Duane Allman and Aretha in the studio
Aretha Franklin, throughout her career, recorded with stellar jazz and rock musicians. From 1967, when she began her phenomenal run of hit R&B singles on Atlantic Records under producer and Atlantic VP Jerry Wexler, through 1969, she had three memorable moments with equally memorable guitarists, two of whom became iconic in their own right.
Aretha Franklin, who died today at 76 after on-off health issues, was descended from musical royalty that determined the direction of her life. Though born in Memphis, daughter of Mississippi Delta-born Reverend C. L. Franklin, she made her name in Detroit, where her father became a per-eminent African-American preacher and social activist, his sermons so charismatic some were released on record. Realizing his daughter's talents, he supported her desire to sing, so much so that she made her first gospel album at 14, for JVB Records, the same label that released his own sermons.
It's impossible to hit everyone's favorites here, so I've tried to honor history with some memorable live performances.
My survey of the productions of Rick Hall, creator of the Muscle Shoals, Alabama recording scene with his Fame Studios, scene of countless hit records from 1962 on. Hall died of prostate cancer on January 2.
Pittsburgh jazz legend George Benson in 1975 would be making his move into the mainstream with his 1976 hit "Breezin'," when he took time for a special project. On September 10, 1975 he was in Chicago to participate in the taping of a two-part PBS tribute to retiring Columbia Records executive and producer John Hammond.