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    Aretha mini-series begins tonight on national geographic channel

    Soul legend Aretha Franklin received the television-miniseries treatment with Genius: Aretha. It premiers tonight on the National Geographic Channel

    https://www.npr.org/2021/03/19/97905...new-miniseries


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    Wow,i didn't know about this one,gonna watch it.

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    Saw the first 2 parts and it was amazing. This was quite the surprise. Look out Jenifer Hudson, this gal playing Aretha has it down. The one turn off is always these dysfunctional relationships. Ted White needed to "rock steady" himself, he was annoying. The overall production is spot on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nathanj06 View Post
    Saw the first 2 parts and it was amazing. This was quite the surprise. Look out Jenifer Hudson, this gal playing Aretha has it down. The one turn off is always these dysfunctional relationships. Ted White needed to "rock steady" himself, he was annoying. The overall production is spot on.
    That's what I've been hearing. Going to have to watch it myself.

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    I caught most of the first ep and I was impressed. Erivo really captures Aretha's quiet-fire essence offstage; she delivers musically as well.

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    https://www.showbiz411.com/2021/03/2...retha-franklin

    Genius: Aretha” debuts Sunday night a two hour special at 9pm on National Geographic, and then continues on for the next three nights in two hour installments. I’ve seen all but the last hour and I’ve held off writing about it until now. As many readers here know, Aretha Franklin was my friend. Or, I was lucky to be her friend for many, many years. She always wanted a movie to be made about her life but was nervous about it. A lot of Aretha was hidden from her closest friends and family. She was very private.
    Some of that comes across in Cynthia Erivo’s performance. The Tony winning, Oscar nominated actress has a gorgeous voice, and while she doesn’t imitate Aretha, she does her best to emulate her in that regard. Unfortunately, “Genius” does not include many of Aretha’s greatest hits from the Atlantic Records era, like “Respect,” because the Jennifer Hudson movie of the same name locked them up in advance.
    That leaves “Genius” to at least show who Aretha was, to somehow scale the wall Aretha kept up in real life to protect against a great deal of pain. Erivo tries very hard to get there. She has a look of hurt in her eyes that I found haunting, and conveyed so much of what Aretha hid from all of us and all the people she knew long before I met her. Between Erivo’s voice, and this one angle she invests into the character, I give her props.
    But the real Aretha story is not told here. I don’t know if it will ever be told. For one thing, too many people are alive who could be hurt by a serious investigation. Why do that to them? So some things are alluded to, but no points are made in “Genius.” What we’re getting is writer Suzan Lori Parks doing her best to suggest issues in Aretha’s life while just putting together scenes from public information. What lies beneath stays there.
    On the down side, a lot of “imagined” scenes I found hard to swallow. Aretha and Martin Luther King didn’t chit chat about their personal problems in real life. Aretha would never ever have handed out flyers at a public rally, nor did she make a public speech about George Jackson. That simply wasn’t her style, but Parks had to find dramatic beats, so she invented them.
    Even when there were chances to delve into something deeper, Parks is at a loss. Almost an entire episode re-creates Aretha’s filmed gospel concert in Los Angeles that became the documentary “Amazing Grace.” Aretha didn’t want that film released, and did everything to block it. Then it was released last year, and now it’s been replicated in another film. I can only imagine Aretha in her after life is furious. And trust me, we discussed “Amazing Grace” a lot. She did not want it out. Period.
    Back to the music: Director Anthony Hemingway and Erivo do the best they can with what they have to work with. Lacking access to the hits, “Son of a Preacher Man”– which was Dusty Springfield’s song– is now important. That’s ridiculous. The filmmakers did get “Don’t Play That Song For Me,” which was written by Ahmet Ertegun, the head of Atlantic Records. But Ertegun is entirely absent from this mini-series, which is infuriating. Producer Jerry Wexler’s relationship with Aretha [[David Cross plays him) is not right at all, they were friends. Producer Tom Dowd is almost completely absent, too.
    But Erivo shines no matter what she does. Courtney B. Vance is so strong that his performance as an ambivalent Reverend CL Franklin works, to a point. There’s a concocted frisson between Aretha and one of her sisters, all made up and not right–Carolyn Franklin wrote a lot of Aretha’s hits, but because they couldn’t be used, none of that is explained. Also, Cissy Houston and the Sweet Inspirations sang back up and toured with Aretha during this period; they’ve been largely brushed off.
    My favorite sequence was the episode in which Barbara Franklin, CL’s wife, is banished from the household and moves to Buffalo. Antonique Smith really makes Barbara into a sympathetic character. Malcolm Barrett tries to do something with Aretha’s famously villainous husband Ted White, but I think constraints prevented the full story to be told. Ted White, unlike Ike Turner, is still alive.
    The real winner in the “Genius Aretha” mini-series is 14 year old actress Sanai Victoria. She’s got a great voice, and carries a substantial part of the miniseries with grace and humor. [[Erivo’s Aretha rarely smiles, by comparison.) Young Aretha lives through many ordeals, some of which are left opaque here, but Victoria does her level best to make us feel as if we are watching a Queen earn her crown.
    Will the Jennifer Hudson movie be any better when it arrives in August? I hope so. Think of this miniseries as the origin story for “Respect,” watch them both, then listen to Aretha’s records. They remain, and will always stand the test of time.

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    I truly enjoyed the first two episodes and hats off to Cyntha. She really embodied Aretha off stage. The Jennifer Hudson ovie will have a hard act to follow.

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    I have been watching the series for the past few nights and have enjoyed it very much. I must admit that there are many scenes where I question the source of the dialogue and there are definitely some inaccuracies. But on the whole, I think it has been well done.

    It is too bad that Rhino delayed the release of their boxed set to coincide with the release of the motion picture. They probably would be getting significant sales if it was available now.

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    I was impressed with how bare they laid CL Franklin and his philandering. I had read that the Gospel Circuit was quite the "sex fest" previously...this brought it clearly into the light of day. 12 or 13 and pregnant...what a shame. I'm enjoying the series immensely. I had read David Ritz's book, so I had some understanding of what her life entailed.

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    So that's what happened with Respect being heard in this film! I was waiting and waiting, next think Wexler says is Baby, I Love You is #1 then she's singing Call Me and Don't Play That Song. Regardless, this is a sensational story and extremely well done. I will always treasure her Atlantic records and listen to them frequently. That unedited version of Chain Of Fools on her Lady Soul CD.....o m g!!! If you've never heard it, get it.
    Last edited by nathanj06; 03-23-2021 at 03:46 PM.

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    Maybe this is why her family was against it. It was well made despite a few inconsistencies in the storyline that were confusing to me. The cinematography was great, and reflected that period in time with the fashion's and such very well. Cynthia Erivo was great, and she looked like young Aretha. It was said the family didn't receive permission to make this film, but maybe they were very concerned it would turn out to be better than the one they approved of featuring Jennifer Hudson. Can't wait for "Respect", so I can compare the two.
    Last edited by Cincinnati_Kid; 03-24-2021 at 12:48 PM.

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    https://this.kiji.is/746687165101686...07769890374753

    Aretha Franklin's family slam Genius: Aretha for not allowing their involvement


    Aretha Franklin's family have accused the producers of 'Genius: Aretha' of "disrespecting" them.
    The life of the late singing legend will be depicted in the NatGeo limited series, which airs this week with Cynthia Erivo in the lead role, but her relatives insisted their attempts to work with programme makers have been snubbed and they called on fans to boycott the show.

    Aretha's granddaughter, Grace Franklin, said in a video shared to TikTok: “As the immediate family, we feel that it’s important to be involved with any biopic of my grandma’s life, as it’s hard to get any accurate depiction of anyone’s life without speaking to the ones closest to them.
    “During the process of writing, directing, and filming this movie, we’ve reached out to Genius as a family on multiple occasions where we have been disrespected and told we will not be worked with.
    “As the immediate family — emphasis on immediate — we do not support this film and we ask that you also do not support this film, as we feel extremely disrespected, and we feel there will be many inaccuracies about my grandmother’s life.”

    Grace's message echoes comments recently made by her father, Kecalf Franklin, who suggested the series could be based on "untruth or slander".

    He told Rolling Stone magazine: "What we’ve found out in the past is that usually when people don’t want to work with you, that is a prelude to some type of unprofessional behavior or a prelude to some type of untruth or slander, so we’re not quite sure where we’re going to see in this series.
    "That’s usually the case when people say that they don’t want to work with you.”
    Production on 'Genius' began in 2019, less than a year after the Queen of Soul died of cancer and Kecalf explained communication between the family and NatGeo ended after his cousin, Sabrina Garrett-Owens, resigned from her post as representative of Aretha’s estate.
    And by the time she left her position, the family and the network hadn't reached an agreement on their involvement in the series, but when the relatives attempted to put something in place, Kecalf claimed their approaches were rejected.
    He said: “We had our lawyers reach out to them and see if we could have some type of input and see the film and say what we like and what we didn’t like about it.
    "And the report that we got back was saying that it was too late, production had already wrapped up and that they didn’t want to work with us. It was basically too late.
    “It seems as if the final editing hadn’t been done, that there was something that could have been done in that area, maybe after we had previewed it. They did send a non-disclosure agreement but the terms in that contract, they weren’t giving us creative control or anything like that as well. So it’s kind of like they just wanted us to check it out. But if we didn’t like it then, ‘Oh well. Sorry.’”
    NatGeo insisted they have told Aretha's story in an "honest and authentic way" and share the "goal" of the family to "celebrate" the 'Natural Woman' hitmaker.
    They said in a statement: "We think we have a shared goal here – to honour and celebrate the life and legacy of Aretha Franklin. We can tell you that everyone who worked on ‘Genius: Aretha’ approached telling her story with the intention to respect Ms. Franklin in every aspect of the series and in every decision we made. The studio worked diligently to attain the endorsement of Aretha’s estate, which we are grateful to have.
    “We worked with many people who knew Ms. Franklin — from Clive Davis to members of her family’s estate — to make sure we told her story in an honest and authentic way.”

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    this is a family that can't agree on anything. Aretha knew she was dying and didn't put things in place and look at the chaos and pain that it has caused. Again, from what I read, this was more her way of dealing with things than not. Clive Davis must have very special qualities to have worked with her so long.
    The other thing I noticed is the amount of smoking that happened, no wonder her voice deteriorated...same with Dionne Warwick...no denying the ravages the smoking does.

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    For those of you who, like myself, don't have cable TV, Hulu is also showing the series.

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    Quote Originally Posted by drlorne View Post
    this is a family that can't agree on anything. Aretha knew she was dying and didn't put things in place and look at the chaos and pain that it has caused. Again, from what I read, this was more her way of dealing with things than not. Clive Davis must have very special qualities to have worked with her so long.
    The other thing I noticed is the amount of smoking that happened, no wonder her voice deteriorated...same with Dionne Warwick...no denying the ravages the smoking does.
    I agree about the smoking, but everybody smoked back then. It was thought of as being glamorous and cool, but we know that it's dangerous now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cincinnati_Kid View Post
    I agree about the smoking, but everybody smoked back then. It was thought of as being glamorous and cool, but we know that it's dangerous now.
    The tv show showed Sammie Bryant giving Aretha a cigarette when she was only 13 years old. Not sure if that actually happened but I believe Aretha herself said she started smoking at 14. She didn't quit until she was 51 or 52. That is a very long time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by drlorne View Post
    this is a family that can't agree on anything. Aretha knew she was dying and didn't put things in place and look at the chaos and pain that it has caused. Again, from what I read, this was more her way of dealing with things than not. Clive Davis must have very special qualities to have worked with her so long.
    The other thing I noticed is the amount of smoking that happened, no wonder her voice deteriorated...same with Dionne Warwick...no denying the ravages the smoking does.
    All agreed [[or, should I pun, Ah, greed...) and if one wishes to split hairs, with all due respect to the children/grand children, what would they necessarily know about events that happened before their births and/or that they did not witness themselves? Knowing the red-hot mess that my utterly beloved Aretha's professional affairs were, NatGeo would have indeed been smart to take a hard left turn away and on to the interstate before asking the Franklin survivors to get involved. [[And, truly, I'm sorry to say this, but I've followed Aretha since 1969 and you could fill volumes of textbooks with Franklin career mishaps, uncompleted plans, cancelled concerts, you name it) My guess is that the only thing the family is upset with is not being asked where to send their checks to.
    Last edited by PeaceNHarmony; 03-24-2021 at 02:49 PM.

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    Never realized Aretha was this subduedd off stage .

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeaceNHarmony View Post
    All agreed [[or, should I pun, Ah, greed...) and if one wishes to split hairs, with all due respect to the children/grand children, what would they necessarily know about events that happened before their births and/or that they did not witness themselves? Knowing the red-hot mess that my utterly beloved Aretha's professional affairs were, NatGeo would have indeed been smart to take a hard left turn away and on to the interstate before asking the Franklin survivors to get involved. [[And, truly, I'm sorry to say this, but I've followed Aretha since 1969 and you could fill volumes of textbooks with Franklin career mishaps, uncompleted plans, cancelled concerts, you name it) My guess is that the only thing the family is upset with is not being asked where to send their checks to.
    Largely agree... This reminds me of the controversy over the recent Green Book film. A guy from his own perspective told a story he participated in, a story that would likely never have been otherwise told, and when the industry decided to go ahead with the project, the family members all stuck their hands out for a piece of the action, instead of having told their own compelling story themselves that was saleable and co-participants who let the professionals do what they do to bring a product to the market... The film industry doesn't care who gets the money, so long as it sees a way to get theirs... The Franklin heirs can't even get their own act together regarding the estate so it's no surprise they had no time to put together a coherent story to sell to people who don't want to be around that type of drama. I imagine the producers tried to keep them as far away from the actual production as possible and in both cases, got away with a small of payout to them and as little input as possible... If you want to see how participants can do their best to destroy a project, Carol Kaye's involvement in the Wrecking Crew story is a prime example...
    Last edited by StuBass1; 03-24-2021 at 09:41 PM.

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    I was surprised to see Michael Bivins' name mentioned in acknowledgement alongside the estate at the end of each episode. Does anyone know in what capacity he served to the production?

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    I'm curious, how did Carol Kaye destroy the Wrecking Crew story? I've never seen it, so I'd love to know more!

    For what it's worth, I really enjoyed the mini-series, BUT I feel it could have used one additional hour. I feel like the deaths of Carolyn and Cecil were barely acknowledged and the later years of her career were hardly touched upon. I know most people cared about the "Atlantic years", but I really wanted to see the story come full-circle...

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    So why was this shown on the National Geographic Network??

    Where are the 'music' channels like MTV that these cable companies foist on us , when it comes to their programming, oh I don't know , ... programs about MUSIC !!!

    where are they?? why aren't they accountable? .... these bs networks that make certain people rich but are not really genuine shepherds of anything... just crap programming like RIDICULOUSNESS

    there rant done

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    Quote Originally Posted by pghmusiclover View Post
    I'm curious, how did Carol Kaye destroy the Wrecking Crew story? I've never seen it, so I'd love to know more!

    For what it's worth, I really enjoyed the mini-series, BUT I feel it could have used one additional hour. I feel like the deaths of Carolyn and Cecil were barely acknowledged and the later years of her career were hardly touched upon. I know most people cared about the "Atlantic years", but I really wanted to see the story come full-circle...
    This has been posted before...legendary drummer Hal Blaine discussing Carol and how he asserts she tried to "wreck" the Wrecking Crew film... Interesting interview... He begins to discuss and rant on Kaye at about the 13:00 minute mark... https://youtu.be/us0nDMASZoM

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    i finished the last episode 8 last night and though it was a real well made mini series. the last episode skipped over a lot of time but the music and acting was amazing especvially Mr Vance as Rev C L Franklin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    So why was this shown on the National Geographic Network??

    Where are the 'music' channels like MTV that these cable companies foist on us , when it comes to their programming, oh I don't know , ... programs about MUSIC !!!

    where are they?? why aren't they accountable? .... these bs networks that make certain people rich but are not really genuine shepherds of anything... just crap programming like RIDICULOUSNESS

    there rant done
    Both MTV & VH-1 have ceased to be about Music for so long now that I wonder why they don't change their names. The airing of music videos around the clock was no longer giving them the ratings that they wanted by the time the '90s rolled around so now they're just doing 'reality' & 'lifestyle' shows.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roberta75 View Post
    i finished the last episode 8 last night and though it was a real well made mini series. the last episode skipped over a lot of time but the music and acting was amazing especvially Mr Vance as Rev C L Franklin.
    I just finished watching the final episode of Aretha: Genius and I can say that I enjoyed the entire series. Even though the last episode did skip over a lot of information [and major events in Aretha's life during the '80s & '90s], the climax made it all worthwhile. Now let's see what the upcoming bio-pic on Aretha will do.

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    Where I live it is playing, 1 episode at a time on Sunday nights. I'm re-reading David Ritz's book, RESPECT, The Life of Aretha Franklin. It is very well documented and has quotes from all the key players. The book alludes to her being bi-polar, and certainly with her big plans and fabrications that never amounted to anything and her unquestionable depressions...this makes sense. Also that she struggled with alcohol abuse. As far an I know he was never sued, so this series is probably more real than we'll get from anything the family has their hands in.

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    anybody ever figure out why in the world its on the National Geographic Network...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boogiedown View Post
    anybody ever figure out why in the world its on the National Geographic Network...
    They made them a offer, they couldn't refuse... Hell, I don't know.

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    As a long-time Aretha-holic I'm happy to say that I thought this mini-series was extraordinary, as was Erivo's portrayal of Our Lady of Mysterious Sorrows. Erivo managed to capture Aretha's speaking pattern, tilt of the head and hearty, yet half-muffled laugh just perfectly. The supporting players were all notable [[I particularly loved Kimberly Hébert Gregory as the formidable Ruth Bowen) as was the general cinematography and production values. I thought the less-attractive facets of Franklin's life and experiences were well represented without going into slander territory, and I loved ending with the Grammy performance of 'Nessun Dorma', which was yet another career peek for Franklin. Of course some self-defined 'experts' will quibble about this session player being incorrectly identified or that character never having made that statement, etc. So be it. The series did Ms. Franklin proud by defining her as the innovator and talent that she was. Nope, there will never be another.

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    Any info on the release date of the Jennifer Hudson movie?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jack020623065
    Any info on the release date of the Jennifer Hudson movie?
    IMDb gives the release date of 13 Aug 2021 for 'Respect'

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    The Franklin's sound a lot like the Gaye's.....them kids always got their hands out and WANT TO GET PAID!

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