The definitive biography of the Queen of Soul from acclaimed music writer David Ritz.
Aretha Franklin began life as the golden daughter of a progressive and promiscuous Baptist preacher. Raised without her mother, she was a gospel prodigy who gave birth to two sons in her teens and left them and her native Detroit for New York, where she struggled to find her true voice. It was not until 1967, when a white Jewish producer insisted she return to her gospel-soul roots, that fame and fortune finally came via "Respect" and a rapidfire string of hits. She has evolved ever since, amidst personal tragedy, surprise Grammy performances, and career reinventions.
Again and again, Aretha stubbornly finds a way to triumph over troubles, even as they continue to build. Her hold on the crown is tenacious, and in Respect, David Ritz gives us the definitive life of one of the greatest talents in all American culture.
"Narrator Brad Raymond does a great job of portraying the relatives and friends in her life who helped her succeed." (AudioFile)
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New and Renewed Respect For A Living Legend
The story was researched and written well and told in a way that was entertaining.
Ruth Bowen Aretha's outspoken and salty booking agent who didn't have any reservations in telling it the way she saw it. Everyone should be so lucky to have a Ruth Bowen in their lives.
His performance was great and told the story with unabandoned engagement and bright imagination giving each character their own vocal inflections and tone.
Retouched Portrait Of A Diva
This book was far more complimentary to the persona of Aretha Franklin that I thought it would be based on her own reaction to the book proclaiming it was just a book of lies. Not only did it recount several stories that I had known about previously being an enduring fan of Aretha over the years, it also includes historical events and other stories told by Aretha's contemporaries who had interactions with her. I thought the book was well written and researched and should give us a new...or renewed respect for this woman who has had a remarkable career in spite of many obstacles that were personal, professional, real and imagined, imposed by others and self imposed. As the author stated there is not just one story of Aretha, but several. And this story as told by Ritz, paints her in a humanistic light fraught with frailties and imperfections of which she should not be ashamed of and Ritz should not have to apologize for.
Very well researched book
- Shawn Moore