Leonard Bernstein – Rhapsody In Blue & An American In Paris (1959)

LPFrontCover1Because George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue is one of the most beloved American masterpieces, most people who have taken an interest in his music have come to know it quite well and have usually adopted a favorite recording already. Thanks to Sony, its Great Performances series now includes a classic that many will remember vividly — due in great part to its iconic cover photograph — and which some will recall fondly as their first introduction to Gershwin’s entertaining work. Among American performers who made a splash playing this piece, Leonard Bernstein may not have given the most fastidious, note-perfect performance, but he made this impressive recording with the Columbia Symphony Orchestra in 1959 a true reflection of his charismatic, flamboyant personality. Paired with his buoyant 1958 performance of An American in Paris with the New York Philharmonic, Bernstein’s rendition of Rhapsody is lively, flashy, bluesy, and intensely romantic in feeling, and these positive characteristics no doubt contributed to keeping this album in print for many years as one of Columbia’s great successes. (by Blair Sanderson)

Leonard Bernstein’s recording is a disc for the ages. It’s American music performed with mid-century flair, a moment never to be recaptured. Bernstein had the feel for Rhapsody In Blue, and he does full justice to the still racy and spontaneous score. His performance of the piano solo has a smoky, sultry jazziness to it, along with a brash exuberance; there is touching tenderness in the lullaby, riveting dynamism in the fast pages. (b analogspark.com)

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Personnel:
Leonard Bernstein (piano)
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The Columbia Symphony Orchestra (on 01.)
New York Philharmonic (on 02,)

conducted by Leonard Bernstein

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Tracklist:
01. A Rhapsody In Blue 16.29
02. An American In Paris 18.27
03. Allegro 12.56
03. Andante con moto 12.44
04. Allegro agitato 6.30

Composed by George Gershwin

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Aretha Franklin – Songs Of Faith (1956)

LPFrontCover1Songs of Faith is the debut studio album by American singer Aretha Franklin, Released in 1956 by J.V.B./Battle Records. The album was recorded live when Franklin was aged 14 at New Bethel Baptist Church, the church of her father Reverend C. L. Franklin.

The album was originally issued on JVB LP 100 and Battle LP 6105. It is always known on Checker Records as Checker LPS-10009. Songs of Faith has been reissued many times under various names. It is known also as The Gospel Soul of Aretha Franklin, Aretha’s Gospel, Precious Lord, You Grow Closer, Never Grow Old, and The First Album. (by wikipedia)

Franklin's birthplace

Aretha Franklin’s birthplace, 406 Lucy Avenue, Memphis, Tennessee

One of the key voices in the R&B world, Aretha Franklin has enjoyed a six decade reign as the Queen of Soul. Her hits include some of the most iconic songs of the era, including such classics as Respect, Until You Come Back To Me and Think. Like many of her peers, Arethas career began in the church, and it is this period of her career that is the subject of this album. With the aid of local Detroit record label JVB, primitive and basic recording equipment was installed into the New Bethel Baptist Church where her father was minister. Nine tracks were recorded, featuring Aretha on vocals and piano accompaniment, with others in the congregation offering words of encouragement during the course of the recording. The historical and captivating performance is featured here in all its glory.

Taped live when the singer was 14, the noise of the congregation clearly audible over her voice and piano, Aretha Franklin’s debut album, Songs of Faith, remains a genuinely haunting, faintly eerie doc. ument of at least one side of life in her father’s New Bethel Baptist church. (by theguardian.com)

Listen … and you´ll know and understand, why Aretha Franklin was one of the finest singers in her time.

Beautiful gospel singing and piano from this 14-year-old superstar. (by Opal Nations)

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Aretha Franklin with choreographer Cholly Atkins

Personnel:
Aretha Franklin (vocals, piano)
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unknown background choir

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Tracklist:
01. There Is A Fountain Filled With Blood (Cowper) 4.26
02. Precious Lord (Part One) (Dorsey) 3.23
03. Precious Lord (Part Two) (Dorsey) 2.51
04. You Grow Closer (Traditional) 2.43
05. Never Grow Old (Traditional) 2.55
06. The Day Is Past And Gone (Traditional) 4.57
07. He Will Wash You White As Snow (Traditional) 4.18
08. While The Blood Runs Warm (Traditional) 3.03
09. Yield Not To Temptation (Traditional) 2.56

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Levitt & McClure – Living In The Country (1969)

FrontCover1.jpgDan Levitt (a later guitarist of The Beau Brummels) and Marc McClure (of Joyous Noise) worked hand in glove and released this distinguished folk & country rock album in 1969.
Produced by Ron Elliott who also contributed a couple of songs to the album.

Dan Levitt and Marc McClure were a bluegrassy duo from Encino, California who got on the radar of producer Ron Elliott, who was in the thick of the LA music scene. This album, which was recorded in August, 1969, is mostly original material, including a few songs written or co-written by producer Ron Elliott, as well as some covers of folkie stuff from Bob Dylan and Pete Seeger. Marc McClure also recorded a solo album for Capitol a few years later.

And here the original liner-notes:

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Guitarist Mark McClure and bassist Dan Levitt (who also sang some vocal harmonies) had done an obscure album of their own for Warner Brothers in 1969 as Levitt & McClure, Living in the Country, on which Elliott produced and wrote a few songs. (by Ritchie Unterberger)

One of the best albums I have experienced in my 68 years. First heard it in 1969 on “Jelly Pudding” (WEBN-FM) in Cincinnati when I was a college student at Miami U. Bought the LP right away. What a masterpiece this is. Wonderful listening to this day. An unknown classic. (by Bob Keesecker)

This album sounds like songs from a forgotten and lost paradise …

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Personnel:
Dan Levitt (guitar, banjo, vocals)
Marc McClure (guitar, vocals)

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Tracklist:
01. With You (Levitt*/McClure) 1.59
02. Wilderness Of You (Levitt) 3.10
03. Spiteful Love (McClure) 3.30
04. Paradise (Engle/Elliott) 4.40
05. Reflections (Levitt) 2.46
06. Tomorrow Is A Long Time (Dylan) 3.22
07. Living In The Country (Seeger) 2.41
08. Ginny Black (Levitt/McClure) 3.22
09. Cripple Creek (Levitt/McClure) 3.36
10. Empty Boxes (Elliott) 2.43
11. Farewell To Sally Brown (Downey/Elliott) 6.53

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Walter Wanderley – Feito Sob Medida (1959)

FrontCover1.jpgWalter Wanderley was a talented and gifted organist with an acute ear for new harmonies. With 46 recorded solo albums in his entire career, both in Brazil and the U.S., he reached number 26 on the Billboard pop charts in September 1966, opening a large pathway of success only menaced by himself and his complex character. Ten years after his death from cancer, with a new fad coming, he was repackaged by the entertainment industry as a mere lounge player, carrying his record sales even further and sending the cost of his out-of-print albums to the stratosphere, but all at the cost of minimizing his significance. It is forgotten that the time lag worked against him and what today is lounge music was then innovative and revolutionary. With all those fans of samba-canção divas feeling personally insulted by those percussive rhythms reminiscent of a Brazilian black tradition that was not dear to the average Brazilian, it has to be stressed that the bossa nova movement, and Wanderley within it, had the role of affirming Brazilian identity in a broader cultural industry which was developed out of the folkloric redoubts. In fact, he also has an upbeat production full of that energy provided by his distinctive staccato Walter Wanderley01.jpgstuttering style, immediately reminiscent of authentic Brazilian rhythmic and percussive impetus. He also improvised extended melodic solos without reheated licks, but that was obviously also left out of his most popular albums.

At five, he was already playing the piano. At 12, he attended the Licee of Arts for a year of theory classes, later studying harmony and arranging. Beginning his professional career while still in Recife, a most lively city with a vibrant cultural life, he worked every night either at the piano or at the organ. At 26, in 1958, he moved to São Paulo and immediately became an active player in nightclubs such as the Claridge, the Captain’s Bar, and Oásis. Wanderley’s first recording was in August 1959 for Odeon, with Carlos Lyra’s “Lobo Bobo.” Backing his wife, Brazilian singer Isaurinha Garcia (with whom he had a daughter, Monica), he recorded for the second time one month later. At that time, he was Garcia’s accompanist and arranger. (by Alvaro Neder)

And here´s a pretty fine example of his gifted talent … a great mix between jazz and easy listening …

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Personnel:
Walter Wanderley (organ)
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a bunch of unknown studio musicians

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Tracklist:
01. Este Seu Olhar (Jobim) 2.21
02. Lamento (Ferrcira/Antonio) 3.12
03. Lobo Bobo (Lyra/Boscoli) 1.58
04. Siete Notas de Amor (Alvarado) 1.59
05. El Reloj (Cantoral) 2.42
06. Hô-Bá-Lá-Lá (Gilberto) 2.47
07. The Diary (Sedeka/Greenfield) 2.29
08. Stupid Cupid (Sedeka/Greenfield) 2.21
09. My Heart Sings (Ma Mie) (Rome/Jamplan/Herpin) 2.04
10. Adios (Madriguera) 2.40
11. Quizás, Quizás, Quizás (Farres) 2.28
12. Perfidia (Dominquez) 2.26

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Tracy Chapman – Matters Of The Heart (1992)

FrontCover1.jpgMatters of the Heart is the third album by American singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman, released in 1992. It was her first not to be produced or co-produced by David Kershenbaum. (by wikipedia)

Any serious-minded artist who calls an album Matters of the Heart would normally be asking for trouble — titles like that are generally reserved for Valerie Bertinelli TV movies. For Tracy Chapman, though, a little bit of maudlin goes a long way. Chapman’s astonishing 1988 debut, Tracy Chapman, is still a pinnacle of singer-songwriter craft — assured and determined, its songs rooted in the folk narrative tradition yet adding a modern edge. (”Behind the Wall” not only predated the topic of Public Enemy’s antiauthoritarian ”911 Is a Joke,” but did it with a field-holler melody.) Yet on its follow-up, Crossroads (1989), Chapman mostly whined about being reduced to ”a white man’s drone” in the ”material world.” Even Sean Penn handled success better than that.

Chapman’s internal debate about whether or not she has ”sold out” continues a little on Matters of the Heart. (”I Used to Be a Sailor” — about a seaman stranded on an island without any means of escape — is clearly a price-of- success metaphor.) Yet the album breathes easier, both in its lyrics and its music. Chapman seems more reconciled to balancing her public life with her private one, and she sounds a lot more human as a result. ”Here I sit, I’m feeling sorry for myself,” she sings at one point, adding with the slightest hint of self-deprecating humor, ”It’s quite a sight.”

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The songs are stronger than those on Crossroads, whether Chapman is offering consolation to a friend or lover in ”Open Arms” or pondering guns in the ghetto in ”Bang Bang Bang.” With coproducer Jimmy Iovine, she also continues to master the art of folk-pop that’s fully produced, yet still sparse and airy. There are plenty of instruments on each track, but you’d never know it. Everything is centered on her voice (which sounds much warmer than it did on Crossroads), a strummed guitar or two, and light percussion. The music glides along, with a few inventive extra touches like the swooping electric guitar of Living Colour’s Vernon Reid gently insinuating itself into ”Bang Bang Bang.”

The album’s centerpiece is its remarkable seven-minute title song, which finds Chapman bluntly picking over an obsessive love affair that has left her both confused and enlightened. The taut musical accents — congas nipping at each verse — add masterfully to the tension of Chapman spitting out lyrics like ”I’ve made myself sick/I can’t think of anything else/I can’t sleep at night.” The performance makes the onslaught of bland male and female singer-songwriters who have followed in her wake sound truly wimpy.

With her humorless delivery, Chapman can still make Leonard Cohen sound like the life of the party. And she remains the epitome of political correctness: Singing about women’s rights, corporate fat cats, and the lack of ”clean air to breathe/Pure water to drink of,” she could forge a second career as a Democratic presidential contender. Those sentiments may be liberal clichés, but that doesn’t make them any less noble. In the end, Chapman still wants to be someone, be someone — only a slightly better someone in an improved world. On Matters of the Heart, she’s back on track toward that goal. (by David Browne)

This one of the finest albums I´ve ever heard … A real tresure … a real hightlight in the history of recorded music !

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Personnel:
Roy Bittan (keyboards, accordion on 05.)
Mike Campbell (guitar, bouzouki on 02., mandolin on 03. + 05.)
Tracy Chapman (acoustic guitar, vocals)
Mino Cinelu (percussion)
Manu Katché (drums)
Tony Levin (bass)
Steve Thornton (percussion)
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Alejandro “Alex” Acuña (percussion on 08. + 09.)
Michael Fisher (percussion on 05., 06. + 09.)
Bob Glaub (bass on 04.)
Omar Hakim (drums on 06.)
Nellee Hooper (percussion on 09.)
Randy “The Emperor” Jackson (bass on 01., 08. + 09.)
Charles Judge (keyboards on 09.)
Larry Klein (bass on 06.)
Vernon Reid (guitar on 01., 07. + 08.)
Waddy Wachtel (guitar on 01. + 06.)
Larry Williams (keyboards on 09.)
Bobby Womack (guitar on 09.)

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Tracklist:
01.Bang Bang Bang 4.21
02. So 3.26
03. I Used To Be A Sailor 3.56
04. The Love That You Had 4.11
05. Woman’s Work 2.01
06. If These Are The Things 4.40
07. Short Supply (Jigten; For Richmond) 4.23
08. Dreaming On A World 5.03
09. Open Arms 4.34
10. Matters Of The Heart 6.59

All songs written by Tracy Chapman

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Ekseption – Same (Classic In Pop) (1969)

FrontCover1.jpgEkseption was a Dutch rock band active from 1967 to 1989, playing mostly-instrumental progressive rock and classical rock. The central character in the changing roster, and the only band member present on every album, was conservatory-trained trumpeter Rein van den Broek (10 September 1945 – 11 May 2015). The band knew some commercial success in the 1970s, having Dutch top ten hit singles with their adaptations of Beethoven’s “Fifth” and Bach’s (Celebrated) “Air.” The second album, “Beggar Julia’s time trip” (1969), won the Dutch Edison Award for album of the year, and the first five albums all went gold.

Ekseption grew out of the high-school band The Jokers, which van den Broek formed in 1958. They changed their name to The Incrowd (after the Ramsey Lewis song) before discovering that name was already taken. Finally they settled on the name Ekseption in 1967. The group played jazz, pop and R&B covers, but in 1969, shortly after keyboardist Rick van der Linden joined, they were impressed by a gig of The Nice, and van der Linden decided to concentrate on producing classical rock, modern re-interpretations of classical works for rock band. Most of their subsequent albums contain both original songs and re-interpreted classical pieces.

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It quickly became evident that van der Linden had assumed leadership of the group, and in a 1972 press release interview accompanying advance copies of the album Ekseption 5 he openly said so. After 1973’s Trinity album he was asked to leave the group by his bandmates, and in the fall of that year he formed a new group Trace, during which time he was replaced by Dutch keyboardist Hans Jansen. Jansen took Ekseption in a jazzier direction, with two LPs of original compositions, but lackluster sales caused the band to break up in 1976. An offshoot band, named Spin, formed later that year and released two more albums, but success also eluded them.[2] In 1978 Trace and Spin merged to become Ekseption once again. Periodic reunions (with new members) appeared until van der Linden’s death in 2006. (by wikipedia)

And here´s their debut album from 1969:

“Ekseption’s idea to record well-known classical themes started in 1968, when the group visited a concert of a British group called The Nice. The six boys were impressed by the way The Nice mixed pop and classical music.
A few weeks after the concert Ekseption was invited to play with one of the finest symphony orchestras in Holland – the North Holland Philharmonic – at a big festival in Haarlem.
The obvious man with Ekseption to handle this project was 22 year old pianist Rick van der Linden, who is also one the promising young classical pianists in Holland. Rick, who finished Conservatory and has played piano recitals with well-known orchestras, started to arrange several classical themes for the festival.
Some weeks before the event, however, Ekseption was told that the orchestra refused to perform with a pop group. That part of the festival was cancelled, but Ekseption stuck to the idea and decided to use the arrangement of Beethoven’s “The 5th” for their new record.
“The 5th” was an instant smash hit and stayed for seven weeks in the national Top Ten. This LP was the result of requests for more ‘classical pop’ from Ekseption’s many fans.” (taken from the original liner notes)

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This was their first album, which consisted of covers of classical (which they were best known for), one original, and more. They do a cover of Beethoven’s “Fifth Symphony”, entitled “The 5th”, which actually became a hit. This is basically a rock version of the famous Beethoven composition, with organ, guitar, bass, drums, and horns. The song starts off with the famous symphony version (sounds like a recording sampled from a real symphony orchestra), but then quickly changes to a rock version. They do a cover of JETHRO TULL’s “Dharma For One”, which is quite a bit tamer than the original, not so aggressive. They even include the proper, Ian Anderson-like flute where needed (just like the original). “Little X-Plus” is a band original, and a nice piece with some jazz influence and nice use of flute. “Ritual Fire Dance” is a nice number complete with horns, some ’60s sounding guitar. They also cover George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue”, which is truly the album’s high point. There’s also Bach’s “Air on G String”, which is the song that PROCOL HARUM borrowed for their hit “A Whiter Shade of Pale”. This of course, is the Bach composition done EKSEPTION style, with harspichord from Rick van der Linden, and horns, and you won’t mistake this for Procol Harum.

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EKSEPTION is one of those bands that don’t have much middle ground, you either dig the band or you don’t. It all depends how much you like the idea of a band “rocking the classics”. I still think this is much better than what Apollo 100 done (Apollo 100 was a British group who gave us the hit “Joy”, which was a pop take on Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”, and most of the rest of the stuff they did was rock versions of classical songs, and in my opinion, not as good as what EKSEPTION did). (by proghead)

I include a very rare single from 1967 … Ekseption before Rick van der Linden joined the band …

Single1967

Personnel:
Rein van den Broek (trumpet)
Cor Dekker (bass, guitar)
Huib van Kampen (guitar, saxophone)
Rob Kruisman (saxophone, flute, guitar, vocals)
Peter de Leeuwe (drums)
Rick van der Linden (keyboards)

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Tracklist:
01. The 5th (van Beethoven) 3.28
02. Dharma For One (Anderson/Bunker) 3.30
03. Little X Plus (v.d.Brock/Dekker/v.Kampen/Kruisman/d.Leeuwe/v.d.Linden) 3.34
04. Sabre Dance (Khachaturian) 3.50
05. Air (Bach) 2.55
06. Ritual Firedance (de Falla) 2.18
07. Rhapsody In Blue (Gershwin) 4.04
08. This Here (Timmons/Hendricks) 4.15
09. Dance Macabre, opus 40 (Saint-Saëns) 2.26
10. Canvas (Bennett) 2.31
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11. Talk About Tomorrow (van Kampen/Kruisman)
12. Mojo Ann (van Kampen/Kruisman)

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Rick van der Linden
(5 August 1946, Badhoevedorp, North Holland – 22 January 2006, Groningen)

Aretha Franklin – Live At The Jazzfestival Antibes (1970)

FrontCover1.jpgAretha Louise Franklin (March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018) was an American singer and pianist. She began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan, where her father, C. L. Franklin, was minister. In 1960, at the age of 18, she embarked on a secular career, recording for Columbia Records but achieving only modest success. After signing to Atlantic Records in 1966, Franklin achieved commercial acclaim and success with songs such as “Respect”, “Chain of Fools”, “Think”, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”, “Don’t Play That Song (You Lied)”, and “Spanish Harlem”.

By the end of the 1960s she was being called “The Queen of Soul”. Franklin recorded acclaimed albums such as I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You (1967), Lady Soul (1968), Young, Gifted and Black (1972) and Amazing Grace (1972), before experiencing problems with her record company by the mid-1970s. After her father was shot in 1979, she left Atlantic and signed with Arista Records, finding success with the albums Jump to It (1982) and Who’s Zoomin’ Who? (1985), and her part in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers. In 1998, Franklin received international acclaim for singing the opera aria “Nessun dorma” at the Grammy Awards that year, replacing Luciano Pavarotti. Later that year, she scored her final Top 40 song with “A Rose Is Still a Rose”.

Franklin recorded 112 charted singles on Billboard, including 77 Hot 100 entries, 17 top-ten pop singles, 100 R&B entries and 20 number-one R&B singles, becoming the most charted female artist in the chart’s history. Franklin’s other well-known hits include “Rock Steady”, “Jump to It”, “Freeway of Love”, “Who’s Zoomin’ Who”, “Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)”, “Something He Can Feel”, “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)” (with George Michael), and a remake of The Rolling Stones song “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”. She won 18 Grammy Awards, including the first eight awards given for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance from 1968 through to 1975, and is one of the best-selling musical artists of all time, having sold more than 75 million records worldwide.

Aretha Franklin01Franklin received numerous honors throughout her career, including a 1987 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, becoming the first female performer to be inducted. She was inducted to the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005. In August 2012, she was inducted into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Franklin is listed in at least two all-time lists by Rolling Stone magazine, including the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, and the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.

After being raised in Detroit, Franklin relocated to New York City in the 1960s, where she lived until moving to Los Angeles in the mid-1970s. She eventually settled in Encino, Los Angeles where she lived until 1982. She then returned to the Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan to be close to her ailing father and siblings. Franklin maintained a residence there until her death. Following an incident in 1984, she cited a fear of flying that prevented her from traveling overseas; she performed only in North America afterwards. Franklin was the mother of four sons. She first became pregnant at the age of 12 (!) and gave birth to her first child, named Clarence after her father, on January 28, 1955. According to the news site Inquisitr, “The father of the child was Donald Burk, a boy she knew from school.” On January 22, 1957, then aged 14 (!), Franklin had a second child, named Edward after his father Edward Jordan. Franklin did not like to discuss her early pregnancies with interviewers.

Both children took her family name. While Franklin was pursuing her career and “hanging out with [friends]”, Franklin’s grandmother Rachel and sister Erma took turns raising the children. Franklin would visit them often. Franklin’s third child, Ted White Jr., was born in February 1964 and is known professionally as Teddy Richards. He has provided guitar backing for his mother’s band during live concerts. Her youngest son, Kecalf Cunningham was born in 1970 and is the child of her road manager Ken Cunningham.

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Franklin was married twice. Her first husband was Theodore “Ted” White, whom she married in 1961 at age 19. Franklin had actually seen White the first time at a party held at her house in 1954. After a contentious marriage that involved domestic violence, Franklin separated from White in 1968, divorcing him in 1969. Franklin then married her second husband, actor Glynn Turman, on April 11, 1978 at her father’s church. By marrying Turman, Franklin became stepmother of Turman’s three children from a previous marriage. Franklin and Turman separated in 1982 after Franklin returned to Michigan from California, and they divorced in 1984. At one point, Franklin had plans to marry her longtime companion Willie Wilkerson. Franklin and Wilkerson had had two previous engagements stretching back to 1988. Franklin eventually called the 2012 engagement off. Franklin’s sisters, Erma and Carolyn, were professional musicians as well and spent years performing background vocals on Franklin’s recordings. Following Franklin’s divorce from Ted White, her brother Cecil became her manager, and maintained that position until his death from lung cancer on December 26, 1989. Sister Carolyn died the previous year in April 1988 from breast cancer, while eldest sister Erma died from throat cancer in September 2002. Franklin’s step-brother Vaughn died two months after Erma in late 2002. Her half-sister, Carl Kelley (née Jennings; born 1940) is C. L. Franklin’s daughter by Mildred Jennings, a then 12-year-old congregant of New Salem Baptist Church in Memphis, where C. L. was pastor.

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In 2010, Franklin canceled a number of concerts, after she decided to have surgery for an undisclosed tumor. Discussing the surgery in 2011, she quoted her doctor as saying that it would “add 15 to 20 years” to her life. She denied that the ailment had anything to do with pancreatic cancer, as had been rumored. On May 19, 2011, Franklin had her comeback show in the Chicago Theatre. In May 2013, she canceled two performances to deal with an undisclosed medical treatment. Later the same month, she canceled three June concerts and planned to return to perform in July. A show scheduled for July 27 in Clarkston, Michigan was canceled due to continued medical treatment. In addition, she canceled an appearance at a Major League Baseball luncheon in Chicago honoring her commitment to civil rights on August 24. She also canceled a performance of September 21 in Atlanta due to her health recovery. During a phone interview with the Associated Press in late August 2013, Franklin stated that she had a “miraculous” recovery from her undisclosed illness but had to cancel shows and appearances until her health was at 100%, estimating she was about “85% healed”. Franklin later returned to live performing, including a 2013 Christmas concert at Detroit’s MotorCity Casino Hotel. She launched a multi-city tour in mid-2014, starting with a performance on June 14 in New York at Radio City Music Hall.

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In 2017, Franklin canceled a series of concerts due to health reasons. During an outdoor Detroit show, she asked the audience to “keep me in your prayers”. In July 2017, Franklin reemerged, appearing to have lost more weight before a performance at the Wolf Trap in Virginia. In 2018, she canceled a series of shows, citing doctor’s orders. Franklin’s final performance was at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in New York City during Elton John’s 25th anniversary gala for the Elton John AIDS Foundation on November 7, 2017.

On August 13, 2018, Franklin was reported to be gravely ill at her home in Riverfront Towers, Detroit. She was reported to be under hospice care and surrounded by friends and family. Stevie Wonder, Jesse Jackson, and ex-husband Glynn Turman, among others, visited her on her deathbed. Franklin died at her home on August 16, 2018, aged 76. The cause was reported to be pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor. Numerous celebrities in the entertainment industry and politicians paid tribute to Franklin, including former U.S. president Barack Obama who said she “helped define the American experience”. Civil rights activist and minister Al Sharpton called her a “civil rights and humanitarian icon”.

A private funeral was arranged for August 31, following a two-day public viewing of Franklin’s casket at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. (by wikipedia)

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To honor this great woman … here´s a rare live broadcast recording from 1970, recorded live at the Jazzfestival Antibes/France.

Thanks to cosmikd for sharing the show at Dime.

Recorded live at the Festival de Jazz d’Antibes, Juan-les-Pins,
Antibes, France; July 21, 1970. Very good FM broadcast.

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Personnel:
Hindel Butts (drums)
Aretha Franklin (piano, vocals)
Leslie Harvey (guitar)
Melvin Jackson (bass)
Ted Sheely (piano)
Truman Thomas (organ)
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trumpets:
Donald Towns – John Wilson – Charles Horse – Clay Robinson

trombones:
Chancey Outcalt – René Pitts

saxophones:
Louis Barnett – Miller Brisker – Donald Walden – Charlie Gabriel

background vocals:
Evelyn Green, – Almeta Latimer – Wyline Ivy

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Tracklist:
01. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction (Jagger/Richards) 3.03
02. Respect (Redding) 3.15
03. (You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman (Goffin/King/Wexler) 4.18
04. I Say A Little Prayer (Bacharach/David) 4:31
05. Eleanor Rigby (Lennon/McCartney) 3.10
06. (Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You’ve Been Gone (Franklin/White) 4.54
07. Tighten Up Your Tie, Button Up Your Jacket (Make It For The Door) (Dawn) 1.53
08. Put On A Happy Face (Adams/Strouse) 2.26
09. A Brand New Me (Gamble/Bell/Butler) 3.04
10. Doctor Feelgood (Franklin/White) 4.36
11. You Send Me (Cooke) 5.23
12. Spirit In The Dark (Franklin) 11.41

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Aretha Franklin:
25th March 1942 Memphis, Tennessee, USA
16th August 2018 Detroit, Michigan, USA

REST IN PEACE !