Words by: Rashad Grove
For almost 50 years, Aretha Franklin’s Amazing Grace concert film sat in the vaults collecting dust. Just months after the passing of the Queen of Soul, the world rejoiced as it was announced that the rare footage will finally see the light of day. Amazing Grace is one of the defining moments of Franklin’s illustrious career.
The 1972 documentary is set to premiere at New York’s DOC NYC festival on Monday, captures Aretha Franklin in her natural element of the Black church, singing the classics of gospel music. Filmed over two nights New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles on January ’72, the film has become a myth taking on a life of its own as it was tied in legalities for years.
Accompanied by the legendary Rev. James Cleveland and The Southern California Community Choir, The Amazing Grace album has long been considered Aretha Franklin’s greatest performance.
Released as a live album just months after it was recorded, it sold more than 2 million copies and became the best-selling album of her career. It took her back to her gospel roots, a tradition she was reared in where she made her debut on record at the age of 14. Below is a clip of the film: