Won’t Be Long

Aretha Franklin

Aretha Sings the Blues

Aretha Franklin sings “Won’t Be Long” during a 1964 performance accompanying herself on piano.

After several years in the gospel circuit and with her father’s blessing Aretha formed a secular pop music career in 1960 at the age of eighteen; signing with Columbia Records where she was branded by its CEO John Hammond as his most important act since Billie Holiday.

Her Columbia period wasn’t as successful as hoped and in late 1966 Franklin switched over to Atlantic Records where she began recording a string of popular hits including “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)”, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”, “Think”, “Chain of Fools” and what later became her signature song, “Respect.”

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