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Friday, August 17, 2018

Remembering Aretha Franklin. Aug 17 2018 edition

Today we bring you a memorial tribute to a music legend who left us far too soon.

"You gotta disturb the peace. Especially when you ain't got none."
-- Aretha Franklin, in a "Jet Magazine" interview.

First, a quick note...
If you're looking for yesterday's big special feature story, which is being read widely in at least 11 countries around the world --

"Who Is the Real 'The Enemy of the People'? - special edition, Aug 16, 2018"

-- it's still available at:

Remembering Aretha Franklin

by Michele Marotta

I grew up in show biz and the rarified air of music legends. My father was boss of a record label that stabled big names.

Every time we reach another August 16th,  I am flooded with memories.

I remember where I was when I learned the King of Rock and Roll had died. August 16th. Now the Queen of Soul is gone.

It's also the day Bella Legosi passed away. And my mother. 

All on August 16th.

I first met Aretha Franklin when I was just 12 or 13 years old. I was with my dad, as I often was, when he was running around doing stuff.

The stuff of his business, to be sure, but he simply called it "stuff." He did a lot of stuff. 

At that age, I was not quite sure what all that was. Even when, as a little kid, I posed for a picture with the Beatles in the recording studio. He was in the music industry, so as I grew, I slowly recognized that all that "stuff" encompassed a lot of things. 

Sometimes we would be up at KGIL, an important radio station in those days, working on the Dick Wittenhill Show. By now, I was old enough to know music that I liked and connect their names to their records. And on one of those visits, she was there:

A-r-e-t-h-a F-r-a-n-k-l-i-n-! 

I still remember being in awe of her. She had a huge personality, and was one of the nicest people you could ever meet. I was young, but I thought right away -- and still know now -- she had the most amazing voice, ever. 

And she was just a nice person. Extremely nice, really. Even though I was in awe of her. And she made this young girl feel like I knew her forever.

Smokey Robinson talks of being lifelong friends with Aretha Franklin. His childhood was spent in a mythical neighborhood of Detroit. He grew up within a few blocks of Gladys Knight, Barry Gordy, and a bunch of the guys who would become several of the white-suited dance-step black singing groups, and other stars of a Motown future that none could foresee.

At the age of five or six, Smokey became friends with a newly arrived little kid. That boy took him home to "one of the mansions that sat in a little group in one part of our neighborhood. Our otherwise very poor neighborhood."

He continues, "Inside, I could hear this voice, singing, and somebody playing the piano. I went looking, and that's when I met little Aretha Franklin. She was playing piano, and oh what a singing voice, even then. She was about eight."

As a Southern California and New York girl -- the centers of the record business -- that day at a radio station
was the one and only time I met Aretha Franklin, but I cannot say that is the extent of my memory of her.

Fleeting? Yes. But trivial? Hardly. As the late Maya Angelou, poet laureate of the United States, famously observed, "You may forget what someone said. You may forget what someone did. But you will never forget how they made you feel."

As a teenager and through adulthood, I always knew I wanted to reconnect with Aretha Franklin. But our paths never crossed again. 

Another August 16th has passed. And now she, too, is gone.

The Queen of Soul goes on living in the memories of so many who will always instantly recognize her singing voice. For the fortunate, she lives on not only from recordings of iconic songs, and memories of her incomparable musical prowess -- but for how she made you feel. Including one young girl growing up in the midst of the music business.


We also like the story in the Pasadena Star-News. Well worth your time:

Their writer's piece continues on the very human side of a big star. That includes noting that Aretha Franklin wouldn't fly in an airplane.

Well, add this: Larry King, on his RT America show Thursday, noted she would never go above the 8th floor in any building. If given a hotel room on a higher floor and they would not agree to relocate her? She would check-out and go elsewhere.

Out of context, that simply sounds diva-like. But when you know a bit more of the story...


That's all for now.

We'll be back again soon with music news and more "News of the Non-Trumpcentric Universe." (c)



Boilerplate? Where's the main pressure gauge? And the firebox?

What "boilerplate"? Who came up with that goofy term for the basic essential informational stuff...

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