January 24: Aretha Franklin released Young, Gifted and Black in 1972

Young, Gifted and Black is the twentieth studio album by American singer Aretha Franklin, Released on January 24, 1972 by Atlantic Records. The album is Top 10 Gold-certified. The album won Aretha a 1972 Grammy Award for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance of the year. It takes its title from the Nina Simone song “To Be Young, Gifted and Black.” In 2003, the TV network VH1 named it the 76th greatest album of all time.

“…of this stunning era, Young, Gifted and Black certainly ranks highly among her studio efforts, with many arguing that it may be her greatest. And with songs like “Rock Steady,” that may be a valid argument. But there’s much more here than just a few highlights. If you really want to go song by song, you’d be hard-pressed to find any throwaways here — this is quite honestly an album that merits play from beginning to end.”
– Jason Birchmeier (allmusic) 

The guest list on the album is impressive, here are some of them:

Dr. John – Percussion
Donny Hathaway
Billy Preston
Chuck Rainey – Bass
Carolyn Franklin – Background Vocals
Erma Franklin – Background Vocals
The Memphis Horns – Horn Section
The Sweet Inspirations – Background Vocals
Al Jackson Jr. – Drums

Jerry Wexler produced

Highlights: Rock Steady, Border Song (Holy Moses) and Oh Me Oh My (I’m a fool for you baby)

– Hallgeir