The Queen of Soul.

RIP Aretha Franklin who died yesterday. Rare among cliches but Queen of Soul is no exaggeration. There was nobody occupying that throne before she came along and nobody’s supplanted her since. The BBC and the broadsheets are filled with fulsome tributes which is very nice. But these very organisations had little interest in Aretha in her heyday or in soul music generally, loftily dismissing it as the music of black people and the white working classes. This is why, throughout the 70s and 80s, I was able to amass a sizeable collection of Aretha’s records from junk shops because nobody wanted them. This single, on its original 1965 US pressing, was my favourite find. It cost me 25p. That’s how Aretha Franklin was valued back then. Thankfully, she’s valued a little more highly now.