The Memphis Black Arts Alliance had already selected Jamille “Jam” Hunter and Dr. Herman Green as the featured “Memphis Music Legends” for JAZZ-A-F!RE when word came that Aretha Franklin had passed.
So when they took the stage last Sunday at Brinsons, Hunter and Green teamed up for a salute to the “Queen of Soul,” accenting Franklin’s “Natural Woman” with a Memphis touch.
Cequita Monique is the host for JAZZ-A-F!RE, which honors and celebrates “Memphis Music Legends” and beyond. With the Prime Cut Trio setting the pace, Monique hooked up with Memphis songbirds Toni Green and Carla Thomas for an Aretha-tribute rendition of “Dr. Feelgood (Love is a Serious Business).”
Franklin was born at 406 Lucy St. in South Memphis on March 25, 1942. She died Aug. 16 of pancreatic cancer. She was 76.
In Detroit on Friday (Aug. 31.), an all-star list of speakers and performers are scheduled for a marathon funeral that will follow a two-day viewing at Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History and cap a week of commemorations for the legend.
A memorial concert dubbed “A People’s Tribute to the Queen” was held in Detroit’s Chene Park on Thursday. Franklin’s family organized the free concert, which featured a line-up of celebrity performers and appearances and was streamed live.
In her own words:
“Being a singer is a natural gift. It means I’m using to the highest degree possible the gift that God gave me to use. I’m happy with that…
“I sing to the realists; people who accept it like it is.”