Posts tagged aretha franklin
…prettiest moment was when Franklin sat at the Baby Grand and accompanied herself to the Simon & Garfunkel classic “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” Franklin’s piano work was bluesy and her vocals had a gospel-rave quality to them that would have made Art and Paul jealous.
…I never wanted to be up front, I was always happy being the backing singer. I sang for so many…like Aretha Franklin, Mary J Blige and Mariah Carey. It was unreal but great…I would have been the highest paid backing singer at the time because of the reputation I had built and the passion I had for it. Mariah called me back to tour with her on several occasions whilst I was working on other projects—I mean, I also wrote music, and so it got to a point where so many people around me were constantly trying to tell me and encourage me to go forward for myself and sing my own songs.
more from Kelly Price.
Tawatha Agee, lead vocalist for Mtume, is one of the most prolific background singers/arrangers—for Aretha Franklin, Sting, Carly Simon, Stephanie Mills, Beyoncé, Dionne Warwick, Ray Charles, Luther Vandross, Lenny Kravitz, Celine Dion, Leona Lewis, and more—in the music business.
“I had some of the best years of my career during that era. My writers—Chuck Jackson and Marvin Yancy—had their finger on a pulse…you just couldn’t stop them! They were writing music that had sophistication, and yet had the undercurrent of good old R&B…when I met them…they were looking for an Aretha Franklin—and they got a Natalie Cole! I’d never even SUNG that kind of music before! I’d been singing rock & roll, pop…And they came along and totally changed my musical world! To where we became really the leaders in R&B for a good, I’d say, five/six years. No one could TOUCH us! That cool combination of the R&B rhythm with the strings on top became the new sound that started to influence other artists’ work too. I mean, before we did ‘Mr. Melody’, whoever heard of scatting it the middle of an R&B song?! We had no rules. We had no boundaries. We were loving every minute of it… Plus we were great FRIENDS…we rode a great, great cloud. And through it we influenced so many other singers/writers/musicians/arrangers to explore and to expand, and to help make R&B what it went on to become.”
“ I was in love with Doris Day. I loved to watch Lena Horne and listen to her…I was a huge fan of Minnie Riperton, and Earth, Wind & Fire, and Diana Ross and the Supremes, Aretha Franklin… Then I loved classical music. I loved jazz, too—Dakota Staton and Nancy Wilson, Ed Townsend and I still to this day love Little Jimmy Scott…I listen just across the board…”
June Deniece Chandler aka Deniece Williams
In 1964, the Beatles shifted culture with “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” the Civil Rights Act passed, but…Byron De La Beckwith got off twice for the murder of Medgar Evers. The same year Aretha Franklin wrote and recorded “I’ll Keep on Smiling,” one of the most overlooked songs in her canon, a stunning, pissed-off ode to empowerment — foreshadowing her career-defining “Respect” three years down the road…
My influences were a lot of different kinds of people, but mostly Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway, Aretha Franklin, Barbra Streisand—I love the purity of her sound, the way she used words. That’s what I love about Roberta—the way she infused jazz and classical into R&B and blues and she used the words. It all paid off in the end…
more from Oleta Adams.