African American Legacy Series Spotlight: Ode To The Music Contributions Of Aretha Franklin

I just want to focus on Ms. Franklin’s retooling of other classic songs to point out her musical brilliance. As a trained pianist and arranger she oversaw the construction of those songs and added her own spin. The harmonies alone took these songs in a completely different direction.

In a hat tip to the universe and serendipity here’s a clip from a recent interview on CBS Sunday Morning where she is specifically asked about receiving acknowledgement as a songwriter instead of as a singer alone.

Personally, I think her versions of the following songs are superior to each original. She was one of the only black artists during that era to not be signed to Motown by the way. Thus her career wasn’t hampered like so many other female recording artists were as many have claimed due to a certain diva and her relationship with Barry Gordy. #justsayin’

Respect – cover of Otis Redding

Bridge Over Troubled Water – cover of Simon & Garfunkle

You’re All I Need To Get By – cover of Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell

Natural Woman – cover of Carole King

People Get Ready – cover of Curtis Mayfield

**video was pulled!** I still wanted to share.

There is a reason why she was dubbed and protects her legacy as the Queen Of Soul. Brilliant!!

Here’s the full CBS interview while it’s available!


Audience Time:

What are some of your favorite Aretha Franklin songs?

4 Replies to “African American Legacy Series Spotlight: Ode To The Music Contributions Of Aretha Franklin”

  1. My favorite song of hers is Say A little Prayer.

    I first heard the song in the Julia Roberts movie, My Best Friends's Wedding. I went online to find that version and ended up finding the original version by Aretha.

    I absolutely love watching Youtube videos of black women performing in the 50s/60s/70s. There was such an effort made to look ones best. 🙂

  2. Oh my goodness, there are so many favs., Ain't no Way, Think, Rock Steady, Who's Zoomin' Who (Although I think of Halima's Epic post now when I see that, lol), You Make Me Feel…so many. I like a lot of her songs that seem to have an empowerment theme! She 'played the fool' in some of her songs, but there are a few empowering ones as well.

    This is something people still don't know about here, that she wrote and arranged a lot of those songs because she was marketed as The Voice. These mainstream artists today are cheating us out of the entertainment we deserve, they don't write their own music, let alone play instruments.

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