Mudcat Café message #3945710 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #164706   Message #3945710
Posted By: keberoxu
22-Aug-18 - 02:36 PM
Thread Name: Obit: Aretha Franklin (1942-2018)
Subject: RE: Obit: Aretha Franklin (1942-2018)
I want to bring up a word:   Lady.

Now that Ms. Franklin has "gone home,"
after a long and full life,
the word everybody is throwing around is
Queen, Queen, Queen.   
That Queen word is sound, as far as it goes.
But it wasn't the only part of her public image.

My age is roughly the same as Madonna Ciccone who was raised in Michigan.
I was raised east of Toledo, Ohio, but one radio station in particular - Detroit's CKLW -- blew away every other radio station on the AM dial,
including anything in Ohio!

And when I was little, and Aretha Franklin's voice was making itself heard outside the church, outside the African-American community,
and over that invisible wall that nobody could touch but anybody could feel,
the wall of prejudice and segregation
-- not to speak of the music business, greed, money, and charts --
Aretha Franklin was LADY SOUL, the First Lady of Soul,
just as Ray Charles was The Genius.

Ms. Franklin would survive, prevail, mature, and
she would earn that Queen title, and then some.
I don't dispute her privilege of being the Queen of Soul.

I'm just saying, she wasn't born Queen and she only became Queen over time.
Before she was a Queen, she was the Lady.
That's the word I remember.
That is long enough ago,
that there are a lot of people living today
who have never heard anybody, or read in any article or press release,
calling Aretha Franklin, Lady Soul.
But I remember, and there have to be others who remember as well.

This is a public image thing,
part of Ms. Franklin's decision to present herself a certain way
and to be treated a certain way in the music business.

There is an interview currently with the son I think of Cecil Franklin,
Aretha's brother.
Tim Franklin, her nephew, pointed out that when the other Franklins
died young, and only Aretha was left,
she raised nephews and nieces as well as mothering her children.
And Tim Franklin states that
"The Queen of Soul, we never knew her."
At home, and in private, she was family, she was an elder.

And however down-to-earth she may have been
(and difficult to some of her blood relatives),
I reckon she was a Lady for all that.
Thanks, I just needed to say that.