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The Fan Who Knew Too Much: Aretha Franklin, the Rise of the Soap Opera, Children of the Gospel Church, and Other Meditations

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The Fan Who Knew Too Much: Aretha Franklin, the Rise of the Soap Opera, Children of the Gospel Church, and Other Meditations

The Fan Who Knew Too Much: Aretha Franklin, the Rise of the Soap Opera, Children of the Gospel Church, and Other Meditations by Anthony Heilbut
English | June 19th, 2012 | ASIN: B006Q1SQFS, ISBN: 037540080X | 368 pages | AZW3 | 2.49 MB

A dazzling exploration of American culture—from high pop to highbrow—by acclaimed music authority, cultural historian, and biographer Anthony Heilbut, author of the now classic The Gospel Sound (“Definitive” —Rolling Stone), Exiled in Paradise, and Thomas Mann (“Electric”—Harold Brodkey).

In The Fan Who Knew Too Much, Heilbut writes about art and obsession, from country blues singers and male sopranos to European intellectuals and the originators of radio soap opera—figures transfixed and transformed who helped to change the American cultural landscape.

Heilbut writes about Aretha Franklin, the longest-lasting female star of our time, who changed performing for women of all races. He writes about Aretha’s evolution as a singer and performer (she came out of the tradition of Mahalia Jackson); before Aretha, there were only two blues-singing gospel women—Dinah Washington, who told it like it was, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, who specialized, like Aretha, in ambivalence, erotic gospel, and holy blues.

We see the influence of Aretha’s father, C. L. Franklin, famous pastor of Detroit’s New Bethel Baptist Church. Franklin’s albums preached a theology of liberation and racial pride that sold millions and helped prepare the way for Martin Luther King Jr. Reverend Franklin was considered royalty and, Heilbut writes, it was inevitable that his daughter would become the Queen of Soul.

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