With the sad news of the great Aretha Franklin’s death on August 16, 2018 at the age of 76, Vox put together a beautiful tribute showing how her distinctively brilliant style was formed. Forever known to all as the “Queen of Soul“, Franklin incorporated her strong gospel roots into songs that weren’t necessarily originally written in that style. Vox editor Estelle Caswell brilliantly contrasted the very different style of Dusty Springfield with that of Aretha Franklin’s in a song they both performed a year apart from one another.
The top is British soul singer, Dusty Springfield’s, most iconic song “Son of a Preacher Man”Dusty and Aretha shared the same producer, Jerry Wexler at Atlantic Records. The song first went to Aretha, who ended up passing on it. Dusty took it, and in early 1969 her version rose to the top of the charts. A year later, Aretha released a cover of it and it sounded completely different. Where Dusty started with a smooth electric guitar riff, Aretha started on the piano. An instrument that, along with the Hammond organ, played a central role in the sound of gospel music and her career. The fingers and the voice are all part of that same tradition.
In all of Aretha's live performances there's a moment where the crowd just erupts, and for the rest of the song every musical decision she makes is purely just to keep them in that state of mind. It's of the moment.
— Estelle Caswell (@estellecaswell) August 18, 2018
“Son of a Preacher Man” – Aretha Franklin
“Son of a Preacher Man” – Dusty Springfield
RIP Aretha. Nothing but R-E-S-P-E-C-T.