Voice of Her Time
The Queen Of Soul
Aretha's album Lady Soul was released in January 1968. Aretha played keyboards and got support from many of the musicians from Muscle Shoals. Aretha and Ted White cowrote “Since You've Been Gone (Sweet Sweet Baby),” which went to number five on the pop charts (it reached number one on the R & B charts). Even more successful was “Chain of Fools,” which went to number two on the pop charts. “Chain of Fools” won Aretha her third Grammy, for Best R & B Performance, Female.
Lady Soul also contained songs written by soul musicians James Brown and Curtis Mayfield. Aretha's sister Carolyn wrote the beautiful gospel number “Ain't No Way.” The song featured Whitney Houston's mother, Cissy, on backup. Even guitarist Eric Clapton (of the British groups Cream and the Yardbirds) was featured on “Good to Me as I Am to You.”
Perhaps most remarkable was “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.” Like “Respect,” “A Natural Woman” became one of her signature numbers. Carole King, who wrote “A Natural Woman,” also had great success singing the song on her own 1970 album, Tapestry.
As she had in 1967, Aretha recorded a second album within the same year. Aretha Now included her cover of the Dionne Warwick hit “I Say a Little Prayer.” Aretha's version quickly hit the top ten on the pop charts. “Think,” “See Saw,” and Aretha's cover of Sam Cooke's “You Send Me” were other hits from the album. It seemed Aretha's string of hit songs would never stop.