In 1975, Kitty Wells traveled to Capricorn Studios in Macon, Georgia, to record Forever Young , an album of country, rock and soul songs. Wells was 56 at the time and was looking to modernize her sound and image, just a bit. She hadn't had a Top Ten country hit in more than a decade and was best known — to most younger fans, she was perhaps only known — for "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels," a country chart-topper from 1952 that, as she later explained, "was just the women getting back at the men." One of the updating tracks Wells cut in Macon was a soul-country reading of the 1967 Aretha Franklin country-soul classic, "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man." If you've just listened to Aretha Franklin's indelible take on that song — if you've just done that, say, five or six times in a row as so many of us have done since Franklin's death on August 16th — then shifting suddenly to Wells' version is a jarring musical transition. It would be easy to hear the replacement of Aretha's knowing, even now up-to-date sensuality, melisma and rhythmic phrasing with Wells' gingham-clad twang and plaintive,… Read full this story
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