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Aretha Franklin, The 'Queen Of Soul', Dies At 76

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August 16, 2018 1:47 p.m.

San Diego Musicians Remember Aretha Franklin


Charles McPherson, jazz musician

Steph Johnson, soul-jazz musician and executive director, Voices of Our City Choir

Alexis Joi, jazz vocalist

Related Story: Aretha Franklin, The 'Queen Of Soul,' Dies At 76


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Our top story on Midday edition. During her 60 year career Aretha Franklin reigned as America's queen of soul. As you heard on NPR News Franklin died today at age 76 of pancreatic cancer. She died in Detroit the city where she started singing in her father's Baptist Church and the city she called home. But Aretha Franklin's tremendous influence on music her songwriting musicianship and most of all that electric voice were felt worldwide.

Several San Diego musicians shared their thoughts with us about Aretha's passing from Detroit I'm from Detroit and so I'm a little older than her but she she's cool. We're close enough in age for all of that musicality that was pretty abundant in that city at that time. She definitely was influenced and benefited from that particular period in Detroit is like a garden. You use metaphors like in a garden with great soil and you've got different colored flowers in there but the soil is so great nourishing that any kind of flowers are going to do well. And that was kind of like what Detroit was. Looking. All. The. When.

We grew up playing her music in a house her records were always on the turntable.

I actually thought that all singers were big soul singers like Aretha. I thought that everybody just had a big voice like that and then found out that she was really truly unique in a lot of my singing and a lot of my expression and soulful singing I think was definitely influenced by her.

You make me feel like a natural one. I remember that song and I would imitate that song and I often would perform that song.

Shoot me. See you Hugh. They may see America naturally want the. Match one.

Strange thing you know because of these. I have such similarities to her. Her growing up singing gospel myself growing up thinking gospel.

Her father was a minister. My father was a minister and so I don't know what type of transfer of energy is happening right now for me to even. Get this phone call. It's just amazing you know to me that I can even have the opportunity to speak about her because she was such a force on this earth. And I don't take that lightly and I don't speak lightly about who she is who she was and and I just pray you know that I can continue to draw inspiration from her even in her death.

You just here heard from San Diego jazz vocalist Alexis Joye and before that jazz musician Charles MacPherson and Steph Johnson who leads the San Diego city choir they shared their memories and thoughts about the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin who died this morning at the age of 76.