Pop & Hiss

Pop & Hiss The L.A. Times music blog
From McCartney to Streisand to Oprah, the world mourns Aretha Franklin as 'the queen of our souls'

Fans of legendary singer Aretha Franklin in Hollywood and beyond said little prayers of gratitude for the “Respect”-demanding singer, who died at age 76 on Thursday of advanced pancreatic cancer.

Music icons across genres — Diana Ross, Paul McCartney, Annie Lennox and Faith Hill — tweeted about her impact on their community and the void her death leaves behind.

Read more
There is no modern pop music without Aretha Franklin

Parsing out Aretha Franklin’s influence on contemporary culture is a foolish task. Without her, nothing comes after.

Read more
Review: Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats bring vibrant neo-soul music to the Greek Theatre

Some musicians are content to entertain an audience, others seek to illuminate issues or themes close to their hearts, and some are in it chiefly for fame and/or fortune. A precious few see music as a way to channel and disseminate nothing less than a life force through music, a mission that appears to be the raison d’être of Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats.

Read more
Aretha Franklin: Five must-own albums

As prolific as she was influential, Aretha Franklin released dozens of albums in a career that lasted longer than half a century.

Here are five of her most important:

“Laughing on the Outside,” 1963

With a seemingly arbitrary mix of pop, jazz and R&B tunes, Franklin’s early-’60s output on Columbia Records left audiences unsure about what kind of singer they were hearing.

Read more
Recorded in Watts, Aretha Franklin's live album 'Amazing Grace' made gospel history on two days in 1972

In early 1972, Aretha Franklin arrived at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Watts for a pair of performances with the backing of the Rev. James Cleveland and the Southern California Community Choir. Recorded by Atlantic Records engineers and documented on film by Sydney Pollack, the music was released less than six months later as the double album “Amazing Grace.”

Read more
The night Aretha Franklin turned to opera and saved the Grammy Awards

The Grammy Awards ceremony has never suffered a shortage of drama during the annual telecast.

But there probably was never a more heart-stopping turn of events than on the night of Feb. 25, 1998, when the 40th Grammys were put on at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

Read more
EDITION: California | U.S. & World