Tag Archives: Aretha Franklin

Melancholy Quintet of Songs

On Valentine’s Day, people are always playing these lovey-dovey songs. It being roughly six months from that holiday, I thought I would link to some of those songs I used to play when I broke up with someone. Haven’t done that in well over a decade, fortunately, yet the songs themselves still make me melancholy. It’s strange how music still holds its sway.

The Supremes – Remove This Doubt. You may know this from the Elvis Costello cover, but the original is from one of my favorite Motown albums of the 1960s, The Supremes Sing Holland-Dozier-Holland. Continue reading Melancholy Quintet of Songs

Aretha, QoS, is 70

When Aretha Franklin burst onto the music scene in 1967, I suspect many people thought she was an overnight success. In fact, she had been signed by Columbia Records back in 1961, but because of the songs she was given to sing (“Rock-a-bye My Baby With A Dixie Melody”?), the producers she had and/or the label’s promotion, she was unable to break through.

It wasn’t until she moved over to Atlantic Records, and recorded with the Muscle Shoals Sound Rhythm Section, that her true gift came to fruition. And when her period at Atlantic came to an end, changing over to Arista Records in the early 1980s, had a few more hits.

Most of my favorites are from the Atlantic period, though one was from the Columbia era, and one was something else altogether. Continue reading Aretha, QoS, is 70

Song History: You'll Lose A Good Thing

I’ll admit it; I’ve lost my energy for keeping up with the newest music. But this doesn’t mean I stop learning about music. There is apparently a wealth of older music I don’t know about.

This particular adventure started with the Coverville podcast (#756) about Aretha Franklin. As you may or may not know, Aretha was signed to Columbia Records in 1960, and recorded with the label with only moderate success; her entire output, plus extras, from her years on Columbia Records, is being released in a boxed set in 2011. Though raised in Detroit, Aretha Franklin never recorded with Motown; rather, her greatest success was with Atlantic.

One of the songs on Coverville, covered in this case by Madness, was You’ll Lose A Good Thing. But it wasn’t originally recorded by Aretha. It was written and recorded by Barbara Lynn Continue reading Song History: You'll Lose A Good Thing

The Apollo Party I'm Missing

I’ve never been to the legendary Apollo Theater in New York City, although it’s only about 160 miles from where I live. “Legendary” gets thrown around too often, but the Harlem venue with a somewhat muddled history prior to 1934, when it became “Where Stars are Born and Legends are Made” from Ella Fitzgerald to Stevie Wonder, James Brown and Lauryn Hill.

So somehow I get this printed invitation in the mail to go to this event honoring The Queen of Soul, and the late King of Pop. Seems like a once-in-a-lifetime thing. And I haven’t been to Manhattan in quite a while.

Wait: what’s that? $1000 a head! Guess I WON’T be going after all. But what would I have gotten for my money?

Marc Anthony and JLo getting some award named for the great acting couple? Chase bank getting an award? Jamie Foxx hosting? Meh.

The invitation was a great piece of information for me.

The Chairman of the Board for the Apollo is Richard Parsons, former head of Time Warner, since mid-2009 head of Citigroup.
The board includes familiar names such as music producer Quincy Jones and historian Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the latter probably better known by most of America for getting arrested at his own home last year. Then there’s business tycoon Ron Perelman, honorary co-chair with Quincy of the benefit committee, who seems to court controversy wherever he goes; I know him best as the guy who almost destroyed Marvel Comics.

Some acting couples on the benefit committee, such as Angela Bassett & Courtney B. Vance and Kyra Sedgwick & Kevin Bacon; Baconologists, please note. Also, Bill Cosby and his wife Camille; director Spike Lee, and his wife Tonya Lewis; Denzel Washington, and his wife Pauletta; Marcia Gay Harden; and a musician who’s played at the Apollo, Smokey Robinson.

But what if I had MORE money to spend? What would be my options?
Continue reading The Apollo Party I'm Missing