Written by T. Cole –
Aretha Franklin -Singer
Aretha Franklin found great success in music with her late-’60s hits with Atlantic Records–“Respect,” “I Never Loved a Man,” “Chain of Fools,” “Baby I Love You,” “I Say a Little Prayer,” “Think,” “The House That Jack Built,” and several others– which earned her the title “The Queen of Soul,” which she has earned and maintained over four decades.
She first sang at the Detroit church of her father, Reverend C.L. Franklin, while growing up in the 1950’s. In fact, Aretha’s first album, The Gospel Soul of Aretha Franklin, was recorded in 1956 when she was just 14. At 15, Aretha gave birth to her first son, and her second followed two years later. When she returned to singing, several years later, she changed direction into pop territory. She travelled to New York in 1960, and was signed to Columbia Records that same year. Critics often state that this period of her music was crippled by the company’s use of pop material for Franklin, and this carried on through the mid 60’s. When Franklin left Columbia for Atlantic, producer Jerry Wexler was determined to capitalize on her deeply soulful voice and spirit.