Do Right Woman, Do Right Man

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"Do Right Woman, Do Right Man"
Single by Aretha Franklin
from the album I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You
A-side "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)"
Released 1967
Format Vinyl record (7" 45 RPM)
Recorded 1967
Genre R&B, Pop
Length 3:14
Label Atlantic
Writer(s) Chips Moman
Dan Penn
Producer(s) Jerry Wexler
Aretha Franklin singles chronology
"Mockingbird"
(1967)
"I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)"
(1967)
"Respect"
(1967)

"Do Right Woman, Do Right Man" (also written "Do Right Woman — Do Right Man") is a single by Aretha Franklin. It was released in March 1967. Rolling Stone listed it as number 476 in their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Production[edit]

Aretha Franklin (pictured in 2008) disappeared for weeks while recording

"Do Right Woman, Do Right Man" was written by Chips Moman and Dan Penn.[1] It was produced by Jerry Wexler.[1]

Franklin began recording the song in 1967 in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, after completing "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)". While taking a break for the night at the motel, Franklin's then-husband and manager Ted White got into a fight with FAME Studios owner Rick Hall[2] or Wexler,[3] whom White blamed for getting "rednecks" to work with her.

The following morning, it was found that Franklin and White had left[3] with the song still unfinished. Franklin disappeared for several weeks,[2] later reappearing in New York. She then finished the song with the help of her sisters Carolyn and Erma.[1][3]

Song[edit]

At the beginning of the song, Franklin sings with a gospel-inspired tone, which continues through the bridge. Through overdubbing, Franklin plays both the piano and the organ.[4] Eventually the song equal to Franklin's hit cover of Otis Redding's "Respect" which Redding said she "stole".[5]

According to Bill Janovitz of Allmusic, "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man" contrasts the power of temptation and rewards of fidelity. He notes that its melody is "soothing".[5] Patricia Hill Collins writes that it has a feminist message, urging African-American men to respect women as their equals and not follow the then-common belief that it is "a man's world" by using or abusing them; she also writes that the song urges men to be loyal, responsible, and "sexually expressive".[6]

Although the song is originally heavily inspired by soul, covers have different styles. For example, the The Flying Burrito Brothers cover in 1969 was a "country-soul waltz".[5]

Reception[edit]

"Do Right Woman, Do Right Man" spent 11 weeks on the charts, peaking at number 9.[1] It was included on Franklin's album I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You[1] and the single was released as the b-side to "I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)".[4] Wexler called it "perfection".[1]

In 2004, Rolling Stone selected "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man" as one of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. As of the 2010 edition, it is ranked 476th.[1]

The song was featured in the 1995 film Dead Presidents.

Covers[edit]

From Allmusic.[5]

References[edit]

Footnotes
  1. ^ a b c d e f g Rolling Stone 2010, 500 Songs, p. 112.
  2. ^ a b Mitchell 2003 Aretha: How the Queen.
  3. ^ a b c Rivera 2003, p. 46.
  4. ^ a b Rivera 2003, p. 48.
  5. ^ a b c d Janovitz, Do Right Woman.
  6. ^ Collins 2000, p. 154.
  7. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 213. 
Bibliography