The Queen of Gospel: Album featuring Aretha Franklin’s early gospel performances due in March

Geffen/UMeA restored and remastered version of Aretha Franklin‘s Songs of Faith album, a live collection featuring some of the Queen of Soul’s earliest recordings, will be released on March 22, three days before what would’ve been her 77th birthday.

The album, which has been retitled Songs of Faith: Aretha Gospel, captures a 14-year-old Franklin accompanying herself on piano in 1956 at Detroit’s New Bethel Baptist Church. Aretha became a sensation at the church performing before her father, Reverend C. L. Franklin, whose recorded sermons sold millions of copies.

The 1956 recordings originally were issued as singles before being collected for a full-length album that was released in 1965 on the Chess/Checker label.

Songs of Faith: Aretha Gospel will be released as a vinyl LP and digitally. Both a standard black-vinyl edition and a limited-edition white-vinyl version are available for pre-order now. The album features new cover art, a new essay penned by Aretha biographer, and historical information about the tracks.

Franklin died last August from pancreatic cancer at age 76. A special tribute performance honoring Aretha will be held this Sunday at the 61st annual Grammy Awards, which airs on CBS at 8 p.m. ET. Yolanda Adams, Fantasia, and Andra Day will take part in the homage.

Here’s the Songs of Faith track list:

Side One
“There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood”
“Precious Lord (Part One)”
“Precious Lord (Part Two)”
“You Grow Closer”
“Never Grow Old”

Side Two
“The Day Is Past and Gone”
“He Will Wash You White as Snow”
“While the Blood Runs Warm”
“Yield Not to Temptation”

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