aretha franklin

NEWS: Aretha Franklin (1942-2018)

RIP Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin (1942-2018)

It’s sad to report that Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul music has died following a short illness. She was 76.

Her body of work speaks for itself and will remain unchallenged and unsurpassed for all time. Spanning six decades, her career was just as relevant in the 1960’s with songs like “Respect” and “You Make Me Feel (Like A Natural Woman)” as it was in the 80’s with her collaborations with Annie Lennox and George Michael and in the 90’s with club/dance anthems like “A Deeper Love” and “Willing To Forgive”.

She first charted in 1960 with the song “Today I Sing The Blues”. Her success was largely confined to the US and and Canada for the first five years of her career and it wouldn’t be until 1967 when global success came with “Respect”, “Natural Woman”, “I Say A Little Prayer”, “Think”, and “The House The Jack Built”. The 70’s brought yet more classic songs including “Spanish Harlem”, “Son Of A Preacher Man”, “Day Dreaming”, “Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)” and “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing”.

Whilst many artists of her generation had begun to fade away, Aretha maintained her momentum into the 1980’s with more hit records including “Freeway Of Love”, “Who’s Zoomin’ Who?” as well as the collaborations with Annie, George, “It Isn’t, It Wasn’t, It Ain’t Never Gonna Be” (with Whitney Houston) and “Love All the Hurt Away” (with George Benson).

Her honours and accolades are many and numerous. She won a staggering 18 Grammy Awards out of 32 nominations from her first in 1968 to her most recent and last in 2008. She received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1979 and became the first woman inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. In 1994 she received a lifetime achievement award at the Grammy’s and was given the highest US honour in 2005, The Presidential Medal of Freedom, recognising her outstanding contribution to American music.

For your life and your work, we all say a little prayer for you. RIP.

Aretha Louise Franklin born 25th March 1942, died 16th August 2018

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Written by Christopher Smith

So perhaps you’ve read an article or two that I’ve written and wondered “just who is this character?”! Well I thought maybe it would be time to introduce myself and what I’m all about. Well it’s all about the music! Having been born in the late 1970’s I was heavily influenced by my parent’s love of ‘popular’ music and rock and roll of the 1950’s and 60’s. My Mother always said she should of married Elvis and my father was, and is still, in love with Sandie Shaw! But while my Dad’s tastes stopped in about 1967, my Mum carried on loving music throughout the 70’s, 80’s and beyond. My first memory was playing on the floor whilst my Mother was ironing one day with the radio on, and hearing ABBA’s “Super Trouper” dancing my nappy off to it! Maybe that’s where it all went wrong…?! Having been subjected to all and sundry in my infant years, I finally found my feet in the mid-1980’s and began ‘partying’ to the likes of Culture Club, Stevie Wonder(!), Elkie Brooks and Bananarama to name but a few! The year 1987 would have a profound effect on my listening tastes and from thereon in my life would be dominated with buying and listening to music. Any number of outstanding songs were released and listened to that year, most notably “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now”, “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “La Isla Bonita”. That Summer my mind was completely taken over with music and sounds I’d never heard before and I was totally taken in by it all. My father would say “whaaar rubbish you got on naaaaao?” (I’m from Norfolk!) but I was hooked. And it continued so for the rest of the decade and the next. At the beginning of 1988 I ‘met’ my true love and the singer I’ve worshipped more than any other artist or group. You may know of her. She’s from Australia…! Aside from pop music, my tastes are many and varied and continues to grow and expand as I ‘mature’ in age. I’ve always been heavily interested in films and in particular the mechanics of film making and of course film music, so scores and subsequently orchestral music takes up a lot of my tastes and collection. 90’s dance and club tunes also takes up much of the space in my head and I’m surprised my brain has stopped shaking from the years of abuse it took being dragged to nightclubs, often three times a week in my 20’s! I find with each year that passes I regress back to my youth and of course the 1980’s. 80’s music dominates and the lust to see as many 80’s acts and singers play live now is insatiable. I’m still getting into the groove as much as every breath I take, but I’m never gonna give up listening to my heart and pumping up the volume, simply because I LOVE MUSIC…any kind of music!

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