Musician Biographies » Aretha Franklin » Down but Never Out - Taking A Break, Love Again, Spirit Of Success, Amazing Grace, Good-bye To Old Friends

Down but Never Out - Taking A Break

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Aretha had good reason to take a break. The year 1968 had been an intense one full of extreme highs and lows. There were many things to be proud of, including her successful European tour. Still, Aretha needed time to relax, think, and spend time with her three children in Detroit. Big Mama was still caring for Clarence and Eddie. Ted White and his own mother were raising Teddy Jr. Aretha took her time before recording or touring again.

In 1969, Atlantic released two new Aretha albums, both of them recorded in previous years. One of them, Soul ‘69, was actually an album of pop standards with a big band orchestra backing Aretha's vocals. The other album, Aretha's Gold, combined previous hits from 1967 and 1968 with a new song, “The House That Jack Built.” Aretha had no major radio hits in 1969, but she was still getting plenty of airplay. Her fans loved the new albums and were eager to see Aretha tour again.

It wasn't all smooth sailing, though. At Aretha's Detroit home in December 1969, a drunken Ted White shot one of Aretha's houseguests. The guest did not die, but the experience frightened Aretha. A few months later, Ted again burst into Aretha's home in Detroit and caused a scene. Aretha's father was involved in the argument, and Aretha broke down. She was unable to perform the following night at a sold-out concert in Chicago. She was dazed when she performed in St. Louis a few days later, and members of the audience demanded their money back.

Down but Never Out - Love Again [next]

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