Aretha Franklin

Aretha Franklin 2009
For anyone who was alive in the 1960’s, all anyone has to say is the o­ne word “respect,” and it immediately transports them back to a time when music made sense. No other music has created so many memories or influenced so many people. Greats such as Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye and James Brown, to name just a few started it. They were the beginning of a whole new wave of sound that was unmatched, unparalleled, and unequalled to this day.

Most of these legends came from the South, which has a history of producing of soul super-stardom. A majority of these great musicians and singers grew up with the whole family performing gospel in their churches. They all have something in common. Most lived tragic lives fraught with turmoil and most died young. Some were murdered, several died in airplane crashes, and some simply gave up and died of a broken heart, such as o­ne member of the great Supremes.

Aretha Franklin honored with medal of freedom
All were geniuses and still continue to influence our lives through their haunting music. Whether young or old, there are not many who cannot stop themselves from singing along with Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, or still feel slightly melancholy when “Tears of a Clown” comes o­n the radio.

The point is, these great soul artists and their songs are still relevant today, and will be tomorrow. So many people were affected by “Signed, Sealed, Delivered”, or the beautiful “My Girl”. Who has never danced to that o­ne? Never again will the world experience the passion that these artists had for their craft.

They were too good for this world and were far ahead of their time. We will forever continue to celebrate their lives, as well as their music.