Do Right Woman, Do Right Man

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"Do Right Woman, Do Right Man"
Aretha Frankling - Do Love Woman Do Love Man.png
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 February 10, 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 on February 10, 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 trumpeter Melvin Lastie after Lastie was seen flirting with Franklin. The following morning, it was found that Franklin and White had left[2] with the song still unfinished. Penn recalled:

"They cut 'I Never Loved a Man' and it was just romping stomping. It was an out and out smash. They cut 'Do Right Woman', it didn't sound right. She wouldn't even sing it. I think I sang it as it went down on the track. . . . They weren't going to cut any more at Rick's because they had a little disagreement, and they had an eight-track in New York and wanted to go eight-track, so we all went up there."[3]

Franklin disappeared for several weeks,[4] later reappearing in New York City. She then finished the song with the help of her sisters Carolyn and Erma.[1][2] Penn recalled:

"She had put her sisters on it, she'd sang it over, she'd played piano herself, and I realised then you can make anything out of anything with a lot of tracks. I think maybe they had the bass drum and a snare and the bass that they used out of Alabama, and possibly the guitar. . . . And it was such a wonderful record when they played it back. It's still one of the best records I've ever heard by anybody – not 'cause it's my song, but just that record. It'll reach out and get you in your heart."[5]

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.[6] Eventually the song equal to Franklin's hit cover of Otis Redding's "Respect" which Redding says jokingly she "stole".[7]

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".[7] 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".[8]

Although the song is originally heavily inspired by soul, covers have different styles. For example, The Flying Burrito Brothers cover in 1969 was a "country-soul waltz".[7]

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)".[6] 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]

In the 1991 film Cape Fear,[9] the villain uses the song to mislead his victim into believing he was OK.

The song was featured in the 1995 film Dead Presidents.

Covers[edit]

From Allmusic.[7]

References[edit]

Footnotes
  1. ^ a b c d e f g Rolling Stone 2010, 500 Songs, p. 112.
  2. ^ a b Rivera 2003, p. 46.
  3. ^ Pidgeon, John: "Inside the Super-Sessions", Vox (Record Hunter supplement, p4), March 1991
  4. ^ Mitchell 2003 Aretha: How the Queen.
  5. ^ Pidgeon, John: "Inside the Super-Sessions", Vox (Record Hunter supplement, p4), March 1991
  6. ^ a b Rivera 2003, p. 48.
  7. ^ a b c d Janovitz, Do Right Woman.
  8. ^ Collins 2000, p. 154.
  9. ^ "Martin Scorsese's Music". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 15, 2015. 
  10. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 213. 
  11. ^ Wikipedia "The Original Delaney & Bonnie & Friends"
Bibliography