David Nathan's Diary

I can still vividly recall the first day I heard the debut Atlantic single by The Sweet Inspirations.  It was June 1967 and - after a brief ‘break’ from working at Soul City, the London record shop I co-owned with Dave Godin (often called ‘The British Godfather Of R&B’ among the burgeoning cadre of UK R&B and soul music fans in the early to mid-‘60s who had joined the Mary Wells fan club which had morphed into The Tamla Motow

In the vast session logs of Atlantic Records which go back to the early 1940’s, the first entry for Aretha Franklin’s recording of “You’re All I Need To Get By,” the Ashford & Simpson-penned 1968 hit by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell occurs on November 2, 1970 as the third and final song on an all-star session featuring Aretha on piano, Donny Hathaway on organ, Hugh McCracken on guitar, Eric Gale on electric bass, Memphis drumme

Aretha Franklin is in the midst of a mammoth five-day-long series of recording sessions at Atlantic Studios, 1841 Broadway, New York City, April 15-18, 1968.  This is her first time back in the studio since December 1967, when she caps a non-stop year of hits, gold records, touring like she’s never done before.  Her life is a whirlwind of hotels, airplanes, packing, re-packing and she’s undergone a complete career shift si

It’s spring 1973 and Aretha Franklin is recording tracks for a new Atlantic album. By April 10, she’s already completed 10 songs, 3 of which will remain unissued until 2007 when they are included on a Rhino compilation, “Rare & Unreleased Recordings From The Golden Reign Of The Queen Of Soul,” all but one of which are the fruits of my tape research in 2002. 

"Ooo Baby Baby" (originally a US Top 5 R&B and Top 20 pop hit for Motown group The Miracles in 1965) proved to be a perfect duet between the song's co-writer - one, William 'Smokey' Robinson - and a fellow Detroit resident and longtime friend - one, Aretha Franklin when the pair performed it on December 1, 1979 on the popular weekly US television show, "Soul Train."