Born in 1942 in Memphis, Tennessee, the Queen of Soul is 72 today.
Here she is live on Soul Train in 1973, performing “Rock Steady” from 1972’s Young, Gifted and Black, her fifth gold album. I’m not sure how live this is, actually – the vocals look and sound it, but we can’t see the band who sure sound like Cornell Dupree (guitar), Chuck Rainey (bass) and Bernard Purdie (drums) and the Memphis Horns (horns, obv.), not to mention Donny Hathaway (organ) and Dr John (percussion) who played on the album track. Whatever, it is imperishably glorious. Every home should have a copy of this album and 1970’s Spirit in the Dark. The later albums are, to say the least, patchy but anything on Atlantic is worth buying and the Arista albums have their moments, especially the first two. You don't need me to tell you how good the gospel albums are. After that, you're on your own. But always, that voice: