I liked this woman, I liked this artist, so that I couldn’t help sharing my personal take and more, on the passing of music icon Aretha Franklin (1942-2018), with the world.
This take on Whitney Houston from Miss Aretha Franklin applies also to herself;
Miss Aretha Franklin “was a talent, definitely a talent”, and “she had a gift.”
But natural talent, also means and demands, a lot of work in the mastery of singing, a lot of work in the field of phrasing, timing, interpretation, …, she set her mind to, under the fatherly guidance of Mr. Clarence LaVaughn Franklin (1915-1984).
Even though I haven’t seen an interview of Whitney Houston (1963-2012) talking about disco icon Donna Summer (1948 – 2012), Whitney Houston, like me, grew up during the disco era, and both icons : Whitney Houston and Donna Summer died the same year, in 2012.
In May, 2012, Miss Aretha Franklin found some time also, on CNN, to pay tribute to the memory of disco icon Donna Summer (1948 – 2012), saying about the latter : “A very good singer. She was the Disco Queen.”
So it is my turn today, thanks to this essay, to pay tribute to the Queen of Soul : Miss Aretha Franklin (1942-2018).
Since the passing of Miss Aretha Franklin, we have heard condolences from Quincy Jones, Diana Ross, Gloria Gaynor, former President Barack Obama, former First Lady Michelle Obama, Baptist Minister Alfred Charles Sharpton Jr., …
We also heard from President Trump with his tactless wording : “The Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, is dead.”
It would have been tactful to write : The Queen of Soul, Miss Aretha Franklin has passed or has gone to sing with her peers :
Enrico Caruso (1873-1921), Luciano Pavarotti (1935-2007), George Michael (1963-2016), Robert Goulet (1933-2007), Édith Piaf (1915-1963), Mario Lanza (1921-1959), Maria Callas (1923-1977), Jussi Björling (1911-1960), Cora Vaucaire (1918-2011), Minnie Riperton (1947-1979), Phyllis Hyman (1949-1995), …
Among her countless achievements, Miss Aretha Franklin earned at least 18 Grammy Awards, and is a Presidential Medal Of Freedom recipient.
The memory of Miss Aretha Franklin (1942-2018) brings me back to my adolescence, and to my wonderful tenure as anchor at Radio Saint-Louis, where I came across Aretha Franklin’s 1972 bestselling album : Amazing Grace, an album that sold over 2 million copies in the United States.
In my adolescence, to practice my English, I used to meet and fraternize with some Marines, who were door to me, to the American world and lifestyle. It was in the 80s, way before the America of Donald Trump, that is not America to me.
So going back to this lovely Marines story, one of the Marines I came across, while his ship was on a short stay in my country, presented to me a George Benson’s album, an album, if "I remember it well", like Maurice Chevalier (1888-1972), entitled “The White Album”, and in this George Benson’s album was to be heard, one of my favorite duets from Aretha Franklin :
Aretha Franklin, herself, seemed to have considered this duet with George Benson in “Love All The Hurt Away”, as pure bliss and delight. Aretha Franklin’s voice blending with George Benson’s voice so magically and so perfectly.
Memories of my adolescence, memories of my idea of America, well conveyed in the song : “The House I Live In”, a song sung by Frank Sinatra (1915-1998).
For all the countless good things you are, Miss Aretha Franklin (1942-2018), the world thanks
© 2018 Teddy Crispin
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