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
"I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)"

"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.


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]


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]


"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.


From Allmusic.[5]


  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.