Aretha Franklin, the long-reigning “Queen of Soul,” performed throughout the Miami Valley for decades.
Franklin died Thursday, Aug. 15, at her home in Detroit, the Associated Press reports.
In the late 1960s she took the stage at the Lakeview Palladium, a remodeled ball room at the old Lakeside Amusement Park at Gettysburg and Lakeview avenues that also hosted Flip Wilson, Tina Turner and James Brown.
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During a concert at Hara Arena in July 1968, Franklin gave ecstatic fans 30 minutes of “mammoth-voiced emotion that is impossible to describe,” a Dayton Daily News reviewer wrote.
The singer entertained the Hara crowd with her versions of Sam Cooke’s “You Send Me” and The Rolling Stones “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” before wrapping up with her biggest hits “Chain of Fools” and “Respect.”
At the end of the show the crowd mobbed the stage “reaching and screaming for Aretha’s touch.”
“As the stage lights made her blue, green and red, those hundreds of hands kept reaching toward her,” the reviewer
wrote. “Aretha was all colors, all emotions, all women.”
Franklin also performed at Memorial Hall, the Fraze Pavilion and Wright State University’s Nutter Center through the years.
She warmed up a crowd at the Fraze Pavilion in June 1994 with “You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman.”
Wearing a teal-and-white outfit, she encouraged the audience to sing, “When you hear something you like, join in and sing with us,” she said.
Soon after releasing her album “A Rose Is Still A Rose” in 1998, Franklin made a tour stop at the Wright State University’s Nutter Center.
Backed by a 20-piece orchestra, she performed a 12-song, 70-minute show that benefited the West Area YMCA.
Six years later she returned, backed by an even larger orchestra that included string players from the Dayton Philharmonic.
Known occasionally for diva-like behavior, Franklin would not enter the Nutter Center when she arrived. Swearing she could hear the air-conditioning running from her limousine, Franklin refused to go into the arena until the air conditioning was turned off because it affected her voice.
Despite the air quality she thrilled the audience with songs spanning her 40-year-career during the 95-minute set.
“Franklin displayed a fearsome vocal command,” according to the review in the Dayton Daily News. She “sent out spine-tingling bolts of power into the cavernous arena.”
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