Call Me

Album: This Girl's in Love with You (1970)
Charted: 13

Songfacts®:

  • Aretha Franklin is famous for her voice, but she also excelled as a songwriter, penning many of her early hits and taking an active role in the recording sessions. She wrote "Call Me" not long after divorcing her husband of eight years, Ted White. The inspiration for the song came when Aretha saw a young couple in New York City who were clearly in love. As they parted, each said to the other, "I love you." Followed by, "Call me, the moment you get there."
  • Many of Aretha's early recording sessions were with the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, but only one of these sessions took place in Muscle Shoals ("I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)"). That's because the session ended in an argument between Aretha's husband and one of the horn players. Since Aretha wouldn't return to Muscle Shoals, Jerry Wexler at her label, Atlantic Records, brought the musicians to her, usually in New York City. The session for "Call Me," however, was at Criteria Studios in Miami, which Atlantic was using for a lot of their business. Aretha played the piano, backed by the Muscle Shoals musicians Eddie Hinton (lead guitar), Jimmy Johnson (rhythm guitar), David Hood (bass), Roger Hawkins (drums) and Barry Beckett (organ).

    Franklin eventually developed a reputation as a diva, but according to David Hood, she was quite pleasant and down-to-earth. He told us, "Atlantic people treated you very well and Aretha was always polite and cordial and very professional."
  • This was the eighth of Aretha Franklin's 20 #1 R&B hits (she has more than any other artist), and her first since her divorce from Ted White.
  • According to Jimmy Johnson, Franklin was still broken up over her split from White, which led to an emotional recording session for everyone. The guitarist told The Queen Of Soul biographer Mark Bego, "'Call Me' is the perfect example, I think, of some of the feelings she was having. I think she may have cried during the lyrics of that song - because she definitely had us crying."
  • Diana Ross covered this for her 1970 album Everything Is Everything and earned a Grammy nomination for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. Franklin's version of "Bridge Over Troubled Water" took the prize.

Comments: 1

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyExactly fifty years ago today on March 15th, 1970 "Call Me" by Aretha Franklin peaked at #1 {for 2 weeks} on Billboard's Hot Soul Singles* chart...
    As noted above, "Call Me" reached #13 on Billboard's Top 100 chart...
    Between 1961 and 2014 'The Queen of Soul' had ninety-six records on the Hot Soul Singles chart, fifty-two made the Top 10 with twenty reaching #1, plus she had five peak at #2...
    Thirteen of her ninety-six charted records were duets; three with the Dixie Flyers, and one each with George Benson, the Eurythmics, George Michael, Larry Graham, the Four Tops, Elton John, Whitney Houston, James Brown, Michael McDonald, and Fantasia...
    Aretha Louise Franklin passed away at the age of 76 on August 16th, 2018...
    May she R.I.P.
    * And from the 'For What It's Worth' department, the remainder of the Hot Soul Singles' Top 10 on March 15th, 1970:
    At #2. "Rainy Night In Georgia" by Brook Benton {The previous week's No. 1 record}
    #3. "It's A New Day" by James Brown
    #4. "The Bells" by The Originals
    #5. "Gotta Hold On To This Feeling" by Jr. Walker & the All Stars
    #6. "Thank You (Falettin' Me Be Mice Ell Agin)" by Sly & the Family Stone
    #7. "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)" by The Delfonics
    #8. "To The Other Woman" by Doris Duke
    #9. "Do The Funky Chicken" by Rufus Thomas
    #10. "Psychedelic Shack" by The Temptations
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