Monday, August 1, 1960: Aretha Franklin

Eighteen-year-old singer Aretha Franklin begins her first recording session for Columbia Records in New York. The songs are a mix of jazz, pop, blues and show tunes. The resulting album, "Aretha" (released in March 1961), will be her second record; an album of gospel songs was released when she was just 14.

* Listen to "Today I Sing the Blues" (the first song recorded at the first session): @
* Short biography (from rollingstone.com): @
* Essay on her early years: @

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