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Biographer On Aretha Franklin's Legacy

Aug 16, 2018

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NOEL KING, HOST:

We knew her as the Queen of Soul because that's what Aretha Franklin's music did. It spoke to the soul.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "RESPECT")

Just the mention of Aretha Franklin's name conjures up the memory of her undeniable voice. And with a career spanning more than five decades, touching gospel, R&B and pop, Franklin has earned her place in the history books and in the hearts of music fans.

Though the Detroit-raised powerhouse is known for chart-topping hits like "Respect," "Think" and "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," true fans know there's just as much beauty in the Franklin songs with a couple of fewer spins in the jukebox.

Curtis McMurtry On Mountain Stage

Aug 16, 2018

"The last time we were here, I told the audience I only play sad songs and mean songs," Curtis McMurtry noted while making his second appearance on Mountain Stage. "It's been three years since we were here and I'm happy to report that since that time, I've added melancholy, vindictive, and bleak to my emotional songwriting palate."

Though her career carried her from the Baptist churches of Detroit to a life of platinum plaques and diamond-drizzled furs, Aretha Franklin's voice never lost its flavor. Her ability to rouse emotion is a talent few other artists have ever been able to touch. And her piano-playing prowess, which she developed in church, was unmatched. It's the reason she earned the title of Queen of Soul in the 1960s.

Aretha Franklin: The 'Fresh Air' Interview

Aug 16, 2018

Aretha Franklin was more than a woman, more than a diva and more than an entertainer. Aretha Franklin was an American institution. Aretha Franklin died Thursday in her home city of Detroit after battling pancreatic cancer of the neuroendocrine type. Her death was confirmed by her publicist, Gwendolyn Quinn. She was 76.

"Lift Every Voice and Sing" is a song many African-Americans know from school or church. But if you didn't hear it there, you may know it from one of a few landmark performances.

Just when we think we've atoned for our mistakes or healed from old wounds, the past always finds a way to resurface. Domenic Palermo knows this as much as anyone. As the guitarist, singer and songwriter of the Philadelphia rock band Nothing, Palermo has channeled a lifetime of tragedies into song, to the point where his backstory and his music are so enmeshed he can never quite escape.

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