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  1. #1

    Impersonating the Queen of Soul

    Check out the article in the latest issue of Smithsonian magazine, July/August 2018, "Impersonating the Queen of Soul" by Jeff Maysh.
    I remember this story well when it happened here in Florida back in
    1969. And it was amazing then! We couldn't believe Aretha Franklin would be playing some of the small venues, some almost dives, that she was being
    booked. Even radio spots and posters (showing the real Aretha) were advertising her appearances. It's like a 7 page article!

  2. #2

  3. #3
    Amazing story !

  4. #4
    Fascinating - thanks for finding

  5. #5
    Oh, my stars, what a fantastic read! This is screaming out for a screenplay. Many, many thanks, rrussi!

  6. #6
    Very interesting. She was billed As Aretha Franklin Revue so wasn’t that ok?

  7. #7
    No, she was impersonating Aretha and it was Aretha people thought they were going to see. Radio spots advertised Aretha as did the posters.

  8. #8
    She must've been pretty good or crazy to think she could impersonate the queen.

  9. #9
    Reminds me of this personal experience.

    When disco was at its peak, with one song , some people suddenly gained fame overnight. One such case was Alicia Bridges ,who was physically known only through distant photos of her on her debut album. When she arrived in Honolulu and announced herself, she was greeted with open arms, graciously appearing on disco radio stations and night after night enthusiastically performing her I LOVE THE NIGHTLIFE in all the Waikiki clubs.
    She was so well accepted, that she even sang at the funeral of the owner of the club that I DJ'd at when he was suddenly murdered.
    All was going well for the beloved celeb until the real Alicia Bridges called a radio station in Hawaii and live on air informed everyone that she was in Florida.
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 07-10-2018 at 05:01 AM.

  10. #10
    wow, Boogiedown, that is amazing but I can see how she got away with it.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by motony View Post
    wow, Boogiedown, that is amazing but I can see how she got away with it.
    Ya motony, Alicia had a royal blast for a couple of weeks partying on the island. When her cover was blown, I imagine her hopping on the earliest plane possible, and once off the ground , being thouroughly tickled with herself the entire flight back to the mainland.

    I wonder what her next adventure in life was ! Lol!
    Last edited by Boogiedown; 07-11-2018 at 03:48 AM.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    3,475
    This is a great story and as mentioned would make a great movie. I remember back in the 90's there was a transvestite doing club gigs as Shirley Murdock. He even bought a mercedes benz under the name Shirley Murdock because the dealer extended the credit on name alone. They were finally caught and arrested and Shirley seemed embarrassed by the entire event.

  13. #13
    I know many years ago it was much easier to get away with this. But even in 1969 I thought the "promoter" was a fool to think he could fool people with a fake Aretha Franklin. Aretha was highly visible on TV and in magazines and was already a top draw. Greedy man! He should have chosen another artist not as visible and NOT the Queen. And even then I don't know he could've pulled it off. But there were many impersonators back in those times getting away with it.

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