Ronnie Shannon

Biography by

Songwriter Ronnie Shannon wrote Aretha Franklin's hits "I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You" and "Baby I Love You." Franklin's husband and manager Ted White asked Shannon to write a song specifically…
Read Full Biography

Artist Biography by

Songwriter Ronnie Shannon wrote Aretha Franklin's hits "I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You" and "Baby I Love You." Franklin's husband and manager Ted White asked Shannon to write a song specifically for her. He came up with "I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You." The singer, her husband, Atlantic Records staff producer Jerry Wexler, and engineer Tom Dowd converged at Rick Hall's Fame Recording Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL. A slew of hits came out of the studio for various artists. On Franklin's session were the Muscle Shoals rhythm section: drummer Roger Hawkins, organist Spooner Oldham, guitarists Jimmy Johnson, and Memphis session players bassist Tommy Cogbill and Chips Moman on lead guitar.

Not an easy session by some accounts, full of conflict, "I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You" was issued as a single on February 10, 1967, and went gold, settling at number one R&B for seven weeks and making it to number nine pop on Billboard's charts in spring 1967; it quickly became the label's fastest-selling single of the '60s. Its equally blues-flavored flip side, "Do Right Woman Do Right Man," peaked at number 37 R&B around the same time. Franklin's debut Atlantic LP (she'd previously recorded for Columbia Records after being discovered by John Hammond, Sr.), I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You, which also included the classic "Respect," went gold and parked at number two pop for three weeks in spring 1967.

Another million-selling Shannon song, the pumping "Baby I Love You," parked at number one R&B for two weeks and went to number four pop in summer 1967. Basically the same musicians played on the New York-recorded session with the addition of organist Truman Thomas and a background section that included Franklin's sisters Carolyn (who wrote the Aretha hit "Aint No Way"), Erma, saxophonist King Curtis ("Memphis Soul Stew"), and guitarist Joe South. "Baby I Love You" was included on the album Aretha Arrives, which hit number five pop in fall 1967.