There’s little doubt that one of the greatest female singers of our age is Aretha Franklin. Like so many of the great popular lady singers Aretha came out of the Gospel tradition. Though I consider myself as a sort of lapsed agnostic and haven’t stepped foot inside of a church in decades I absolutely love Gospel music. The music that came out of the black churches of this country formed the basis of the blues, rhythm and blues and rock and roll. The last time I was at the New Orleans Jazz Festival (1985) I spent five days at the rockingest venue at the Fairgrounds…the Gospel Tent only leaving once to see Roy Orbison.
The first time I heard the following song was on my favorite radio station ever, Radio Baie des Anges in Nice, France. It is Aretha Franklin singing in her father’s church in Detroit, Michigan in 1956 when she was only 14 years old. There was absolutely no doubt, listening to this, that this was one extraordinary talent about to be released upon the world.
If you have a decent set of earphones that can plug into your computer do it before you listen to this.