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Aretha Franklin - Amazing Grace

  by Shirley Procter

published: 6 / 8 / 2019

Aretha Franklin - Amazing Grace


Shirley Procter watches Aretha Franklin's remarkable new live film 'Amazing Grace', which recorded in a Los Angeles Baptist church has finally been released 47 years after it was filmed.

Acclaimed film director Sydney Pollack directed 'Amazing Grace' in 1972. The sound quality was, however, flawed as he didn’t use the clapper board properly, and the sound wouldn’t sync with the film. Aretha Franklin would not, therefore, let this film be shown while she was alive, but after her death last year her family allowed it. 'Amazing Grace' was recorded live, and is the soundtrack to the biggest gospel album ever recorded. The album was recorded over two days in front of a live audience at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles. Her father, Rev CL Franklin, was asked why she had taken her music away from the church; he replied saying it was in everything she did! She opens with Marvin Gaye’s 'Holy, Holy'. It is incredible. Next up is 'What a Friend We Have in Jesus”'. She’s supported by the Southern California Gospel Choir. Their sound is amazing, as is her voice! We see different shots of her singing - from both days and different recordings of the same songs. The third track is 'How I Got Over'. An old song, 'You’ve Got a Friend in Jesus', is next, and is a mix of a pop and gospel song, . Aretha then sings 'Amazing Grace'. Wow, just wow! She ha a stunning range, and sings with such passion. The second night opens with 'Mary, Don’t You Weep'. The choir’s backing vocals are beautiful, Aretha’s voice soars over them. They follow this with 'Climbing Higher Mountains', another beautiful song. You can see a young Mick Jagger standing in the audience clapping along. They follow this with 'Never Grow Old'. Then Aretha’s dad, Rev. CL Franklin, speaks for a short while. He speaks about his memories of Aretha aged six and aged eleven, and how moved he was by her voice and proud of her he is. Aretha then sings 'Never Grow Old', playing the piano to accompany herself. It’s an enthralling performance, full of soul. What a performance!! The whole film is incredible!

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Aretha Franklin - Amazing Grace

Aretha Franklin - Amazing Grace

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