I was surprised and very sad when I heard that the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, passed away last month. Her tremendous contributions to social justice and equality were eclipsed only by her incredible singing talent and her ability to make us all feel through song.
In 2001, I had a very similar feeling when George Harrison passed away. In both cases, I suddenly had the urge to purchase several long-forgotten albums. In both cases, the advent of digital music made this task much easier than going to a record store (what’s that?) and buying several cassettes or CDs (what are those?) to fill out my collection and pay tribute.
In 2018, Mid-Continent Public Library allows you to listen to the works of many artists on demand from your computer or mobile device. Our Freegal Music service has an extensive catalog of songs, including a great playlist of Aretha Franklin hits.
I often find that Freegal Music also helps me discover new artists and recall songs that I have long forgotten. Over the past several weeks, I have been rediscovering several of Aretha Franklin’s lesser-known songs. I have also been reacquainting myself with Sam and Dave, Carole King, James Brown, Bob Dylan, and others from this same time. I know it is terrible to admit, but I never really liked Prince at the height of his popularity (I was more of a British “New Wave” fan then). Freegal allows me to go back and rediscover those songs and artists that I wasn’t ready to discover then but am now—sometimes on librarian-curated playlists!
Freegal is kind of like Spotify or Apple Music—where you can create playlists and stream music. But, it is a little different in that you are also allowed to download five songs (to keep forever) every week. I use this service almost every day!
Aretha, George, Prince, and others may be gone. But with your Mid-Continent Public Library Access Pass (Library card) and Freegal Music, you can pull up a song and remember them every day.
Steven V. Potter
MCPL Director & CEO