I remember several years back sitting in the Nickelodeon Theater and when the trailer for the music documentary ‘Amazing Grace’ came on and Aretha Franklin started singing the song of the same name, I had goosebumps from the start. I kept saying I was going to see that film and unfortunately I did not do so until tonight. Well, this definitely is not just a film but a piece of history that has been recorded on film and I am so glad I watched it.
I don’t even know how to describe it other than I would have given anything to have been in that audience. The vocal power of Aretha Franklin – always strong but nothing like in this film – is nothing short of amazing, brilliant, heartwarming and inspiring all at the same time. To think that by 1972, she had already earned 11 consecutive No. 1 pop and R&B singles, won five Grammys and released more than 20 albums. It was in June 1972 that she released the live gospel album, “Amazing Grace,” amid a revival in spiritual music. It sold more than 2 million copies and is among Franklin’s biggest hits. Her influence reaches many, exemplified by known fans Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts – of The Rolling Stones – being in attendance while the filming was taking place.
I loved seeing her father in the audience and also hearing him speak about her musical growth as his young daughter and watching her look at him with pride.
This is an amazing film that is a true tribute to a legend, who definitely and rightly earned the title ‘Queen of Soul.’