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By Heather Lehr Wagner

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Sample text

It was a small venue, with a maximum seating capacity of about 250 people. She sang there for nearly a week, and Bishop attended every performance. Franklin had added some contemporary numbers to her song list. ” Redding’s version of the song was more soulful, but Franklin, in her version of the song, infused it with a hint of the power she had demonstrated as a gospel singer. When she would later record it, the song would become one of her signature numbers, but at the time it was simply a song she had added to give a more contemporary flavor to her act.

White was furious at the dispute with the horn player; Franklin was upset that the fight between her husband and a musician had disrupted the earlier positive atmosphere in the studio. It took Wexler two weeks to track Franklin down and persuade her to resume work on the album. This time the recording was moved from Alabama to Atlantic Records’ New York studio. The musicians from Muscle Shoals were brought 45 46 Aretha Franklin north for the sessions. Aretha’s sisters, Erma and Carolyn, were hired as backup singers, as was Cissy Houston, the mother of future pop singer Whitney Houston.

At the time, San Francisco was home to a large number of hippies—young Americans who were part of the counterculture protest movement and were identified by their long hair and nontraditional clothing (such as jeans and tiedyed shirts). Hippies tended to prefer psychedelic rock music and such bands as The Grateful Dead over Franklin’s trademark sound, and the Fillmore West was a premiere venue for such acts. Franklin was 28 years old when she performed at Fillmore West. To appeal to the expected audience, she chose a series of rock and roll numbers, as well as more rock-influenced versions of some of her hits.

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