As a tribute on the eve of her 70th this Sunday,RBP hereby presents 20 timeless masterpieces by the Queen of Soul. Happy Birthday, 'retha!——Barney Hoskyns, Editorial Director, Rock's Backpages
"They used to call me a jazz singer," Aretha told Val Wilmer in 1968. "Now I think what I sing is closer to R&B and straight blues..."
For five years Frankin languished as Columbia Records struggled to sell the Rev. C. L.'s daughter as a new Nancy Wilson, an R&B Barbra Streisand. In late 1966, soul svengali Jerry Wexler signed the girl to Atlantic, taking her down to the Alabama hotbed of Muscle Shoals early the following year.
What followed was a stream of sassy, sanctified recordings that defined what SOUL was: the sound of a new black pride and a sensuality that made musical a physical, visceral experience. Towering above any rivals, Lady Ree was swiftly anointed the Queen of this gospelized R&B style — a sound as key to the Sixties as psychedelia.
1 'Dr. Feelgood', from Live at FillmoreRead More »from The Rock’s Backpages Rewind: Aretha Franklin’s Greatest Tracks