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12 Things that you may not known about Aretha Franklin

12 things that you may not known about Aretha Franklin

1- Franklin was born March 25, 1942, in Memphis, Tennessee. Her father, the Reverend C.L. Franklin, became the pastor of the 4,500-member New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit in 1946 and was a nationally known gospel singer (« the Man with the Million-Dollar Voice »)

2- Her mother, Barbara, also a gospel singer, deserted the family when Aretha was six and died four years later.

3- Aretha became a mother at the age of 13 and she has a second child at the age of 15.

4- Her first record deal was with Checker Records and she released the album, « Songs of Faith » in 1956 at age fourteen

5- She was presented an award by Martin Luther King Jr. (to whose cause her father had been a major financial supporter)

6- In the Fifties Berry Gordy Jr. tried to sign Aretha to his fledgling Motown label. Reverend Franklin refused.

7-Aretha recorded “Respect” in 1967, the song was originally performed by Otis Redding. It became her signature song and was later named the anthem of the civil rights and the feminist movement.

8- She has a lifelong fear of flying, and after a shaky flight aboard a twin-engine plane in 1984, she has refused to fly. This has limited her touring considerably, and cost her the lead role in a musical biography of Mahalia Jackson.

9- Her father was shot during a burglary at his home in Detroit. CL Franklin went into a coma from which he never emerged, dying in 1984.

10-Aretha Franklin was the first female artist to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

11- Franklin has been romantically linked to many musicians such as Sam Cooke and Dennis Edwards, formerly of The Temptations. Some of her music business friends have included Dionne Warwick, Mavis Staples, and Cissy Houston, who began singing with Aretha as member of the Sweet Inspirations. Cissy sang background on Franklin’s classic hit, « Ain’t No Way ». Aretha first met her daughter, Whitney, in the early 1970s. She was made an honorary aunt and Whitney often referred to her as « Auntie Ree.

12- Aretha is the winner of 18 Grammy Awards and one of her most notable songs was ‘Respect’ which was released in 1967

Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe

During the ’50s, one of the most popular venues was Mocambo in Hollywood. Frank Sinatra made his Los Angeles debut at Mocambo in 1943, and it was frequented by the likes of Clark Gable, Charlie Chaplin, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall and Lana Turner.
Ella Fitzgerald was not allowed to play at Mocambo because of her race. Then, one of Ella’s biggest fans made a telephone call that quite possibly changed the path of her career for good. Here, Ella tells the story of how Marilyn Monroe changed her life:

“I owe Marilyn Monroe a real debt … she personally called the owner of the Mocambo, and told him she wanted me booked immediately, and if he would do it, she would take a front table every night. She told him – and it was true, due to Marilyn’s superstar status – that the press would go wild. The owner said yes, and Marilyn was there, front table, every night. The press went overboard. After that, I never had to play a small jazz club again. She was an unusual woman – a little ahead of her times. And she didn’t know it.”


RIP George Duke (January 12, 1946 – August 5, 2013)

Master musician George Duke has passed away. He was 67.
The news came via notification from Ron Brewington, Motown Alumni Association (MAA). He was informed of George’s passing from former Supremes member Scherrie Payne in the note below

« I just received the devastating and sad news that the great musician, George Duke, passed away this evening at St. John’s hospital in L.A. It was just one year earlier, July 18th, that his beloved wife and my friend, Corine, went to be with the Lord. Please keep his sons, Rasheed and John, in your prayers. »
Funeral services will be private.

May he rest forever in peace..