canada.gif

gb.gif

de.gif

us.gif
Neil Young's new album "Roxy - Tonight's the Night Live" is now available for pre-order. Order here
(Please shop locally & independently. But if you can't, we appreciate your supporting Thrasher's Wheat by clicking this link . Thank you!!!)
ADVERTISEMENT
<-Older Posts Blog Home Newer Posts->

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Aretha Franklin: An Appreciation

Aretha Franklin: 1942 - 2018

Aretha Franklin -- "Queen of Soul" -- passed away this week.

Here's an appreciation by Jim McKelvey.


Aretha Franklin: An Appreciation

Have been thinking all week about that fifteen minute interview I was given with the Queen Of Soul, Aretha Franklin, that lasted three and a half hours. Interviewing everyone involved in her music career from the gospel days to Columbia Records to Atlantic Records on to Arista was just a thrill
over an entire year before I was given the chance to talk to Aretha.

As many people who know me realize I'm sort of a junkyard dog when I get a good idea and follow it to the end. Must have been turned down twenty times, over the course of the year to interview Aretha, and it got to the point where I had interviewed her entire immediate family at length.

As I was driving down I-96 on the way to her secret apartment, near Cobo Hall, I decided I needed a gift and pulled off the expressway taking the next exit. There was a very nice wine shop right off the exit and I went in to find the manager of the store stocking the shelves just after lunch. Told him I had an interview in thirty minutes with Aretha and needed a sort of gift to break the tension of an interview.

Really not sure if this was a synchronicity or if a guardian angel stepped right into my life to help but it was magical.

"Wow, did you come to the right place! You aren't going to believe this but if you look to your right on the wall there that is a picture of Aretha standing right at the counter where you are last week. I know exactly what she wants and I'll put it in the same fancy bag I gave her with the Godiva
chocolates she really likes," the manager told me. "You are going to be in like Flint with her today my friend."

So when Aretha met me at the door of her apartment we stood there for a few minutes and I told her the story before even entering. Then she lifted her arm to show me that the hair on her arm was standing on end and she told me she had goosebumps. She hated interviews, as everyone knew, but she said something to the effect that she felt like that was a sign this was going to be alright.

Traci Jordan was her publicist from Clive Davis' Arista Records and she sat in the corner about twenty feet away from where we conducted the interview on my dear friend David Brogran's Walkman Pro tape recorder (with some great stereo mics). So every fifteen minutes for over three hours Ms. Jordan would say "wrap it up, it has been fifteen minutes," and each time Aretha would wave her off.

After I filled two ninety minute Maxell XLII tapes Aretha turned the tables on me and started asking me questions about what I thought of her singing a duet with Dolly Parton and how she had passed her fear of flying class at Metro Detroit's airport but just didn't want to tour that way anymore. The
final test for Aretha was to go down the runway and reach one hundred and twenty-five miles an hour where the plane becomes airborne. She loved performing but like most musicians it was the touring that took it right out of you.

One suggestion I had was to buy a club in downtown Detroit and just play there. If you can't go to the people have the people come to you I told Aretha. Have heard she had done something like that recently but not sure how far she got.

We really bonded that day back in 1987 and I'm getting misty eyed just thinking about it. It honestly feels like a family member died today for me, RIP dear Aretha and boy does the choir in heaven have a soloist now. What a family reunion she is having right now. Honestly, I feel like she has just shed her mortal body to let her eternal everlasting body out and what a powerful soul returns to source this day.

Will never forget the personnel invitation I got from her to attend her three day recording session at her father's church that she produced herself and that duet she did that evening with Mavis Staples, wow! She made sure I had a reserved spot right up front not ten feet away from where she sang all three nights.

That invitation from Aretha and later a telegram out of the blue from B.B. King to attend an all day Jackson Prison "two show concert" I sure wish I would have saved. Clearly, not a very good archivist but do have a pristine recording with Aretha I just transferred to digital.

Thanks Jim for the fine appreciation of Aretha.

What a remarkable story and we hope your interview finds the wider audience and r-e-s-p-e-c-t it deserves.


Links to this post:

Create a Link

2 Comments:

At 8/19/2018 07:53:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

Great story and a great loss. She’s now with the angels and is released from the physical and has returned home at last. Thank you sweet angel for sharing your beautiful gift with the world. We will miss you for now but we shall all be together again someday.

 
At 8/20/2018 10:27:00 AM, Blogger Paul Dionne said...

Jim, that is such an excellent experience - paul dionne

 

Post a Comment

<< Home

<-Older Posts Blog Home Newer Posts->

Willie for a Nobel!

Willie Nelson for Nobel Peace Prize
for Farm Aid and his work on
alternative fuels, and world peace initiatives.


Demand justice for Aaron:
Support "Aaron's Law" and inquiry into his prosecution


Induct Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame



Please Help Support Independent Media &
Non-Corporate Advertising
This Blog's For You!


The Hypocrisy of the Mainstream Media

It's Been Called The
"Missing Link" in the Ditch Trilogy

time-fades-away-banner2a

Sign the Release "Time Fades Away" Petition
Join The 10,000+ Who Have Already Signed


broken-arrow-mag-new-logo.gif

Neil Young Appreciation Society


sugar-mtn-logo.jpg
Sugar Mountain

Neil Young Setlists
rust-radio-new
Rust Radio


bumpersticker-neil-concert.jpg


i-l-ove-neil-young-sm.jpg
Bands Covering Neil Young songs


bumper-sticker-live-music-better-sm.jpg


ny-times-logo.jpg
Official Neil Young News Site

bridgeschool_logo
The Bridge School


The Bridge School Concerts
25th Anniversary Edition

**100% of Proceeds to Benefit Bridge School***

farm-aid-logo.gif
Farm Aid

Stop factory farms
Go family farms!

linda-eastman-neil-young-sugar-mtn-sm.jpg
The Essential Neil Young

neil-young-sleeveless.jpg
Fans Favorite Neil Albums

neil-young-heart-of-gold-film-still
Top 50 MP3
Neil Young Song Downloads


Top 10 Best Selling Neil Albums Today
amazon-neil-store.GIF
Support Thrasher's Wheat
via Purchases from:
United States - Amazon.com us.gif
Canada - Amazon.ca canada.gif
United Kingdom - Amazon.uk gb.gif
Germany - Amazon.de de.gif



Neil Young Songbook Project

Neil Young + Promise of the Real

Europe 2016 Tour Dates



2015 Rebel Content Tour


Neil Young & Crazy Horse
Alchemy Concert Tour Reviews

Fall 2012 N. America Tour
Spring 2013 Australia/New Zealand Tour
Summer 2013 Europe Tour

Europe Summer 2014 Concert Tour
Neil Young & Crazy Horse

Thrasher's Wheat Radio Supporters Go To Europe

jttp-film-poster-sm.jpg
Neil Young Films

musicares-neil-young-2010.jpg
2010 MusiCares Honors Neil Young

Features Elvis Costello, Crosby Stills & Nash, Sheryl Crow, Josh Groban, Ben Harper, Elton John, Norah Jones, Lady Antebellum, Dave Matthews, James Taylor, Keith Urban, and others.
Proceeds from sales go to MusiCares,
which helps musicians in need of
financial and medical assistance.

live-rust-promo-poster.jpg


trans-promo



Neil Young FAQ:
Everything Left to Know About the Iconic and Mercurial Rocker
"an indispensable reference"

paul-neil-bridge2004-sat-sfc-kkomenich-sm.jpg
Paul McCartney and Neil Young

woodstock-poster.jpg


"You can make a difference
If you really a try"

lennon_peace_liberty
John Lennon and Neil Young


"hailed by fans as a wonderful read"

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young:
csny-1974-poster.jpg
The Supergroup of the 20th Century



Director Jonathan Demme's Exquisite film "Heart of Gold"

eddie & neil
Eddie Vedder and Neil Young

buffalo-springfield-poster.jpg
Revisiting The Significance of
The Buffalo Springfield


"The revolution will not be televised"
... it will be blogged, streamed,
tweeted, shared and liked
The Embarrassment of Mainstream Media

Turn Off Your TV



Neil Young 2016 Year in Review:
The Year of The Wheat

Kurt Cobain
Kurt Cobain and Neil Young

Neil Young's Feedback:
An Acquired Taste?

Young Neil: The Sugar Mountain Years
by Rustie Sharry "Keepin' Jive Alive in T.O." Wilson

"the definitive source of Neil Young's formative childhood years in Canada"

neil & joni
Joni Mitchell & Neil Young

europe 1987.jpg


dylan-young-crop
Bob and Neil

weld
So Who Really Was "The Godfather of Grunge"?


Four Dead in Ohio
kent state
So What Really Happened at Kent State?

concert-pass-europe-2003-solo.jpg


dissent is not treason
Dissent is the highest form of patriotism

Rockin' In The Free World

Sing Truth to Power

emmylou-harris-neil-young-0305-crop
Emmylou Harris and Neil Young

wilco-062305-wide-background.jpg
Wilco and Neil Young

bluenotes-pass-young88crewlam-sm.jpg

bruce-springsteen-neil-young-bridge-oct-1986.jpg
Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young

europe87concertpass


elton-john-neil-young-crop-sm.jpg
Elton John and Neil Young

ronnie-vanzant-neil.jpg
Lynyrd Skynyrd and Neil Young


Neil Young Nation -
"The definitive Neil Young fan book"

powderfinger
"Powderfinger"
What does the song mean?

Random Neil Young Link of the Moment
neil-sad.jpg

Bonnie Raitt and Neil Young

Wisconsin-solidarity.jpg
I'm Proud to Be A Union Man

UNITED WE STAND/DIVIDED WE FALL


When Neil Young is Playing,
You Shut the Fuck Up


Class War:
They Started It and We'll Finish It...
peacefully

A battle raged on the open page...
No Fear, No Surrender. Courage WE WON'T BACK DOWN. NEVER STAND DOWN.

"What if Al Qaeda blew up the levees?"


"I've Got The Revolution Blues"

Willie Nelson & Neil Young
Willie Nelson for Nobel Peace Prize



John Mellencamp:
Why Willie Deserves a Nobel

willie_picnic_poster_070503



Love and Only Love

"Thinking about what a friend had said,
I was hoping it was a lie"


We're All On
A Journey Through the Past

Neil Young's Moon Songs
Tell Us The F'n TRUTH
(we can handle it... try us)

Freedom:
freedom-video
Does Anything Else Really Matter?

"Nobody's free until everybody's free."
~~ Fannie Lou Hamer

Here Comes "The Big Shift"

Maybe everything you think you know is wrong? NOTHING IS AS IT SEEMS
"It's all illusion anyway."

Propaganda = Mind Control
NOTHING IS AS IT SEEMS
Guess what?
"Symbols Rule the World, not Words or Laws."
Brighter Planet's 350 Challenge
Be The Rain, Be The Change

csny2k-plate.jpg
the truth will set you free
This Machine Kills Fascists


war is not the answer
yet we are
Still Living With War

"greed is NOT good"
Occupy the Music

Hey Big Brother!
Stop Spying On Us!
Civic Duty Is Not Terrorism

The Achilles Heel
#NullifyNSA
Orwell (and Grandpa) Was Right
“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery.”
~~ Bob Marley

The Essence of "The Doubters"



Yes, There's Definitely A Hole in The Sky


Even Though The Music Died 50+ Years Ago
,
Open Up the "Tired Eyes" & Wake up!
"consciousness is near"
What's So Funny About
Peace, Love, & Understanding & Music?


churchsign


Share

Words

(Between the lines of age)

And in the end, the love you take
Is equal to the love you make

~~ John & Paul


Namaste