Aretha Franklin has simply been one of the greatest singers of the modern generation, and whether bringing her powerful, passionate voice to bear on gospel standards, songs from the Great American Songbook, jazz standards, pop ditties, or deep Southern soul and R&B, she has always had the presence – much like Ray Charles – to make anything she touches unmistakably hers. Franklin began her career in gospel when she was still a teenager, and her amazing vocal talents, coupled with her fine piano playing, marked her as a once-in-a-lifetime kind of artist, qualities very apparent to legendary talent scout John Hammond, who signed her to Columbia Records.
These days she's known as the Queen of Soul, and indeed has been since she came to the fore belting out such well known hits as 'Respect', 'Chain Of Fools' and 'Say A Little Prayer' in the late '60s, scoring no less than ten Top 10 hits over an 18-month period from 1967-68. The rarely heard but strikingly effective recordings on 'The Early Years' come from a period when Franklin was signed to Columbia Records and offer a unique insight into the development of this amazing artist. Unlike SPV's companion piece, 'Aretha Sings The Blues', which as the title implies concentrates on a selection of blues-based recordings, 'The Early Years' is notable for the range of styles, from pop, blues, jazz, gospel and soul, that the young Franklin was able to instil into her music with the air of a seasoned veteran.
]At Columbia, Franklin lived an entirely different musical life than she would at Atlantic, one that was grounded in jazz and the Great American Songbook, revealing a gigantic vocal talent that betrayed potent hints of the tectonic soul shift to come at Atlantic. It takes precious little imagination to conclude that Franklin was as important to American music in the middle-to-late 1960s as singer/pianist Ray Charles was the decade before, the two star ascents crossing in creative eclipse.
"The Tender, the Moving, the Swinging Aretha Franklin" is the fourth studio album by American singer Aretha Franklin, Released on August 13, 1962 by Columbia Records. It was her first album to achieve any commercial success, reaching #69 on the Billboard pop album charts.
"Laughing on the Outside" is the fifth studio album by American singer Aretha Franklin, Released on August 12, 1963 by Columbia Records. The album was recorded at Columbia Recording Studios in New York and Hollywood. These sessions found a 21-year-old Aretha Franklin recording Jazz Music and Pop Music standards, from Johnny Mercer to Duke Ellington. She is backed by the arrangements of Columbia producer Robert Mersey.
Aretha Franklin is one of the giants of soul music, and indeed of American pop as a whole. More than any other performer, she epitomized soul at its most gospel-charged. The Queen in Waiting is Aretha Franklin's 2002 compilation album featuring popular tracks "God Bless the Child", "Skylark", "Only the Lonely" and "Try a Little Tenderness". The album includes Aretha's last Columbia recordings produced by Bob Johnston, noted for his work during this period with Bob Dylan; and songs that Columbia "sweetened" with new musicians after Aretha left the label.
"Aretha: With The Ray Bryant Combo" is the second studio album by American singer songwriter, Aretha Franklin, released on February 27, 1961 by Columbia Records. The album is Aretha's first release for Columbia, and is also known under its working title Right Now It's Aretha and sometimes simply as Aretha. Following in the footsteps of her close friend Sam Cooke, Aretha was "discovered" by famed Columbia Records producer John H. Hammond, who on the cover notes of the 1973 edition of "The Great Aretha Franklin: The First 12 Sides" mentions, that she was in fact recommended by the composer Curtis Reginald Lewis.
"The Electrifying Aretha Franklin" is the Queen of Soul’s sophomore album for Columbia Records. Produced by John Hammond, this intimate outing features hits including “You Made Me Love You,” “Rock-A-Bye Your Baby with a Dixie Melody” and “It's So Heartbreakin'.” This 1962 classic is an outstanding representation of Franklin’s undeniable power and musicianship. This deluxe reissue version contains seven bonus tracks.