Please, Your Highness! Let Us See It!

aretha amazing graceI’m a longtime fan of Aretha Franklin. I think that hers is a vocal gift that comes along once every century or so. I believe that one of her greatest musical achievements is Amazing Grace, her 1972 masterpiece, in which she “returned to the church” to record some songs from her youth as well as some modern gospel tunes. I don’t care how bad a day is, hearing Aretha sing “How I Got Over” will bring me out of the deepest funk.

I only recently learned that there was film footage of that concert. Not only that, it was shot by the late Syndey Pollack; an Oscar-winning director who happens to have made some of my favorite films (They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? and Tootsie to name two). This was almost too good to be true – one of my favorite singers, in one of her greatest recorded live performances on a film directed by one of my favorite directors!

My ecstasy was dashed minutes later when I learned that the film has never been released and may never be released. The holdup is reportedly because of a disagreement of some kind between “The Queen of Soul” and the film’s producers. In order to use Ms. Franklin’s likeness in the film, the producers must have her permission and as of now, Her Majesty isn’t giving it.

I discovered this trailer on YouTube, the only part of the footage that we have seen so far. This looks like this could be one incredible documentary film. It’s seems a crime to allow it to languish in a vault somewhere. The release of it could only serve to enhance Ms. Franklin’s already impressive legacy and serve as a fitting memorial to a great director.

I know that I have no pull with “The Queen”, but if she somehow should see this post, I would ask her: “Please Your Highness, Let us see Amazing Grace as it was meant to be, where we could see you in your astonishing prime, as well as Rev. James Cleveland; your father, the great Rev. C.L. Franklin and others who were there then but not with us now.”

Your loyal subjects are waiting, please don’t disappoint us!


2 Responses to “Please, Your Highness! Let Us See It!”

  1. Is it possible the producers are not offering her a fair amount of money? We know that blues, jazz, r&b and soul musicians have been ripped off by their producers. Any connection to most of them being Black? Although Barry Gordy was notorious for robbing his Motown best…Just wondering…

    Ellen Kirschner 516-526-6165

    • It’s possible, Ellen. On the other hand as much as I love Ms. Aretha I also know that she can sometimes make outrageous demands. Something tells me that the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

      Thanks for reading and thanks for the comment. I hope that you are doing well!

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