Today in Music History: Aretha Franklin recorded 'Respect'

Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin sings in the studio during during her early career at Columbia Records. (Frank Driggs Collection/Getty Images, via NPR)

History Highlight:

Today in 1967, Aretha Franklin recorded "Respect" at New York's Atlantic Studios. The song was written and originally released by Otis Redding in 1965, but even he admits that it's truly Aretha's song. One of the most celebrated songs of the R&B era, Aretha's version is a feminist declaration from a strong woman who demands respect and "her propers" when she gets home. The song earned her two Grammys in 1968 for "Best Rhythm & Blues Recording" and "Best Rhythm & Blues Solo Vocal Performance, Female", and was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1987. In 2002, the Library of Congress added the song to the National Recording Registry and it was placed number five on Rolling Stone Magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Also, Today In:

1931 - Ted Lewis had a hit with "Just A Gigolo." Over a half century later, David Lee Roth covered the same tune.

1972 - John Lennon and Yoko Ono began a week-long stint as co-hosts on the midday variety TV show "The Mike Douglas Show".

1981 - Funky 4 + 1 became the first hip-hop act to appear on national TV. They were the musical guest on Saturday Night Live, where they performed "That's The Joint." The group was not new to "firsts" as they were also the first hip hop group to receive a recording deal and the first to have a female MC.

1986 - Frank Zappa appeared on an episode of the television series Miami Vice. Zappa portrayed a crime boss named "Mr. Frankie".

1987 - Bon Jovi started a four-week run at No. 1 on the U.S. singles chart with "Livin' On A Prayer", the group's second U.S. No. 1, a No. 4 hit in the U.K.

1992 - The film "Wayne's World," which featured appearances from Meat Loaf and Alice Cooper, was released in the US. The use of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" in the film propelled the song to No. 2 on the U.S. singles charts nearly 20 years after its first release.

1998 - Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" set a new record for the most radio plays in the U.S. with 116 million plays in one week.

1999 - Elton John appeared as himself in a special episode of the animated series The Simpsons.

2002 - Mick Tucker, drummer with glam rock band Sweet, died of leukemia.

2016 - Adele was at No. 1 on the U.S. album chart with her third studio album 25. The album was a massive commercial success, debuting at No. 1 in more than 25 markets and broke first-week sales records in multiple countries, including the United Kingdom and United States; in the U.S., the album sold 3.38 million copies in its first week of release.


Tim Buckley, folk musician and father of Jeff Buckley, was born today in 1947.

Rob Thomas is 48.

Highlights for Today in Music History are gathered from This Day in Music, Paul Shaffer's Day in Rock, Song Facts and Wikipedia.

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