From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
- Producer Jerry Wexler had come across Otis Redding's song and brought it to Franklin's attention. While Redding's version was popular among his core R&B audience, Wexler thought the song had potential to be a crossover hit and demonstrate Franklin's vocal ability. Together with Aretha's sisters, Carolyn and Erma, singing backup "Respect" was recorded on Valentine's Day of 1967.
"Respect" is a song written and originally released by Stax recording artist Otis Redding in 1965. "Respect" became a 1967 hit and signature song for R&B singer Aretha Franklin. While Redding wrote the song as a man's plea for respect and recognition from a woman, the roles were reversed for Franklin's version. Franklin's cover was a landmark for the feminist movement, and is often considered as one of the best songs of the Rock & Roll era, earning her two Grammy Award in 1968 for "Best Rhythm & Blues Recording" and "Best Rhythm & Blues Solo Vocal Performance, Female", and was inducted in the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1998. In 2002, the Library of Congress honored Franklins version by adding it to the National Recording Registry. It is number five on Rolling Stone's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It was also included in the list of Songs of the Century, by the Recording Industry of America and the National Endowment for the Arts.