Aretha Franklin (1942-2018) - soulful singer | songwriter | pianist

Atlantic Records(Life time: Published before 1978 without a copyright notice), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons



Aretha Franklin signed a contract with Columbia Records at the age of 18. She had been singing solos in church since childhood and had learned to play piano by ear. Named the “Queen of Soul”, Franklin’s global record sales total over 75 million. She was a Civil Rights activist, a philanthropist, and a pioneer for female singers and songwriters. When she made Otis Redding’s “Respect” her own, it became an anthem of the Civil Rights movement and the women’s movement. Franklin performed at three Presidential inaugurations and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s funeral. She was awarded 17 Grammys, the National Medal of Arts, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. 


“Be your own artist, and always be confident in what you're doing. If you're not going to be confident, you might as well not be doing it.” 

"Music does a lot of things for a lot of people. It's transporting, for sure. It can take you right back, years back, to the very moment certain things happened in your life. It's uplifting, it's encouraging, it's strengthening.

“Don't say Aretha is making a comeback, because I've never been away!” 


Ritz, D. (2014). The Life of Aretha Franklin.

Abdurraqib, H. (2022). Aretha, Sing!: Aretha Franklin,"Respect," and the Civil Rights Movement. (biography for children)




Jean McGuire  - Artist Statement

I am a Kansas City native who returned to painting a few years ago after a 40-year hiatus. Happily, even though I wasn’t actively working on my art, my ability to view the world in colors and shapes never went away. I was able to take those observations and transfer them to my medium while maintaining the curiosity and wonder of a newcomer. A recent fascination with antique photos of women with attitude has lured me into portrait studies. The fact that so many women, from so many eras, were able to hold their heads high despite the limitations of their social roles in society has inspired Jean to try to capture their strengths on canvas or paper. Recently, after studying with Lacey Lewis in Kansas City, I have added charcoal studies to my repertoire. I have had pieces in the Overland Park Art at The Center, the “Soul and the City” show at the Hilliard Gallery, the “Faces of Kansas City” show at the Epsten Gallery, a show at RG Endres Gallery, a juried show, “Voices of the Midwest”, at Fine Line Creative Art, St. Charles, IL, and Kelwood Gallery in Baton Rouge in their “Finding Our Voices” show.

"The Gift of Her Song"

Women Who Walked on Water

Joy Zimmerman

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Women Who Walked on Water (3:21) – mid-tempo with soulful vocals, rhythmic guitars, and lilting fiddle. A song of tribute to seventeen courageous women who changed the world.

Music & Lyrics by Joy Zimmerman

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