We’ve updated our Terms of Use to reflect our new entity name and address. You can review the changes here.
We’ve updated our Terms of Use. You can review the changes here.

Aretha With The Ray Bryant Combo

by Aretha Franklin

  • Streaming + Download

    Includes unlimited streaming via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
    Purchasable with gift card

      £5 GBP  or more


Sweet Lover 03:23
Right Now 02:23
Are You Sure 02:41


The first and quite possible the best Aretha Franklin recording ever..!! Raw & untouched vocals which are simply breathtaking from an 18 year old Aretha..!

Following in the footsteps of close friend Sam Cooke, Aretha was "discovered" by famed Columbia Records producer John H. Hammond, who on the cover notes of the 1973 edition of "The Great Aretha Franklin: The First 12 Slides" mentions, that she was in fact recommended by the composer Curtis Reginald Lewis. With the support of her father, Reverend C.L. Franklin, Aretha venured out to New York City's Columbia Record Studios to record her debut album for the label. Hammond paired Aretha Franklin with the Ray Bryant combo and arranger J. Leslie McFarland, while taking charge of the album's production, which was received to mixed reviews.

The album showcases a young Aretha Franklin (only 18 years old, at the time of these recordings), covering a range of jazz and pop standards. Columbia Records couldn't clearly classify Aretha's sound, as either jazz or pop. Aretha's subsequent albums would show her moving from the realms of both sounds, and audiences as she tries to define her "own soulful sound".

Though rare to find an original 6-eye pressing on vinyl, Columbia Records re-released these sessions and retitled them as "The Great Aretha Franklin: The First 12 Slides", in 1972.

The exact same recording "The Great Aretha Franklin: The First 12 Slides", was once more re-released on vinyl, this time in 1973 by CBS/Embassy, trademarks of Columbia Records, probably being a UK edition, which on the center label bears these identification numbers: EMB S-31006 (KC 31953). There are some minor changes in the track list for the 1973 edition as well. (See the separate track listing below the 1972 listing).


"The word is out. A magnetic new artist, Aretha Franklin, only a short while away from her father's gospel church in Detroit, has been breaking up audience in theatres and nightclubs throughout the country and on Columbia single records. Combining a completely natural and uninhibited vocal style with an irresistible rhythmic sense, Aretha Franklin has established herself as one of the hottest new performers in show business and one likely to set new standards in the entertainment industry.

"She doesn't just open the door - she breaks it down." (From the liner notes by Frank Driggs)

The album was recorded at the New York studios of Columbia Records, 207 East 30th Street, except tracks 1 and 4 which were recorded at the company's studios at 799 Seventh Avenue.

All songs produced by John Hammond and arranged by J. Leslie McFarland. Featuring Ray Bryant on piano.


released April 28, 2020

Clifton (Skeeter) Best, guitar; William (Bill) Lee, bass; James Osie Johnson, drums; Tyree Glenn, trombone


all rights reserved



Moochin' About England, UK

Launched 2011,by Barrow Producer & musician,
Jason Lee Lazell, the world & jazz buyer for Tower Records (1993-2003) the largest record store in Europe…the critically acclaimed label Moochin’ About has gained admiration from Cerys Matthews,Huey Morgan,Giles Peterson,Jamie Cullum,Stuart Marcone,Johnny Trunk,Robert Elms,Iggy Pop… ... more

contact / help

Contact Moochin' About

Streaming and
Download help

Shipping and returns

Redeem code

Report this album or account

If you like Aretha With The Ray Bryant Combo, you may also like: