On this day in music history: June 14, 1968 – …

On this day in music history: June 14, 1968 – “Aretha Now”, the thirteenth album by Aretha Franklin is released. Produced by Jerry Wexler, it is recorded at Atlantic Studios in New York City from December 16, 1967 – April 18, 1968. Only six months after hitting the top of the charts with “Respect”, Aretha Franklin’s hit streak is in full swing as she returns to the studio at the end of 1967 to record her fourth album for Atlantic Records. Recorded with members of the famed Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, the album also features several guest musicians including Bobby Womack (guitar), King Curtis (saxophone), The Memphis Horns (aka Wayne Jackson (trumpet) and Andrew Love (saxophone) ) and The Sweet Inspirations (background vocals). Some of the material consists of songs leftover from the sessions for her previous album “Lady Soul”, with the remaining recordings completed in the Spring of 1968. The album spins off three singles including “Think” (#1 R&B, #7 Pop), “I Say A Little Prayer” (#2 R&B, #4 Pop), and “See Saw” (#9 R&B, #14 Pop). It is remastered and reissued on CD in 1993, also being reissued as a 180 gram vinyl LP by 4 Men With Beards Records in 2005. “Aretha Now” spends seventeen weeks (non-consecutive) at number one on the Billboard R&B album chart, peaking at number three on the Top 200, and is certified Gold in the US by the RIAA.