American royalty

2012-12-21T00:00:00Z American royaltyTim Shellberg Times Correspondent
December 21, 2012 12:00 am  • 

“Hey Nineteen, That’s `Retha Franklin

She don’t remember the queen of soul”

Steely Dan, “Hey Nineteen,” 1980

It’s been more than three decades since “Nineteen” first blasted over the radio waves, and teens since then would have to be living in a bubble to not be familiar with the Queen of Soul.

Career-wise, Franklin experienced a mainstream resurgence of sorts  with the 1985 set “Who’s Zoomin’ Who,” which spawned a trio of hits including the title track, “Freeway of Love” and the anthem “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves.” A year later saw Franklin top the charts yet again with “I Knew You Were Waiting for Me,” a duet with George Michael.

Yet the '80s hits hardly hold a candle to Franklin’s soul triumphs of the '60s and '70s. For decades now, her 1967 set, “I Have Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You,” has been a regular on best-ever pop, rock and soul albums; for tweens, teens, and twentysomethings who continue to play Adele’s “21” ad nauseum, “Never Loved” should be next on his or her download list.

Franklin’s hits – for better or for worse – have also been go-tos for music reality shows over the course of the last decade; between “American Idol,” “The Voice” and “The X-Factor,” many an aspiring singer has tried their luck winning over judges and the masses with “Never Loved,” “Respect,” “Ship of Fools” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” with various degrees of success, but never holding a candle to the groundwork Franklin laid for them.

In the last decade, Franklin’s place in pop culture royalty has remained intact. In 2009, she performed at President Barack Obama’s inauguration (which, oddly enough, is remembered more for her choice of headwear rather than her performance) and, in August, was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

In recent years, though, Franklin's live shows have been few and far between; her Dec. 29 performance at The Venue is one of only five shows slated on her itinerary between now and March.

Aretha Franklin, 8 p.m. Dec. 29, The Venue at Horseshoe Casino, 777 Casino Center Dr., Hammond. $78.50-$99.50. FYI: (219) 473-6351, HORSESHOEHAMMOND.COM


For more information, contact the venues or ticket sales agencies listed below. Unless otherwise indicated, all shows are all-ages.

Fleetwood Mac, April 13, United Center (UNITEDCENTER.COM)

Josh Ritter, April 27, Vic Theatre (JAMUSA.COM)

Yes, March 16, The Venue at Horseshoe Casino (21 and older, HORSESHOEHAMMOND.COM)

James Hunter, March 2, Lincoln Hall (21 and older, LINCOLNHALLCHICAGO.COM)

Nick Waterhouse, Feb. 14, Metro (18 and older, METROCHICAGO.COM)

Diana Krall, April 27, The Chicago Theatre (THECHICAGOTHEATRE.COM)

G. Love and Special Sauce, March 23, Vic Theatre (18 and older, JAMUSA.COM)

Kem, Feb. 16, Arie Crown Theater (ARIECROWN.COM)

Reel Big Fish, Jan. 21, House of Blues (HOB.COM)

The opinions expressed solely are those of the writer. Tim Shellberg can be reached at

Copyright 2015 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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