sheer joy

the soul of the church

stunningly magnificent liturgy

By 1971 Aretha Franklin had recorded over 20 albums, won 5 Grammys, and had 11 consecutive number one Pop and R&B singles.  In January of 1972 Aretha decided to do something different.  She came to Los Angeles to record an album of the music she sang in her youth.  Ms. Franklin brought her band featuring drummer Bernard Purdie, guitarist Cornell Dupree, bassist Chuck Rainey, and record producers Jerry Wexler and Arif Mardin.  Sydney Pollack was hired by Warner Brothers films to document the recordings.  At her side was the most famous figure in contemporary gospel, the Reverend James Cleveland and his group the Southern California Community Choir.  Recorded live over two nights the album became the best selling gospel record of all time.  The film, because of technical problems, was never finished.

Amazing Grace, released 10 May, 2019


recorded at Missionary Baptist Church, Watts
yes, that’s Mick Jagger in the back pew