Happy Birthday Aretha Franklin

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014
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Happy Birthday Aretha Franklin

Today’s a day for a royal celebration, as the Queen of Soul, Ms. Aretha Franklin, celebrates her 72nd birthday. It’s only been a few weeks since we last paid tribute to Aretha’s formidable career, looking back on her life and times during Black History Month, so we thought we’d go in a slightly different direction this time around.

Rather than just regurgitate the same old history lesson, we’ve pulled together a collection of clips from Aretha’s various TV appearances during the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s. We don’t have every TV appearance she made during those years – partly because they’re not all available, but mostly because she made a lot of ‘em! – but we’ve got more than enough to remind you why she’s referred to as R&B royalty.

“Chain of Fools” – The Mike Douglas Show (December 25, 1967)

“I Say A Little Prayer” – Hollywood Palace (November 2, 1968)

“You Send Me” – The Andy Williams Show (May 4, 1969)

“Don’t Play That Song” – Top of the Pops (July 30, 1970)

“Spirit in the Dark” – It’s Lulu (August 8, 1970)

“It’s Not Unusual” / “See Saw” / “Spirit in the Dark” medley – This is Tom Jones (October 9, 1970)

“You and Me” – Flip (February 18, 1971)

“Rock Steady” – Soul Train (April 14, 1973)

“Something He Can Feel” – The Midnight Special (September 10, 1976)

“Nobody Does It Better” – The 50th Annual Academy Awards (April 3, 1978)

Not a bad showing, eh? And how about that Carly Simon cover? From what we can tell, Aretha never actually recorded her take on the song – which, in case you couldn’t place it, was the theme to The Spy Who Loved Me – but she certainly stepped into the studio to put her own stamp on plenty of others. That’s why, to wrap up this birthday celebration, we’ve put together a very special playlist which looks back at some of her more memorable interpretations of other artists’ songs. Give it a listen, won’t you?