Archive for August, 2018

All Hail The Queen of Soul

Friday, August 17th, 2018

I read recently that Detroit lost 400,000 people between 1950-1960, which is more than the total population of the 2nd largest city at that time, Grand Rapids. During that time, they did get one plus in the debit column, Aretha Franklin.

Today is the 41st anniversary of the death of Elvis, I was in Cincinnati that day and I saw a lot of anguish from the generation above mine, they were at a loss. A piece of them had been taken, I understood the magnitude, I didn’t feel the loss as much as them. He didn’t mark a time in my life, he wasn’t a part of me.

But I understood.

Today Aretha Franklin’s family was at her bedside, clutching hands in sorrow, fearing the future and all it will bring, something we all will do, a color in the sky of the world we all must live in.

I grew up in the Detroit area from 1963-1975, it’s a part of me, it lives in a space far away in the memory of a young boy that is somewhere in me even today. I know it’s there, I know it’s part of who I am, it enriches who I am.

That’s where we find Aretha and me… together in the back seat of my mother’s 1967 Thunderbird mono speakers and the dial set on CKLW, 800 AM, also known at the time as “The blackest white station in America” which in hindsight is probably true

It was true tribute to Motown and a pleasure for those who were interested, every day all the hits and all the stars came by and tapped into your young supple mind. Aretha was prevalent, she was the strength that church singers strive for and yet her hooks and style could catch anyone who just loved to groove.

This is where she caught me, this is where she led me, this is where I live.

Today Aretha Franklin died, she was a bigger part of my life than I had thought.

But you understand

Godspeed Queen of Soul… Godspeed

Aretha-Franklin