This Day in 1962: Aretha Makes Her TV debut
56 years ago today, Aretha Franklin made her television debut, belting out a pair of songs to an American Bandstand audience in Philadelphia.
Although Franklin was still a few years away from making her big breakthrough, she was already proving herself to be a force to be reckoned with as well as a performer who had a way of taking other people’s songs and making them her own, and it’s only appropriate that one of the songs Franklin performed on American Bandstand was later made iconic by the man who would soon provide her with “Respect.”
Yes, that’s right: she sang “Try a Little Tenderness,” which – despite having been first published way back in 1933 – is still best known by the version laid down by Otis Redding. The other tune she crooned was “Don’t Cry Baby,” which had previously been recorded by Les Paul & Mary Ford and Etta James.
It would be another five years before Franklin made her prime-time debut, an event which took place on an episode of The Kraft Music Hall, but getting a chance to chat with Dick Clark on the Bandstand… That’s a rite of passage, and by all reports, she nailed it.
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