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Respect: The Life of Aretha Franklinby David Ritz
Synopses & Reviews
The definitive biography of the Queen of Soul from acclaimed music writer David Ritz.
Aretha Franklin began life as the golden daughter of a progressive and promiscuous Baptist preacher. Raised without her mother, she was a gospel prodigy who gave birth to two sons in her teens and left them and her native Detroit for New York, where she struggled to find her true voice. It was not until 1967, when a white Jewish producer insisted she return to her gospel-soul roots, that fame and fortune finally came via "Respect" and a rapidfire string of hits. She has evolved ever since, amidst personal tragedy, surprise Grammy performances, and career reinventions.
Again and again, Aretha stubbornly finds a way to triumph over troubles, even as they continue to build. Her hold on the crown is tenacious, and in RESPECT, David Ritz gives us the definitive life of one of the greatest talents in all American culture.
"In 1999, Grammy-winner and composer Ritz teamed with Franklin to pen her memoir, Aretha: From These Roots. Here he candidly provides a chronicle of the Queen of Soul's rapid climb to fame. Franklin was four when the family moved to Detroit where her famous father, the pastor C.L. Franklin, who became a national gospel and preaching star at New Bethel Baptist Church. Moving year by year through Franklin's life, Ritz traces her journey from her days as a teenage mother with two children and her early marriage in her 20s to her first record deal at Columbia, her towering success at Atlantic (where she recorded 'Respect'), and her efforts to reestablish herself in the disco era. In Ritz's admiring portrait, Franklin emerges as a woman who, though overwhelmed by fear and obsessed by control, is nevertheless the 'ultimate survivor,' who continues to move forward with steely determination." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
David Ritz is the only four-time winner of the Gleason Music Book Award and won the 2013 ASCAP Timothy White award for outstanding musical biography for his book with Buddy Guy. He also cowrote, with Marvin Gaye, the song "Sexual Healing" and lives in Los Angeles with his wife.
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