1. Critic Ed Ward on the Columbia Records scout who discovered Aretha Franklin:

One of the stars who visited a lot was Sam Cooke, who convinced Aretha that she could be a hit singing popular music, and so in 1960, at the age of 18, she dropped out of school and, eventually, was signed to Columbia Records by its top talent scout, John Hammond. Hammond, who had discovered Count Basie and Billie Holiday, among others, saw her as a potential jazz star, and recorded her with a jazz trio led by Ray Bryant. She recorded jazz standards like “Rock a Bye Your Baby With a Dixie Melody,” which was a minor pop hit in late 1961.

Image via NPR View in High-Res

    Critic Ed Ward on the Columbia Records scout who discovered Aretha Franklin:

    One of the stars who visited a lot was Sam Cooke, who convinced Aretha that she could be a hit singing popular music, and so in 1960, at the age of 18, she dropped out of school and, eventually, was signed to Columbia Records by its top talent scout, John Hammond. Hammond, who had discovered Count Basie and Billie Holiday, among others, saw her as a potential jazz star, and recorded her with a jazz trio led by Ray Bryant. She recorded jazz standards like “Rock a Bye Your Baby With a Dixie Melody,” which was a minor pop hit in late 1961.

    Image via NPR

  2. Fresh Air

    Reviews

    Ed Ward

    Aretha Franklin

    John Hammond

    Sam Cooke

    Count Basie

    Billie Holiday