Queen of Soul

I was sorry to learn that Aretha Franklin is receiving Hospice care and is nearing death. She is one of the first really strong women singers I remember liking. I am not a big fan of soul music, but I love her recordings.  Here she is singing opera.

Talk about Aretha and her contemporaries.  What was your favorite music in the 1960’s?

60 thoughts on “Queen of Soul”

  1. The machine room/workout room at Vine plays the music of the 50s and 60s because of the age of those using it. I wear my iPod and listen to anything else.

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      1. Playlist 1: Paul winter, chants, native flute music, etc.
        2: Bach
        3: music ala LGMS
        4: Women like m. C. Carpenter, Bonnie Rait, Laoreena McKennitt, Alison Krause, anonymous four, chenilles, Christine Hitt, Emmylou, Nanci Griffith.
        5: Scandinavian classical

        Liked by 4 people

        1. Plus: some later rock like CCR, Boston, Chicago, Eric Clapton, bob Seeger.
          Oddly I like his Old Time Rock and Roll but not old time rock and roll

          Liked by 2 people

  2. My daughter, her husband and some friends went to a concert in Duluth last weekend by Har Mar Superstar featuring the music of Sam Cooke. I was reminded how many great and memorable songs Cooke produced.

    Earlier, really, than the sixties but my iPod mix includes the Platters and the Ink Spots.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the Platters. Used to listen to them when I was babysitting as a teen. They were great. So were the Ink Spots though I didn’t discover them until later.

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  3. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    This news about Lady R-e-s-p-e-c-t makes me sad, too. So many from that era who were priceless. My Elvis Sings Gospel from early in his career is a big favorite with me, as well as Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison (great on the road music).

    Things are so busy for me right now—yesterday long and productive. Today my new cleaning service arrives—Wahoo.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Both. Canning tomatoes and jam at home—stove blew up and shot sparks. I think it got a suggestion from Sherilee, and that must have caused it. Need new stove which is setting in our entryway awaiting installation. Things at work very busy, too. I am doing a workshop for other therapists this fall on getting a credential I have.. Prepping for that is intense. And, on Sept 3 my mother turns 90. We are having a family party for her.

        Phew.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. My range is still hanging in there. YA said that the electronic display went out the other night when she was baking some cookies, but it was on the next morning and seems to be fine. I figure every day I have with it is just a gift at this point. But no explosions.

          Liked by 3 people

  4. aretha was different
    sam cooke was different
    sam and dave was an eye opener
    they led me to smokey robinson, the supremes
    elvis in the tender moments of r&b was a different beast than bopper elvis
    i was not a motown guy but i sure was an aretha guy

    a great lady from a great time

    Liked by 3 people

  5. In the late Fifties I was obsessed with pop music, and those tunes still trigger a strong response with me. I was a fan of Elvis, Sam Cooke, Buddy Holly, Fats Domino and many others. Then I began listening to black music, mostly r&b. I found a radio station in Little Rock that I could tune in at night. Favorite groups included the Searchers, the Platters and the Coasters, but I also liked rougher musicians like Howlin’ Wolf. I was deeply interested in pop music and would listen to those broadcasts that presented the top hits of the week.

    When I got to college in 1960 I stopped listening to pop music in favor of folk and classical music. I wasn’t paying attention when the British Invasion arrived. But as rock music began to reflect the social unrest of the late Sixties I was listening again, although pop music had to compete with folk and classical music then.

    It seems so odd to me now. Once I was familiar with every pop artist or group. I knew all the hits on the radio. Today the groups seem oddly anonymous and their hits seem strangely similar. Is pop music dull and predictable now? Or is it me, a certifiable geezer?

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    1. Yep, sure sign of geezerdom. I might add, I can relate. I’ve made a concerted effort to listen, really listen, to some of the music currently in vogue, but the charm of it completely eludes me. I made the effort because I didn’t want to turn into my dad, but, alas, either my genes or age have taken their toll, and I’m him.

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      1. I’m afraid you’re right, PJ, and it bugs the hell out of me. When I was a teenager my dad–whom I adored–enjoyed expressing his contempt for the pop music I enjoyed. I decided that old people just couldn’t expand their prejudices to understand contemporary pop music. Hating modern pop music became for me part of the definition of geezerhood. And I swore I’d never become that kind of geezer. Ha! This hurts.

        Liked by 2 people

        1. In fairness to yourself, Steve, your dad was nowhere near your age when expressed his contempt for “your” music. You’ve staved off geezerdom by decades, unless, of course, you started expressing your contempt for Molly’s music when she was in her teens.

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        2. Good point, PJ. My dad’s disdain for rock and rock musicians was part of societal thing. You surely remember news reels showing people burning rock albums. Cultural arbiters like Time magazine printed all kinds of condemnations of rock and rock performers.

          As for my daughter, she and I are uncannily similar in music taste. If she loves a song, she sends it to me, and I do the same for her.

          Liked by 1 person

    2. I don’t remember the exact statistic, but I read recently that over 50% of popular music today is autotuned. The popular music music all sounds similar because it’s been artificially processed. Autotune is for singers who look better than they sound and that about sums up the present state of popular music. Most of the singers popular today would be unrecognizable if you could hear them in their natural state.

      That’s not to say that you have to fall back on the music of your youth. There are plenty of great authentic singers and musicians performing today. They just aren’t the ones promoted in the popular sphere.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Absolutely, that’s true, Bill. There are lots of so-called singer/songwriters that I love to listen to. They eke out a living performing in small venues, even private homes, all over this country and the world, and their music is as vibrant and relevant as ever.

        There are even a few of the “big” names in the popular culture that are incredible talents. I tend to not be terribly impressed by someone who’d call herself Lady Gaga, but I do recognize that she’s a gifted and extremely versatile performer. It’s just hard for me to get past all that glitz, glamour and glorified sex appeal up front. But she is no doubt a formidable talent.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I say that, when someone throws up a screen of bullshit like that, you are under no obligation to look beyond it for vestiges of talent.

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  6. Us kids (or should that be “we kids”?) listened to WLS from Chicago. Somehow we got that signal in northern minnesota. So I’ve got the popular songs from the 60s in my head – the Beatles, “Paint It Black” and “Can’t Get No Satisfaction” by the Rolling Stones, Simon and Garfunkel, “Bus Stop” by the Hollies, “Cherish” by the Association, “Red Rubber Ball” by the Cyrkle, Donovan, “I Go to Pieces” by Peter and Gordon, The Lovin’ Spoonful…the list goes on and on.

    I like listening to this music when I’m doing a cleaning project.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. How do I even begin? Being in the cohort of the older baboons, I think of music from the 50s and 60s as the soundtrack of my youth. Everything from Mahalia Jackson, Miriam Makeba, and Harry Belafonte, to Stan Getz, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and the Beatles. The list goes on an on. Feel almost guilty for not mentioning them all, but you get the drift.

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  8. You guys are making me feel like a spring chicken today. I wasn’t all that old in the sixties and I didn’t come from a big music-loving family. So in the sixties it was the Beatles and The Monkees for me. Paul Revere and the Raiders. Loving Spoonful. Little bit of Jefferson Airplane.

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    1. It is funny how certain periods of one’s life become associated with the music of that time. If I hear Unchained Melody I’m whisked back to my first year of grad school, probably the worst year of my life.

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      1. At elections yesterday, one of the changes for the roster book judge is holding a ‘shield’ over the book so you can’t see the other names. (it was very cumbersome). However it also showed the statement about being over 18 and how it’s a felony to misrepresent yourself by signing the book. I would briefly explain that to the voters and of course I’d always joke if they were over 18. (The little old ladies loved that. I learned from a master.) Most of the people I asked said they had no interest in going back to age 18. Only said immediately said ‘YES!” and one guy said “Yes! For a week! The week of my high school graduation!” Hmm, sounds like a story there.

        Liked by 2 people

  9. Hi Kids–

    I think the Blues Brothers was my first exposure to Aretha. And after that it was only this version of ‘Respect’ that I enjoyed.
    Yeah, I wasn’t old enough to know much music from the ’60’s.
    I remember hearing AM radio as a kid. Tony Orlando and Dawn sticks in my mind. (Please don’t judge me). As I got older it was whatever my older brother was listening too. That was Chicago, Ozark Mountain Daredevils and a Jethro Tull Album, which he says he didn’t like but a friend gave to him.

    The Monkees! I got some of the TV shows on Netflix for daughter to watch. Boy, are they hokey.
    Got her some Partridge Family to watch too. Hate the laugh track.
    It’s kinda funny; those old TV shows are really bad watching them again. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, but here at work I stream Radio Heartland daily. In the car I have XM Radio and I often have the ’40’s station going. Sometimes classic rock, but those 40’s tunes.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. PS: I got tickets for Brandi Carlile at the State Theater end of November.
      She announced 2 shows that sold out in 2 days. Added a third show on 12/1 that sold I think sold out just as fast.

      Liked by 4 people

  10. 15 year old grand daughter listens to all the girl pop singers. Never real hear it though, on ear phones. 13 year old grandson does not listen to music.
    PJ listed some pop music of the 50s that I was not thinking about. Yes, some of that was fine, was routine on KDAL. WEBC was the rock station of the era. My friends listened to it. I tried to listen. Would pick up Chicago in clear channel playing folk and classical, although my real bite into classical came in Chicago at the U of C.
    I am surprised some you name as 60s music. Aretha was back that far? Huh. From 65 on my radio was CCO. Sandy had some jazz and clsssical records that we played. Have tried often to like Jazz. Lee Karen – do I have the name right – played and talked jazz well, but that was in the late 70s. I let the annual staff play they music at work nights. Not too loud, but they did not want it loud. So I like rock of the 70s and 80s more than earlier. The stuff the kids played seemed to have more character to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There was Leigh Kamman on MPR way back when. I like some jazz too.
      There used to be Jazz late on Friday nights and then Leigh’s program from, what, 10PM – 3AM or something.
      First they dropped Fridays. Then Leigh got cut to 10 -12. Then they cut it all together.
      When I’m in the cities I try to listen to 88.5 as they do jazz. And a lot of commercials and sponsorships. But they do traffic too and that’s helpful.

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    2. I used to occasionally listen to Leigh Kamman, especially driving late at night. I enjoyed his music, but he was such a windbag, he made me laugh. He could never just say, “Duke Ellington”, it was always (pause) “Edward Kennedy Ellington”.

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      1. Ooh, I loved Leigh Kamman’s voice and delivery. So smooth and soothing, and he had such an in-depth knowledge of the music and the musicians he played. I can still hear Alice Babs’ soaring voice during the intro to the program. Had the pleasure of sitting next to Leigh Kamman on an MPR-sponsored bus trip to St. Joseph in celebration of some MPR anniversary years ago; a real gentleman. A current blues artist I really enjoy is Keb’ Mo’.

        Liked by 2 people

  11. The inescapable music around here is country, performed I understand by people who are about as real country as Pawlenty in a fresh out of the package checked shirt in a farm field. That was my enduring image of Timmy Boy before his racist ads, he standing talking to farmers. You would think they could at least have washed that shirt a few times before they shot the ad.

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      1. Went to Savers today for some ‘Back to School’ shirts. Thinking of doing what I did last year of making them the shortest possible definition of ‘Sleeves’. But I also bought a couple specifically so I can take the colorful sleeves off them and put them on a different shirt. Like Cam from Modern Family. Except shorter.
        (I can’t find any images of Cam’s shirts. Cam wears very nice shirts except the collar and cuffs are different from the body of the shirt. So i want to try that except w/ just short sleeves. I might be able to sew just enough to accomplish this… and it’s more fun than working.)

        Liked by 3 people

        1. I used to know a guy that would wear two identical shirts, one on top of the other. Only in the winter, of course. Subtler than swapping sleeves.

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  12. My claim to fame to day is that I got to see Aretha in 1971 at Fillmore West in San Francisco. Wish I’d known more to appreciate her then – I was heavy into the folk scene in the late 60s (Peter Paul & Mary, S&G, Joan Baez, Judy Collins, Joni Mitchell) and didn’t find jazz and R&B, till later on. There are also splashes of the pop music several of you have mentioned, plus Broadway stuff like West Side Story.

    Fun day on the Trail…

    Liked by 3 people

  13. OT – Krista has seven 2XL (but she claims they run very small for a size 2XL) MPR T-shirts that she’s trying to give away. It’s a long story, but they are free. They are light sea green and say “I Listen” on the front. In back it says “listener supported Minnesota Public Radio. If anyone here is interested in receiving one, let me know. She’ll ship them to me and I’ll see to it that they get to you. Trying to save her a lot of trips to the post office and a lot postage. I’ll be sending her a check for the postage.

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  14. Aretha is without peer.

    I was in a grocery store today and heard the Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Summer in the City” followed by Queen’s “Somebody To Love”. Doesn’t get much better than that.

    Liked by 2 people

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