Morning Song – Won’t Be Long
It’s not that Columbia Records didn’t try. The company released nine albums featuring Aretha Franklin in the five years after legendary A&R man John Hammond signed her to a contract, but never quite figured out how to tap into her talents.
Take “Won’t Be Long”, for example. It’s the “first side, first song” of Aretha’s Columbia career. It has most of the elements that later made her famous: a gospel-inflected piano anchoring the band, that unmatched voice (even at age 18), and a narrator so in love it’s practically palpable.
Yet somehow it doesn’t come together the way those explosive Atlantic sides did just a few years later.
It’s still pretty darned good.