“The ramblings and grumblings of author Ad Hudler”

About that song, Aretha ...
Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I was looking forward to the Queen of Soul's singing "My Country 'Tis of Thee" at yesterday's inauguration. I was prepared to cry. Instead, I am sulking. I'm a little mad.

I love Motown, but a presidential inauguration isn't the place for it. I didn't want entertainment; I wanted to feel a rush of patriotism, and Aretha's wonderfully unique trills and dips just were not appropriate at that time and place and event. I honestly don't have a problem with one artist interpreting another artist's work in his or her own way ... but there are some things that shouldn't be messed with.

Imaging if you had a favorite dish (let's say, oyster stew) your mother made every single Christmas Eve. It had been made the same way your entire life. And then, one year, out of the blue, she decides to replace the oysters with crab and chicken ... oh, and let's throw in a few squirts of Vietnamese hot sauce.

You would feel betrayed. An institution had been corrupted. Right?

Fair comparison, guys?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more.
It was a major disappointment.
But don't you think it was because she has lost her powerful voice to the years . . . and couldn't get to her 'good notes' without rolling up and around them? It seemed obvious it was more that she 'couldn't', not 'didn't'.

January 21, 2009 at 9:49 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

I agree and I wasn't gonna say anything about her voice - but yeah, not only was she replacing the oysters but the crab and chicken weren't necessarily cooked properly.

January 21, 2009 at 10:19 AM  
Blogger Ad Hudler said...

Guys: Getting older just plain sucks, doesn't it?

January 21, 2009 at 11:43 AM  
Blogger Kathy Grey said...

To answer the question, yes, getting older sucks.

But here's the retort. I'm a singer. Been one since I was 8. But understand this: First, codl temparatures constrict the vocal cords and cause post-nasal drip,which screws up the voice.
Next, Aretha will be 67 in March and her pipes work way better than many half her age.

I loved her, her pipes and her hat.

Hey, she could have been sitting at home watching The Price is Right at noon yesterday.

January 22, 2009 at 12:04 AM  
Blogger Dan said...


January 22, 2009 at 9:42 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

She wasn't happy with her performance and the cold weather. But the moment and the hat made up for it.

January 22, 2009 at 10:20 AM  
Blogger Ad Hudler said...

Yeah, that hat belongs in the Smithsonian. One thing I miss about living in the Deep South is seeing all the black women's really cool church hats.

January 22, 2009 at 11:20 AM  

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