The Queen of Soul


Titles and accolades are often little more than hype. Not hers. I was honored to meet Aretha Franklin decades ago when my band did an ABC special with her.

Like many artists, she was an introvert, with a shy smile and a soft speaking voice. And then she sang. And you knew instantly that this was her true voice. Her tone, emotional range, and impossibly perfect runs engulfed you, drew you into her heart, and showed you things you’d never seen before in yourself. Aretha, along with Ray and Otis and a handful of others, yanked me out of my pre-fab suburban cereal box life of hamming it up in school plays and writing catchy ditties to impress cute girls. She showed me what happens when you pour your whole being, your soul, into a song.

She has inspired too many singers and instrumentalists to count, many of them gifted artists in their own right. But there has never been and will never be another Aretha.

RIP, Queen of Soul.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Memoir, Popular Culture & Entertainment and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to The Queen of Soul

  1. revruss1220 says:

    What a great tribute. Hers is a sparkling example of what a life of passion looks like.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Roos Ruse says:

    What a lovely, sincere tribute, Mitch.
    I’m a little jealous. I admired Aretha immediately back when La Serna broadcasted hit music in the quad at lunch time. Almost got to see her in TX, but then she cancelled her tour. Aretha is now someone else I’ll look forward to knowing in heaven.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As a middle school teacher, I always played her song “Respect” on opening day as the kids were coming into class. The first thing we did was go over the class rules: R-E-S-P-E-C-T – for teacher, other students, other people’s property, and self, and what all that entailed.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. says:

    What a great memory of such special woman. We all have different ways of expressing our passion for life, but to actually meet her and hear that voice up close and personal must have been amazing.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. trE says:

    I’m missing her already. I’ve so many favorite songs by her, too many to name. This is beautiful, Mitch.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. joyroses13 says:

    What a touching tribute to her, so cool that you got to meet her! One of those once in a lifetime moments!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Solacebrother/blogspot says:

    Reblogged this on .

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Solacebrother/blogspot says:

    I hope the dead rest in peace

    Liked by 1 person

  9. TEP336 says:

    Truly the end of an era. It’s so regrettable that modern music owes so much to giants like her, yet can’t come close to emulating them.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Beautifully expressed, Mitch! What a wonderful memory of an incredible artist!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. smilecalm says:

    i appreciate hearing this
    personal remembrance 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. You, my friend, said it best of all. Thank you for your insights.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Ashley's Blog says:

    Thanks for sharing!! Amazing!!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Jennie says:

    She was THE best. You were very lucky to meet her.


  15. Pingback: Me and Princess Leia’s Mom | Mitch Teemley

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