February 21, 1999 |
Hers is the voice that has grown up with us: Transistor-size, we tucked under our pillow; 45-rpm-size, we stacked on our changers for backyard parties; crisp and clear digital-size, it's bellowed out, not just full bloom, but full of memories. In a career that has spanned four decades and garnered more Grammys (15) than any other female artist, Aretha Franklin--The Queen of Soul--has gone the full stretch, with juice to spare. Her hit 1998 album, "A Rose Is Still a Rose," is another laurel.
March 8, 1998 |
Aretha Franklin is back after a six-year recording hiatus, and that's the good news. The bad news is that she comes across as tentative as Michelle Kwan was in Nagano. When a leader in her field doesn't fully go for it, it's hard not to be disappointed. Much of this album was produced by current hotshots young enough to be Franklin's kids. None really has a feel for what makes her distinctive and great--except Lauryn Hill of the Fugees, an extraordinary talent in her own right.
December 24, 1996
"Merv Griffin's New Year's Eve Special," the former talk-show host's annual hourlong celebration, moves to ABC this year, where it will be seen at 1:05 a.m., following Dick Clark's annual Times Square extravaganza. In previous years, the program has been seen in syndication. Originating from Griffin's Resorts Hotel in Atlantic City, the special will include performances by Aretha Franklin, the Bryan Setzer Orchestra, jazz master Jack Sheldon and Katey Sagal ("Married . . . With Children").
December 5, 1994 |
The capital paid tribute to five of America's artistic legends this weekend when screen icon Kirk Douglas, "queen of soul" Aretha Franklin, folk musician Pete Seeger, orchestral composer Morton Gould and Broadway director Harold Prince received this year's Kennedy Center Honors. The weekend was a swirl of activity for the honorees and guests as some of the biggest names from film, television, music, theater and government met over fine wine and food at some of Washington's grandest sites.
May 8, 1993 |
With her fervent R&B/gospel style, Aretha Franklin was a dominant force in the 1960s. In the varying musical climates since then, she hasn't been a major hit-maker but has influenced a generation of artists. You get a feeling for her talent and the scope of her musical influence on the generally excellent "Aretha Franklin: Duets" (at 10 p.m. Sunday on Fox, Channels 11 and 6).
April 8, 1993 |
Jerry Wexler, who was head of Atlantic Records in 1972, had been begging Aretha Franklin for years to record in church, for he knew that of all the elements that combined in her brilliant sound, gospel truly was the key. She finally agreed to cut this album live at a Baptist church in Los Angeles on two successive nights.
March 28, 1993 |
I was watching the news the other night, getting more depressed by the minute. There are so many problems in this world and I feel so helpless. The worst part is, I don't even know what I would do if I was in a position to help. I imagine someone in Waco has already tried yelling, "Of course you're not Jesus--now put those guns down and come out of there" into a megaphone over the compound wall. Clearly, it didn't work.