Steve Kline Ages of Rock
1942: Aretha Franklin — fourth of five siblings — is born in Memphis, Tennessee to the Rev. C. L. Franklin, a Baptist minister, and Barbara Siggers Franklin. Aretha’s parents have a troubled relationship and separate when Aretha is 6. Siggers dies of a heart attack when Franklin is 10. Aretha’s father’s first pulpit after Memphis is in Buffalo, New York. The family subsequently moves to Detroit, Michigan where Rev. Franklin assumes the pulpit of the New Bethel Baptist Church, and gains national fame as a preacher. Adept at the piano as well as having a gifted voice, young Aretha is a child prodigy with a recording contract by the time she is 14. She is one of the most honored artists alive, having scored a total of 20 #1 singles on the R&B chart. One of them is 1967’s Chain of Fools.