March 25: Aretha Franklin was born in 1942

If a song’s about something I’ve experienced or that could’ve happened to me it’s good. But if it’s alien to me, I couldn’t lend anything to it. Because that’s what soul is all about.
~Aretha Franklin

I Say A Little Prayer – “The Cliff Richard Show” 1970:


Birth name Aretha Louise Franklin
Born March 25, 1942 (age 74)
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
Origin Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
Genres Soul, jazz, blues, R&B, gospel,funk, rock
Occupations Singer, songwriter, pianist
Instruments Vocals, piano
Years active 1956–present
Labels Columbia (1960–1966)
Atlantic (1967–1979)
Arista (1980–2003)
Aretha Records (2011–)

Aretha Louise Franklin (born March 25, 1942) is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and pianist. In a recording career that has spanned over half a century, Franklin’s repertoire has included gospel, jazz, blues, R&B, pop, rock and funk.

Franklin is known as one of the most important popularizers of the soul music genre and is referred to as the Queen of Soul, a title she was given early in her career. Franklin, the daughter of prominent Baptist minister and activist C. L. Franklin, began her singing career singing in her father’s church at the age of ten and started recording four years later. After several years in the gospel circuit and with her father’s blessing, she formed a secular pop music career at the age of eighteen, signing with Columbia Records, where she was branded by its CEO John Hammond as his most important act since Billie Holiday. Franklin’s Columbia period wasn’t as successful as hoped and in late 1966, Franklin switched over to Atlantic Records, where she began recording a string of popular hits including “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)”, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”, “Think”, “Chain of Fools” and what later became her signature song, “Respect”.

aretha franklin

A brilliant cover version of The Band’s – The Weight:

After she broke her leg…a brief lull in 1969, Franklin continued to record a string of popular singles throughout the early 1970’s, reaching her peak as an albums artist with 1970’s Spirit in the Dark, 1971’s Young, Gifted & Black and the 1972 gospel record, Amazing Grace, which became the best-selling pure gospel album of all time.




  • Rolling Stone magazine ranked her atop its “100 Greatest Singers of All Time” list, as well as the ninth greatest artist of all time
  • She has won a total of 20 career Grammy Awards, including two honorary Grammys
  • She is one of the best-selling female artists of all time, having sold over 75 million records worldwide
  • In 1987, Franklin became the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
  • On August 14, 2012, Franklin was inducted into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame
  • Franklin received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1979
  • In 1994, she received a medal from the Kennedy Center Honors and that year won the NARAS Lifetime Achievement Award
  • She won the NARAS Grammy Legend award four years prior
  • In 1999, she earned the National Medal of Arts
  • In 2005, she received the Presidential Medal of Freedom
  • Franklin was inducted to the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005, becoming the second female performer to be honored after Madonna.
  • In 2008, she received the MusiCares Person of the Year prior to performing at that year’s Grammys.
  • That same year, she was listed in the top 20 of artists on the Billboard Hot 100 all-time top artists list

(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman – Live 1968:

Album of the day

Aretha Live at Fillmore West (1971)

aretha live at fillmore west

….. In sum, it makes for the most dramatic and deeply satisfying of Aretha Franklin’s live recordings, and is a historical document that every soul fan should own — especially as a new and much improved package with great liner notes by David Nathan.
~Thom Jurek (


More MAR-25:

  • Thomas Blanchard Wilson Jr. (March 25, 1931 – September 6, 1978) was an American record producer best known for his work in the 1960s with Bob Dylan, Frank Zappa, Simon and Garfunkel and The Velvet Underground.tom wilson bob dylan
  • Bruce Springsteen played fantastic concert @ Music Hall, Boston,  Massachusetts – 1977.
    This was the last show of the “Lawsuit drags on tour” (7 Feb – 25 Mar 1977) & the entire show is with The Miami Horns.
    Famous bootleg – “Stranded in The Park”:

  • Robbie Fulks (March 25, 1963 –) is an American alternative country artist originally from Pennsylvania but who is a longtime Chicago, Illinois resident. He has released 11 albums over a career spanning more than 20 years.
  • Johnny Cash records “Ring of Fire” in 1963.
    B-side “I’d Still Be There”
    Released April 19, 1963
    Format Vinyl
    Recorded March 25, 1963
    Genre Country, rock and roll
    Length 2:38
    Label Columbia
    Writer(s) June Carter, Merle Kilgore
    Producer Don Law


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