Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Aretha Franklin: A Natural Woman (2015)

Aretha Franklin [born 1942; Memphis, Tennessee], Lady Soul, sings “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” at the 2015 Kennedy Center tribute to Carole King (singer/songwriter). The song, written by Carole King, Gerry Goffin and Jerry Wexler, was released first as a single by Aretha Franklin in September 1967 and then was part of her 14th studio album, the fifth track on Side 1 of Lady Soul, released on  January 22, 1968. You can watch a 1968 performance, a few months after her album came out, [here].

Carole King (born Carol Klein in 1942; New York City, New York) sings the song a few years later on the album Tapestry (1971); you can listen to her [here]. There is so much emotion and history behind this song, which this performance by Franklin captures and expresses so well; you will note that President Obama sheds a tear or two. The other honorees in 2015 are George Lucas (filmmaker), Rita Moreno (actress), Seiji Ozawa (conductor), and Cicely Tyson (actress). The 38th Annual Tribute, hosted by Stephen Colbert, took place at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, on December 6, 2015. You can view President Obama’s opening remarks [here].

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