Aretha at Buckingham Fountain


It was hot in Chicago on the day Aretha Franklin died. Probably hot in Detroit as well. And I wondered if maybe on her way to go sing for the angels, Aretha stopped to sit for a moment, and took a rest, at Buckingham Fountain. One of her favorite places in Chicago.

Sometimes she’d go by herself. Sometimes she’d take her grandkids to play by the fountain. Sometimes she’d take a security guard.

Buckingham Fountain. Cradled in the Chicago skyline, water shooting up swirling and soaring just like Aretha did when she sang, Blessed by the rhythms of the gospel, the heat of the blues, the cool tones of jazz, the complexity of opera—the woman could sing anything. I wondered if she sat by that fountain and knew that it was time to go share that singing with all the other voices of angels across all time.

Because when Aretha sang, you didn’t just hear it, you felt it. When Aretha sang, you could feel the gut searing pain and the iron will to overcome. The yearning and the hope and the command and the determination. She gave voice to everyone who listened. When Aretha sang, she told a story.

And when Aretha told a story it was true.

Photo Credit: a

8 Responses to “Aretha at Buckingham Fountain”

  1. hcgagel Says:

    I was waiting to see what you would post about Aretha. NIcely done.

  2. chicagoguy14 Says:

    Hardest part was pi king one song. There is so much!

  3. toritto Says:

    Nice Roger. Really nice.

    Regards from Florida.

  4. boomerbob Says:

    As always Roger, your words expose the awesome soul behind the artist.

  5. Paul Haider Says:

    I am eternally grateful to Aretha Franklin for her performance in The Blues Brothers(1980) as the wife of Matt “Guitar” Murphy. They are reunited as owners of the Soul Food Cafe in heaven on Eternity Avenue instead of Maxwell Street.

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