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Chuck Berry

Cal Thomas: How to keep Aretha's music playing

Cal Thomas: How to keep Aretha's music playing

What does a white boy from the white suburbs of Washington, D.C., have to say about the passing of soul singer Aretha Franklin?

At 16, I was a DJ on a local radio station, playing the rock 'n' roll and doo-wop recordings of the day. Many of the artists were black. Richard Penniman (aka "Little Richard") tells a funny story about white kids back then. In "Hail, Hail, Rock 'n' Roll," the 1987 documentary about Chuck Berry, Little Richard noted that white kids would have Pat Boone's albums on the top of their dressers to fool their parents, but the records of black artists hidden inside the dresser drawers.

The music of black artists like Aretha Franklin was...