaVette, Etta James, Gladys Knight, Patti LaBelle, Loleatta Holloway, Ann Peebles...need I go on?

bluesman2001 said...

Hey Oliver

You are right on the mark. There is only one Aretha Franklin.

I do know your frustration with current artists, and their promotion. However, I have found with my blues history class, that once young people hear the real thing, they start changing their attitudes about the music. In fact, they tend to search out more and more of the old blues, soul, and classic R&B.

I hope this website does that. I hope that people will give the old stuff a chance, and hopefully expand some peoples musical tastes.