I know. I know. What about women? It’s about time this blog gave a little respect, attention, and appreciation to the other, and many would say, better, half of all of this. Everyone has a voice, an imagination, and a story. That’s a given and has been true since way back around the campfire. Lullabies, work songs, love song, religious songs, blues, you name it, women have been a part of it all. But they’ve been demonized, marginalized, and brutalized by insecure and narrow-minded guys for just as long.
I think a huge change occurred in 1967. As a civilization, we had arrived at a time when music could be properly amplified and distributed around the world. If you were breathing, it was impossible to miss the message. Many may not have fully understood it, but it entered everyone’s unconscious. I’m talking about respect and the woman who demanded and commanded it, Aretha Franklin.
R-e-s-p-e-c-t. Find out what it means to me.
Her voice still is and was then, so powerful, so soulful, so versatile, so beautiful, and so incredibly moving that everyone’s brain had to do some intense work to deal with what she was singing and saying. This was a time when it was appropriate and impossible not to turn it up and blast it from the car and house windows. No internet was needed. No woman had ever said in quite as direct a way, All I want you to do for me, is give it to me when you get home. Yeah, Baby.
Sock it to me. It was clear. Give it to me or else. And don’t give me that guy jive.
So many great songs, so much inspiration. Think about what you’re trying to do to me. Chain of Fools. Do Right Woman, Do Right Man. Spirit in the Dark. All the great stuff she did with Luther Vandross. 50-plus years, so far. One of many goosebump-inducing Aretha moments was when she sang at the inauguration of Barack Obama, the first Black elected President of the United States.
She asked for it and no one could deny her the respect that was due. She has inspired countless women and opened the minds of many men. She has also serenaded our hearts and had everyone out on the dance floor, shaking for all we’re worth, proud to feel something bigger than any of us could by ourselves, bringing us together in a moment soulful and universal. Sock it to me!