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The Untold History of Aretha Franklin's Irrevocable "Respect"
The Untold History of Aretha Franklin's Irrevocable 'Respect'
R-e-s-p-e-c-t
 
     
 
Almost half a century ago, Aretha Franklin captured lightning in a bottle, went straight to number one on the Top 40 charts, and became an icon of the civil rights and women's movements. Dozens more legendary hits and tens of millions in album sales later, she's still got the power.
 
On Valentine's Day in 1967, when feminism was sorely needed but had not yet ripened into a movement, a trim, dignified 25-year-old African American woman named Aretha Franklin walked into a New York City recording studio. Franklin's idea was to take "Respect," a song Otis Redding had released two years earlier as a man's strident plea to his lover, and transform it into a woman's sexy exhortation for human dignity. Pounding the piano righteously, with the legendary Muscle Shoals rhythm section (flown to New York for the session) behind her, Franklin sang the hell out of the song, and she spelled out its titular demand—letter by letter by letter.
 
Franklin remembers exactly when she first heard Redding's "Respect" in Detroit. "I had just moved out of my father's home and had my own little apartment," she says. "I was cleaning the place, and I had a good radio station on. I loved it. I loved it! I felt I could do something different with it, and my sister Carolyn, who was an RCA recording artist, and I got together on the background." Some of the changes were little riffs—modernizing grace notes. "The term 'Sock it to me!' was a big, big thing in our neighborhood—all the kids were saying it," Franklin says. Ditto "TCB," a popular acronym at the time for "taking care of business." Both made the new version.
 
"People responded to 'Respect' as if the radio weren't built for a sound so powerful, as if the music was coming straight out of the air from some all-global transmitter in the Arctic," says music critic Greil Marcus. "'Respect' was a thrilling ride, and what made the music so big, so undeniable," he adds, "was that it opened the door to the moral bigness of what Aretha Franklin had to tell the world, to a new definition of what 'soul' meant: that it could be all-consuming," moving the listener as deeply as it did the singer.
 
Music critic Ann Powers says she thinks the song has endured as a theme song for the women's movement in part "because it's a conversation." Franklin dresses down her man in the company of her sisters, who engage her with the kind of call-and-response so characteristic of African American gospel tradition—"You're runnin' out of fools (just a little bit) / And I ain't lyin' (just a little bit) . "They were in constant dialogue," Powers says, "and this is what Aretha captures so beautifully: the sound of female solidarity, cultivated right under the noses of men."
 
As the fiftieth anniversary of Franklin's "Respect" nears, it's remarkable that a female vocalist like Christina Aguilera, who was more than a decade from being born in 1967, calls the song "one of the best female anthems of all time. From the moment you hear the letters being spelled out in that sultry, soulful voice, with that melody," Aguilera says, "you can't help but pay attention and give the respect the song calls for and deserves."
 
And Gloria Steinem, a journalist edging toward the crusade that would define her life when "Respect" hit the radio, says, "I always felt that nothing too bad could happen in the world while I was listening to Aretha Franklin. Everything was good, including that I could dance with nobody around. True, there was a line in 'Respect' that made me anxious for both of us: something like, 'I'm about to give you all my money.' But I figured Aretha knew what she was doing, and nobody was going to mess with her. With us."
 
When I ask Franklin about the presidential race and the current state of race relations, she seems reluctant to offer an opinion, saying instead, rather wistfully, "People are not as nice as they used to be. There used to be a time when we conversed. You don't get a lot of real responses now. They used to be more polite and well-mannered people, generally. It's minimal now." She pauses, and then: "I think it would be a far greater world if people were kinder and more respectful to each other." Respect: There's that word again.
 
Read more at: The Untold History of Aretha Franklin's Irrevocable "Respect"
 
 
Grande Performs 'Natural Woman' Aretha Franklin Memorial
Grande Performs 'Natural Woman' Aretha Franklin Memorial
Grande Performs 'Natural Woman' Aretha Franklin Memorial
 
Aretha Franklin could have just about anyone perform at her funeral and there’s zero chance the performer in question would overshadow Franklin’s legacy. Even when one of those performers has staked a pretty convincing claim to one of your most memorable songs. The memorial service for the late soul singer took place in Detroit Friday, and among the starry roster of musicians slated to perform was Ariana Grande, who also performed a tribute to Franklin during a recent appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.
 
As Grande and fiancé Pete Davidson arrived at the ceremony, they caucused briefly (and snapped a selfie) with Hillary Clinton before taking their seats. Grande first met Franklin in 2014, when both were invited to perform at the Obama White House (Barack and Michelle Obama were unable to attend the funeral), and they apparently were in touch a couple times after that: “She called me one time, it was one time only, and she goes, ‘Hi, its Aretha.’ I’m like, ‘Franklin?’” Grande recalled during her interview with Jimmy Fallon on the day of Franklin’s death.
 
During that same appearance on The Tonight Show, Grande also performed a cover of “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”—which she then reprised at Franklin’s funeral Friday. She performed with accompaniment from the house band and a handful of backup singers at the Greater Grace Temple in Detroit, where the ceremony took place; when she concluded the song, she was about to step off the stage, but Charles Ellis III, the bishop at Grace Temple and the event’s master of ceremonies, stopped her.
 
“When I saw Ariana Grande on the program, I thought that was a new something at Taco Bell,” he said, joking. “Girl, I gotta give you all your respect,” he went on (pun intended?), before turning to the crowd: “Did you all enjoy this icon?” he asked. They cheered in response, echoing the ensuing response from observers on social media (the event was live-streamed).
 
Read more at: Ariana Grande Performance of "A Natural Woman" at Aretha Franklin's Funeral
 
 
The Queen of Soul's Style Through the Years
The Queen of Soul's Style Through the Years
R-e-s-p-e-c-t
 
Aretha Franklin and Clive Davis during the 'Valentino : Thirty Years of Magic' gala.
 
 
 
Aretha Franklin First woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Aretha Franklin First woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Aretha Franklin First woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
 
Aretha Franklin — the first woman to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and known as the "Queen of Soul" for powerful anthems like "Respect" and "Chain of Fools" — died Thursday morning at her home in Detroit. She was 76.
 
Franklin died of pancreatic cancer, the singer's publicist said in a statement issued by the family.
 
"In one of the darkest moments of our lives, we are not able to find the appropriate words to express the pain in our heart," the family said. "We have lost the matriarch and rock of our family."
 
She was mourned by music luminaries as one of the all-time great talents of American popular music. "What a life. What a legacy! So much love, respect and gratitude," singer-songwriter Carole King tweeted. Elton John echoed that praise, tweeting: "The whole world will miss her but will always rejoice in her remarkable legacy."
 
In 1960, Franklin followed Cooke into secular music, recording a handful of Top 10 hits on the R&B charts. It took seven years and a switch of labels, to Atlantic Records, however, for her career to fully blossom in 1967, beginning with "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)," which hit No. 1 on the R&B charts and was her first Top 10 pop single.
 
That April saw the release of "Respect," a cover of an Otis Redding song with a feminist bent and an irresistible hook — the simple chorus of "R-E-S-P-E-C-T," which Franklin added. It quickly rocketed to No. 1 on the pop charts. Rolling Stone magazine later declared it the fifth-greatest song of all time.
 
The song became an anthem for both the civil rights and female-empowerment movements, and no one was more surprised by its success than Franklin.
 
Read more at: Aretha Franklin first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
 
 
This is the moment Aretha Franklin became the 'Queen of Soul'
This is the moment Aretha Franklin became the 'Queen of Soul'
This is the moment Aretha Franklin became the 'Queen of Soul'
 
In 1967, Aretha Franklin’s reign as the “Queen of Soul” began.
 
Franklin was in her mid-20s and had recently left Columbia Records to sign with Atlantic Records. She had released her 11th studio album, “I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You,” widely considered to be her best work and includes the souled-up juggernaut “Respect.”
 
The album would peak at No. 2 on Billboard’s 200 album chart, while “Respect” earned her a No. 1 hit on the singles chart.
 
But it wasn’t just the commercial success that earned Franklin, who died Thursday at 76, her nickname.
 
In 1960, Franklin followed Cooke into secular music, recording a handful of Top 10 hits on the R&B charts. It took seven years and a switch of labels, to Atlantic Records, however, for her career to fully blossom in 1967, beginning with "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)," which hit No. 1 on the R&B charts and was her first Top 10 pop single.
 
The story of how Franklin was crowned “the Queen of Soul” begins in Chicago in 1967.
 
Read more at: This is the moment Aretha Franklin became the 'Queen of Soul'
 
 
Clive Davis Mourns Aretha Franklin: ‘Truly One of a Kind’
Clive Davis Mourns Aretha Franklin: ‘Truly One of a Kind’
Clive Davis Mourns Aretha Franklin: ‘Truly One of a Kind’
 
Famed record executive Clive Davis paid tribute to Aretha Franklin, calling her “truly one of a kind” and “more than the Queen of Soul.” Franklin died Thursday of pancreatic cancer at the age of 76.
 
“I’m absolutely devastated by Aretha’s passing,” Davis wrote on Twitter. “She was truly one of a kind. She was more than the Queen of Soul. She was a national treasure to be cherished by every generation throughout the world. Apart from our long professional relationship, Aretha was my friend. Her loss is deeply profound and my heart is full of sadness.”
 
Davis and Franklin enjoyed a long and succesful partnership after the singer signed to his label, Arista Records, in 1980. Franklin had been looking to leave her longtime label Atlantic, and in a 2016 interview with Billboard, Davis recalled, “She was working with producers who didn’t quite have the right handle on the material. I went to her house in Los Angeles, and she cooked dinner for me. We spent the evening getting to know each other and establishing the bond that we have.”
 
Franklin’s first release on Arista was her 1980 eponymous LP. In 1982, she teamed with singer-songwriter-producer Luther Vandross for Jump to It, which became her first gold-certified album since 1976. Franklin one-upped herself in 1985 with Who’s Zoomin’ Who?, which sold over 1 million copies. She remained on Arista until the release of 2003’s So Damn Happy.
 
In 2017, Franklin honored Davis at a special concert following the premiere of Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives, a documentary about the music mogul. Franklin spoke briefly about her long working relationship with Davis, saying, “What a wonderful, caring humanitarian. He’s not only the chieftain who sits in the executive office and takes care of all the business; he takes care of his artists as well.”
 
On Tuesday, following reports that Franklin was gravely ill, Davis announced a tribute concert in her honor. According to reports, the show will take place this November at New York’s Madison Square Garden.
 
Read more at: Clive Davis Mourns Aretha Franklin: ‘Truly One of a Kind’
 
 
Ariana Grande and The Roots Perform "Natural Woman" in Tribute
Ariana Grande and The Roots Perform Natural Woman in Tribute to Aretha Franklin
Ariana Grande and The Roots Perform "Natural Woman" in Tribute to Aretha Franklin
 
 
iconversations engaging social media
STEM oriented enterprise architecture business and data analysis methodologies to engage industry moguls in Social Media @iConversations while marketing Hair Salons and Barbershops    
 
who we are
Technology Savvy Social Media engaging Business Moguls in
"Real-Time" marketing Hair Salons and Barbershops
 
iconversations
is savvy social media marketing using Enterprise Architecture business and data analysis methodologies to engage industry moguls around the globe from all business sectors to market
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Hair Salons and Barbershops are an integral fabric within American culture and are of major interest to all communities within the country. Black Hair Salons and Black Barbershop uses the following social media venues to market client business profiles.
 
blackhairsalons.TWITTER
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what we do
Black Hair Salons and Black Barbershop in association with iConversations Social Media engages business industries including Hair and Beauty, Entertainment, National News Media, Food and Fitness Industries, Professional Athletes, Celebrity Chefs, Political Representatives, plus more, to market Hair Salons and Barbershops.
 
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iConversations engages social media using customer relationship management best practices, and savvy marketing techniques incorporated with humor and wit to market. During this process Hair Salons and Barbershop business profiles are marketed using Twitter, Instagram, Facebook.
 
 
 
 
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"A lifestyle everyone should have access to."
 
  • iconversations parterned with iSalons is savvy interactive online social media consulting on the "cutting edge" of information technology engaging industry moguls around the globe in "Real-Time" showcasing all business industry sectors.
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