Overview

Aretha Franklin is the daughter of a minister. According to her father Reverend C.L. Franklin, Aretha “inherited” the tradition of Gospel music. As a young girl, along with her siblings, Aretha would sing every week in the choir at her father's church in Detroit, Michigan. This foundation in Gospel music remained with Aretha Franklin, even after she “crossed-over” and began recording Pop records in the 1960s. Aretha still summoned an emphatic vocal delivery and a heightened emotional power in her performances, evident on such recordings as "Chain of Fools" in 1967. Set against the backdrop of the Civil Rights movement, Aretha Franklin’s commanding delivery, with such profound traces of Gospel style, set the stage for an emerging Soul sound in a changing society.

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Lessons

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The Gospel Origins of “Chain of Fools”

Essential Question: How did Aretha Franklin’s foundation in Gospel music influence her recording of “Chain of Fools,” helping to establish a Soul sound and bringing black culture into mainstream America?
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Little Kids Rock Charts: “Chain of Fools”

How does understanding the structure and context of the song "Chain of Fools" inform its performance?