"Aretha: With The Ray Bryant Combo" is the second studio album by American singer songwriter, Aretha Franklin, released on February 27, 1961 by Columbia Records. The album is Aretha's first release for Columbia, and is also known under its working title Right Now It's Aretha and sometimes simply as Aretha. Following in the footsteps of her close friend Sam Cooke, Aretha was "discovered" by famed Columbia Records producer John H. Hammond, who on the cover notes of the 1973 edition of "The Great Aretha Franklin: The First 12 Sides" mentions, that she was in fact recommended by the composer Curtis Reginald Lewis.
Aretha Franklin is one of the giants of soul music, and indeed of American pop as a whole. More than any other performer, she epitomized soul at its most gospel-charged. Her astonishing run of late-'60s hits with Atlantic Records "Respect," "I Never Loved a Man," "Chain of Fools," "Baby I Love You," "I Say a Little Prayer," "Think," "The House That Jack Built," and several others earned her the title "Lady Soul," which she has worn uncontested ever since.
Aretha Franklin has simply been one of the greatest singers of the modern generation, and whether bringing her powerful, passionate voice to bear on gospel standards, songs from the Great American Songbook, jazz standards, pop ditties, or deep Southern soul and R&B, she has always had the presence – much like Ray Charles – to make anything she touches unmistakably hers. Franklin began her career in gospel when she was still a teenager, and her amazing vocal talents, coupled with her fine piano playing, marked her as a once-in-a-lifetime kind of artist, qualities very apparent to legendary talent scout John Hammond, who signed her to Columbia Records.
Covering the ‘60s through the ‘80s, Respect: The Very Best of Aretha Franklin features most of the queen’s biggest hits. This release from Warner Strategic Marketing includes the number one R&B singles “Chain of Fools,” “Share Your Love with Me,” “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “Think” and, of course, “Respect.” Even for casual soul fans, most of these songs will be recognizable within the first few notes…
]At Columbia, Franklin lived an entirely different musical life than she would at Atlantic, one that was grounded in jazz and the Great American Songbook, revealing a gigantic vocal talent that betrayed potent hints of the tectonic soul shift to come at Atlantic. It takes precious little imagination to conclude that Franklin was as important to American music in the middle-to-late 1960s as singer/pianist Ray Charles was the decade before, the two star ascents crossing in creative eclipse.
"The Tender, the Moving, the Swinging Aretha Franklin" is the fourth studio album by American singer Aretha Franklin, Released on August 13, 1962 by Columbia Records. It was her first album to achieve any commercial success, reaching #69 on the Billboard pop album charts.
"Laughing on the Outside" is the fifth studio album by American singer Aretha Franklin, Released on August 12, 1963 by Columbia Records. The album was recorded at Columbia Recording Studios in New York and Hollywood. These sessions found a 21-year-old Aretha Franklin recording Jazz Music and Pop Music standards, from Johnny Mercer to Duke Ellington. She is backed by the arrangements of Columbia producer Robert Mersey.