In Memoriam: Aretha Franklin


I can’t sing. That’s a big reason why I celebrate the talent of someone who can, someone who effortlessly can open his or her mouth and have the most beautiful sound emerge. When it’s really amazing, I get chills. I even cry.

Aretha Franklin had that kind of voice, and how fortunate the world was to have heard her gift — and it only seems appropriate to take a break from gardening and honor this remarkable woman.

Over the past few days, friends have shared their favorite Aretha Franklin songs on Facebook. “Respect” is always a favorite — and it’s a great song to dance to while working outside.

For me, though, I loved the songs better suited for the end of the day, when all of the gardening is done and it’s time to sit back and look at all that was accomplished. Perhaps, your thoughts are accompanied by a glass of wine.

Please take a moment to listen to three of my favorites. These are the songs that give me the chills I mentioned earlier. These are the songs that make me cry.

Ain’t No Way

Bridge Over Troubled Water

Nessun Dorma

I first heard this version during the 1998 Grammy Awards. At the last minute, Aretha Franklin volunteered to fill in for Luciano Pavarotti, who had become ill. Her performance perfectly illustrated her passion, her soul, her talent, her range, her professionalism. It’s difficult to find a full video of that specific performance, but here she is at a later date.

Thank  you, Aretha Franklin, for sharing your talent, your wisdom, and your life with us.

2 thoughts on “In Memoriam: Aretha Franklin

  1. I have been listening to tributes, personal stories, and recordings on my local public radio station all day today, and surprised at how many times I teared up. I heard her version of Eleanor Rigby today, and hadn’t remembered that one– her interpretation was so uniquely her own. It’s hard to pick a favorite recording, but you’ve definitely suggested three that are outstanding. I remember being blown away when I heard her operatic facility at the ’98 Grammy Awards. I feel like we’ve not only lost a beautiful talent, but a quality woman we’ve admired and appreciated for a huge part of our lives. Lovely tribute, Kevin.

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