On this day in music history: February 14, 196…

On this day in music history: February 14, 1967 – Aretha Franklin records “Respect” at Atlantic Studios in New York City. Written and originally recorded by Otis Redding in 1965, Franklin suggests to her producer Jerry Wexler that they record the song during sessions for her first Atlantic album “I Never Loved A Man, The Way I Love You”. Using many of the same musicians that Franklin recorded with in Muscle Shoals, AL, they fly up to New York for the sessions at Atlantic Studios and are also joined by sax player King Curtis. While in the studio, the song receives a dramatic re-arrangement, with Aretha and her sisters Erma and Carolyn being instrumental in setting the tempo as well as coming up with the songs’ trademark “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” chant. Released as a single in April 1967, it becomes an instant smash, topping the Billboard R&B singles chart for 8 weeks (on May 20, 1967) and and pop singles chart for 2 weeks (on June 3, 1967), also becoming an anthem for the Civil Rights and feminist movements. “Respect” also wins Franklin her first two Grammy Awards in 1968, dominating the Best Female R&B Vocal Performance category for the next eight years.