Tag Archives: Aretha Franklin

Hero of the Week Award: October 28: Aretha Franklin

28 Oct

Hero of the Week

I did not think I could love the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, anymore than I already did.  I had five people nominate Aretha for HWA, so I had to jump to it.  Franklin came to New York to perform at the wedding of Bill White and his long-time partner Bryan Eure.

How fantastic is it to have the Queen of Soul perform Respect, and I Say a Little Prayer at your wedding?  Kudos to Aretha Franklin and nice that she earns the HWA.  TSM loves the opportunity to celebrate Franklin.

Celebrating Black History Month: February 18

18 Feb

Honoring The Queen of Soul

Today I would like to honor and pay tribute to Aretha Franklin. There is only one Queen of Soul, and that is Ms. Aretha Franklin. With a total of 20 Grammy Awards, Franklin had ten Number 1 R&B albums – more than any other female artist – between the years 1967 and 1982.  In 1987, Frankin became the first woman to be inducted into the Rock&Roll Hall of Fame.  Ms. Franklin performed at both President Clinton’s first inauguration and President Obama’s inauguration. Much of Franklin’s early work was influenced by the amazing Mahalia Jackson. Franklin’s first breakthrough hit was I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You), which I love, but not as much as (what used to be called the B side of the ’45) Do Right Woman. Of course, her second single, and I would describe it as her signature, was Respect (written by Otis Redding); it’s also the ring tone on my cell phone. Both Respect and Think became anthems for the Civil Rights Movement. Another one of my favorites is The House that Jack Built.  I would be remiss if I did not tip my hat to Natural Woman. Finally, I would like to dedicate Chain of Fools to John Boehner and the GOP.

Celebrating Black History Month: February 11

11 Feb

The Legendary Nina Simone

Today I would like to honor and pay tribute to Nina Simone. I remember crying my eyes out on April 21, 2003 when I heard that Nina Simone died. I fell in love with her smoky jazz voice so many years ago.  I can’t drink gin without thinking of our Nina. Simone’s response to the assassination of Medgar Evers, and the bombing of the church in Birmingham that killed four children, was, Mississippi Goddam. In Mississippi Goddam, we see Simone taking her place in the civil rights movement. Unlike Dr. King, Simone advocated violence if necessary in order to establish a separate state for African-Americans–who could blame her. You can only feel beaten down so much without building up a great amount of rage. I have such a great admiration for Dr. King for sublimating his rage into non-violent means. The song Backlash Blues was written by her friend Langston Hughes. Simone was also friends with Lorraine Hansberry and turned one of her plays, To Be Young, Gifted and Black into a civil rights song.  In 1972, Aretha Franklin did a cover of the same song. Nina Simone you are missed and cherished.

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