October 2, 2014

Aretha Franklin talks — charmingly — to David Letterman.

Last Monday:



She also sang "Rolling in the Deep," a cover of the Adele song, from her new album of cover songs. I think the performance wasn't good, which is why I'm embedding the interview, which is much better, but Aretha Franklin is 72 years old, and she's earned our indulgence, including our indulgence of her dramatically low cut gown, there in the Ed Sullivan Theater, where, back when she was 17, they told her that her dress was too low cut and then that they were overbooked and she wasn't going to go on at all. And don't you just want to say: "Forget 'toned arms'!"?

34 comments:

Patrick said...

I heard the album version of "Rolling in the Deep" by Ms. Franklin a couple days ago.

Pretty Damn good.

Jupiter said...

That's a fairly ridiculous outfit for a woman her age. Talk about men in shorts ...

Carol said...

She has lost a lot of range..I saw a video of her singing Til You Come Back to Me with Stevie Wonder, and he had to sing the bridge.

It's okay, it happens with belters. Robert Plant lost it too.

The Roller said...

At her age should she really whinge over something like that?

Girl be rockin' the pitties like she just don't care. Yew!

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Pitties

JTR said...

Cut her some slack -- she's 71. Here's a cover (by someone a bit younger) of one of my favorites:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zx6LhBvo8Ms

madAsHell said...

For some odd reason, I thought she had health issues related to her.....um...toned arms. I also assumed that she was no longer singing.

I'm happy to be wrong here. She's a rock solid 72 years of age.

madAsHell said...

Ed Sullivan was on the air from 1948 until 1971. Aretha was born in 1943, and would have been 17 in 1960 or 61.

RecChief said...

I'll never forget finding my mother's copy of the "songs of faith" album when I was in high school. I also discovered the single "chain of fools" in the 45 box the same day. I remember thinking that my folks were pretty damn cool and what a shock it was.

Roger Zimmerman said...

The most remarkable thing about that interview is Ms. Franklin's calm, matter-of-fact manner, and her willingness to directly answer Letterman's questions, without flying off in tangents, and blah-blah-blah-ing.

Her answer on the "Diva" question is on point: she thinks for a while (she's not afraid of a bit of thoughtful silence), frames her answer with some historical background on the term, then adds some subtle, good-natured - but wry - commentary about the women she sees as emblematic. I felt throughout that I was seeing a very true presentation of her character.

This is in contrast to so many modern entertainers who, in situations like this, seem to be manic in the extreme, constantly forcing themselves into their performing personae, and going on and on in their "story telling".

Aretha is truly someone from a different, more civilized era, and she is comfortable being that way.

William said...

It's not just Supreme Court Justices who don't know when to pack it in. You can print the legend, but you can't sing it. Those last Sinatra albums, especially the Duets, were pretty lame. On a couple of songs, Johnny Cash's frail weak voice carried the message of mortality, but fragility and mortality are not what you want to hear in a Johnny Cash song. Willy Nelson's voice was never particularly robust so it doesn't sound faded now that he's old. I can listen to him without mourning for ruined castles. The Rolling Stones look faintly ridiculous. Mick Jagger still has a few moves, but they don't imply wicked sexuality so much as senile obscenity......David Souter, Johnny Carson, and Julie Andrews are to be congratulated for knowing how to bring it and how to leave it.

Aunty Trump said...

I threw a party at my house and invited some liberals, and they were offended by Franklin's gospel music that came up on Pandora. You see, good liberals must now hate religion, and they are, if nothing else, good liberals.

chickelit said...

It's okay, it happens with belters. Robert Plant lost it too.

Has anyone seen that confounded bridge?

[crunges]

Revenant said...

David Letterman is so off-putting to me... he always comes across as so fake. Give me Craig Ferguson any day.

jr565 said...

I heard Paul McCartney sing Jet a few years ago on SNL and it was excruciating.

jr565 said...

As far as Robert as plant goes. Not sure how he sounds live, but he still had really good range on his album with Alson Krause. He wasn't doing his banshee scream, but his range was still pretty impressive

The Roller said...

Nothing disparaging meant, Ms Franklin is a legend.

The Crack Emcee said...

Looking at some of the names here, this reminds me of one of my experiences with "whites":

I was trapped with guys in camo with rifles and shit, one morning, and they were screaming at the basketball players on the TV. The "fucking niggers with their tatoos" I should say. But once the channel was changed to a Richard Pryor movie, they all voiced approval.

It was surreal.

Aretha is the "Queen Of Soul" - even to "whites".

There's reason for hope there,...

Crack

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

tim in vermont said...
I threw a party at my house and invited some liberals, and they were offended by Franklin's gospel music that came up on Pandora. You see, good liberals must now hate religion, and they are, if nothing else, good liberals.


Well, you insulted their religion. Like playing The Star Spangled Banner on Cinco de Mayo.

Bob Ellison said...

I don't remember ever hearing or seeing an interview of Aretha Franklin before. What a funny and humble person she is! How can someone who has done what she has done be that nice?

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

The Crack Emcee said...
. . . The "fucking niggers with their tatoos" I should say. But once the channel was changed to a Richard Pryor movie, they all voiced approval.


What a convenient anecdote! Get it from Neil deGrasse Tyson?

RecChief said...

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...
The Crack Emcee said...
. . . The "fucking niggers with their tatoos" I should say. But once the channel was changed to a Richard Pryor movie, they all voiced approval.

What a convenient anecdote! Get it from Neil deGrasse Tyson?"

Hahaha. Was thinking the same thing. The phenomenon of the convenient anecdote shows up here a lot.

MadisonMan said...

$50 per performance seems like a huge amount of money to me back in her teen years. Her Dad was generous.

Great interview.

tim maguire said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Curious George said...

"The Crack Emcee said...

I was trapped with guys in camo with rifles and shit,..."

I smell bullshit. When was this?

tim maguire said...

Here's my convenient anecdote, and I'm pleased to be the first to bring it up...(drum roll, please...)

The Blues Brothers.

RecChief said...

Curious George said...
"The Crack Emcee said...

I was trapped with guys in camo with rifles and shit,..."

I smell bullshit. When was this?"


I agree, what was the context. Whether Crack actually answers will be telling.

Jupiter said...

"What a convenient anecdote! Get it from Neil deGrasse Tyson?"

No, but he was there, too.

The Crack Emcee said...

RecChief ,

"Hahaha. Was thinking the same thing. The phenomenon of the convenient anecdote shows up here a lot."

Because blacks don't have actual lives - just stories we make up for white's edification - nor are we capable of observing white's behavior and gleaning anything from it (because we're so stupid, you know).

I seriously doubt, growing up in this culture, if you get a group of whites together - anywhere - to discuss blacks, they couldn't stop themselves from saying such racist shit. It's long-term acceptance (amongst whites) just makes it come too naturally. You don't even know when you do it, it's that common to whites to do it.

If whites didn't have a history of scheming, it would be weird to hear blacks suggest that's how they are, but white's history is what it is.

Which is probably why whites think everyone thinks like they do:

Paranoid whites unnecessarily scheme on others, so why isn't everyone else doing to, right?

Because whites think that way, they can always justify (in their own paranoid minds) their pre-emptive strikes against what THEY'RE SURE others are PLANNING on doing to them - because that's what they'd do.

A race of fucking violent loony tunes,...

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...

The Crack Emcee said...
I seriously doubt, growing up in this culture, if you get a group of whites together - anywhere - to discuss blacks, they couldn't stop themselves from saying such racist shit.


So, your anecdote was a complete lie, but, in your simple and racist mind, it OUGHT to have been true, so that's good enough.

Pitiful. Just pitiful.

The Crack Emcee said...

RecChief,

"Whether Crack actually answers will be telling."

Because Crack has such a long track record of hiding or backing down. Oh no - wait - it's you WHITE GUYS who have the record of scurrying away when caught. No explanations, no apologies, no "I was wrong" - you just run away like the cowards you are and then pretend it's I who have the rep for doing so.

AND THE OTHER WHITES BUY IT, NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES WHITES ON THIS BLOG DO IT.

A perfect racist closed-loop system.

Curious George,

"I smell bullshit. When was this?"

Because if I tell you, you're going to immediately change your opinion and decide I'm telling the truth? You racist idiot. I could give you day, time, and place and what would you be able to glean from it? Nothing but the ability to issue another denial, because the truth doesn't matter to you:

I'm lying on whites. Neil deGrasse Tyson is lying on whites. Photographs lie on whites. History books lie on whites.

Why, the only thing that doesn't lie on whites, is the white man.

He's history's great truth-teller - just ask him. The most capable moral arbiter the world has ever seen.

Oh man, I have to stop there:

Even I get fed up with typing bullshit,...

Greg said...

Contrary to virtually everybody else apparently, I really enjoyed her performance. Not as strong as she was in earlier years, but she had me rocking nonetheless.

RecChief said...

2 posts. no answer. just a screed. eh. I didn't think you'd actually answer the challenge. Just like our president, alot of sound signifying nothing.

Mark Daniels said...

Liked this interview a lot. She just doesn't seem to fit the diva stereotype, does she?

Aunty Trump said...

CR

Would have been cool had this thread ended with everybody just leaving that laughable comment lie there.