Aretha worked for me, — when I was very young, in what was then new Aurora, my mother and sister walked around the private hedged yard from May until September in bikinis, and I played along in my Speedos. Try not to imagine it now. When the Queen of the House was gone, I would open the kitchen and dining room glass doors, put my “Aretha Gold” L.P. (along with many other artists’ songs) on Mother’s living room cabinet stereo. I would blast it, and go about my chores in the house and patio with Sis, my last fond memory of her, before she died.
Aretha really worked for me. Indeed, she helped keep me slim, and gave me what little respect I never saw in relatives, at least not the ones Mummy allowed Daddy to communicate with, which did not include my favorite American aunts, whom I saw only five times in my lifetime; once in Africa, once in Germany, and three times more when they lives in Denver, Colorado, fifteen minutes from Mummy’s house. Actually, the house was Dad’s, (he bought it with O money down at 3 percent for life, with his WWI Veteran benefits, but he handed over everything because Mummy allowed him to live.
While Aretha did perform inside the gaudy palaces of Atlantic City, she worked for herself, her agent, her manager, and I believe her God), not the owner of the building in which she performed. In fact, ‘The Daily Beast’ newspaper reports Franklin trashed the presidency, privately, and refused the invitation to perform at the 2017 inauguration.
Many mistake the meaning of the word ‘idiot’. Webster defines an idiot: One who does not care how his, her, or they thoughts and actions affect another. Wikipedia recently updated the definition to reflect changing language: “A stupid person; a mentally handicapped person. That would include me.
Washington was not the only perpetrator to provide a racist tribute to the Queen of Soul. Fox News, in all their wisdom, upon announcing the passing of Aretha Franklin, posted a photo of Patti LaBelle. These people cannot even lay a person to rest without telling a lie. But there is good news. Congress just saved the American taxpayer $92 million dollars, that’s (I think) 92,000,000.00. I agree with this decision. IT IS better to start providing adequate health care and housing for our disabled homeless Veterans, than to waste it on a celebration of the ego of one draft dodger, I mean, one man.
The congregations held in the grasp of Aretha’s father respected him highly as a minister, an orator, and charismatic gospel singer. In reality he was a cheating philanderer who led his flock astray, not a man of the cloth but a man of the devil who held regular orgies, drink and smoke ins among his congregation. First he got a twelve year old girl from his flock pregnant. Twice he uprooted the family to avoid prosecution and jail. Again, he got Aretha pregnant at age twelve, and moved the family again. Aretha’s mother, Barbara Sggers Franklin, was an accomplished pianist and gospel singer with mental challenges, who died at the age of 35, when Aretha was six years old. In a twisted act of blackmail founded only by the Devil, Aretha’s father promised to get her on the road singing, into a career, if she remained silent about his indiscretions.
Watch the videos: YouTube: “The real father of Aretha’s First Child”, there is a follow up on Child Number Two.
YouTube/Respect, 1967 original black and white version, 40,598,296 viewers cannot be dis-interested.
The Queen of Soul participated in numerous major historical moments of our country’s Herstory. This week as Toastmaster, aware we avoid speaking of politics or religion, I learned, when it comes to Aretha; it is impossible to remain a-political or a-religious (spiritual). From singing at Martin Luther King Jr.’s funeral in 1968, to performing at President Obama’s 1st and 2nd swearing-in ceremonies, Aretha was there. She sang for every president from Jimmy Carter and First Lady Roslyn Carter (1976) to President Barak Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama in 2016.
After the Grammy’s were introduced in 1968, Franklin won every Rhythm and Blues award for the first eight years straight. Thereafter, she broke e-v-e-r-y record, and was then handed the Lifetime Achievement Award by George Walker Bush. With the country in the dangerous shituation it is in now, I almost miss the man. That same year, she was presented with the Kennedy Center award by President Bill Clinton, and then First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. What a life.
Aretha appeared with Reverend Jesse Jackson at several fundraising events. She made frequent public appearances throughout the 1990s to show her support for democratic events. At the 1968 Democratic National Convention Franklin sang the American national anthem, and in 1992 repeated the honor. Franklin performed a concert in front of the Lincoln Memorial for President Clinton before his first swearing-in ceremony. Franklin performed again at President Clinton’s second inauguration. That night she shared the stage with singer James Taylor.
Taylor had this to tweet after Aretha’s passing: ‘Aretha was one of those people who opened her mouth, and out came brilliance.’
President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama tweeted ‘Aretha helped define the American experience. In her voice we could feel our history, our power and our pain, our darkness and our light. She helped us feel more connected with each other, more hopeful, more human.”
President Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton tweeted ‘Hillary and I have been listening to her music that had such a profound effect upon our lives’ he went on at length.
Washington tweeted: “She worked for me”.
In 2002, Aretha sang for the U.S. Open Women’s Championship. That same year, she lit the winter Olympic torch in Salt Lake City. In 2005, in Detroit, she helped survivors of Hurricane Katrina, where she hosted an event for those souls who had been displaced by the hurricane. That year, G.W. Bush bestowed the Medal of Freedom upon Aretha Franklin, arguably his smartest act as president, even though he and his family did steal the election from President Al Gore.
She performed at President Obama’s first inauguration in 2009, and appeared several times with President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. After singing at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s funeral in 1968, forty-three years earlier, Franklin was present at the dedication of the Martin Luther King memorial on the National Mall in Washington D.C. In 2015, Franklin performed “Amazing Grace” for Pope Francis. His Holiness watched her sing for 2 days, before returning to Vatican City. After performing for six presidents over ten terms, in 2017 the Queen of Soul declined the invitation to sing at an inauguration. But she spoke her mind first.
Twenty-five years after winning her first Rhythm and Blues Grammy, as of this writing half a century, “RESPECT” had a second life when I had my fifth grade “Classroom D.J.” play Respect or Think to classmates after recess. Today, Aretha shows us post mortem how things are on the microcosm, so be they on the macrocosm. Corruption lies deep in the hearts of men who cannot see the purpose of life, to serve, feed, clothe, and care for the needy, find our way back to Godhead.
Watch the videos, including ‘Aretha Franklin – Respect lyrics’, and the original black and white 1967 You Tube video of ‘Respect’. Look into the singer’s eyes, and feel the pain she held back a lifetime. Learn the words to the song ‘Respect’, originally sung by Otis Redding. After Otis’ death in 1967, Aretha reworked it, and turned it into a firecracker of a song, the popularity of which has lasted half a century and seems to have found a new life even now on social media. The song is a cry for help. To me, in my humble opinion and you can correct me here if I am wrong or out of line, Aretha’s cry for help sounds like she is telling her father to pay her profits from her singing, as if her were her musical pimp, and blackmailing father. I do my best not to judge. Unless we read or are told, and to do either we must keep an open mind, we never know the story.
To quote Aretha “Respect is a basic human right that every person wants, and every person deserves”.
Back to Webster, R-E-S-P-E-C-T: as a NOUN: a feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their qualities, abilities, or achievements. NOUN: to admire someone or something deeply as a result of their abilities, qualities, or achievements.
Watch the YouTube videos, and all this new information, at least new to me, will fall into place.
If you should not know anyone who has no respect, I will be happy to provide names and addresses. And all I am asking, is that you give it to me, Sock it to me, Sock it to me, Sock it to me, Sock it to me, — Sock it to me, Sock it to me, Sock it to me, Sock it to me – R – E – S – P – E – C – T, — find out what it means to me.
May Aretha rest in peace, embraced by God’s Love.