Aretha Franklin’s ‘Spanish Harlem’ cover, 1971

spanish harlemSpanish Harlem” is a song written by Jerry Leiber and Phil Spector, and produced by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.

Aretha Franklin released a cover version of the song in the summer of 1971 that outperformed the original on the charts, charting #1 R&B for three weeks and #2 Pop for two weeks. Aretha Franklin’s version earned a gold single for sales of over one million. Dr. John played keyboards on Franklin’s version. This version hit #6 on Billboard’s Easy Listening chart. Franklin also changed the lyrics slightly, from “A red rose up in Spanish Harlem” to “There’s a rose in Black ‘n Spanish Harlem. A rose in Black ‘n Spanish Harlem.”

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