A Slice of History From Detroit Rock City

New Bethel Baptist Church, located on Linwood St. and previously located on Hastings, was founded in 1948 by the Reverend C.L. Franklin. In the 1960s, Franklin was recording sermons from New Bethel Baptist on the gospel label Chess Records, becoming one of the first ministers to do so. He was known as the man with the “million-dollar voice.” That vocal prowess would be carried down through the Franklin family, as evidenced by Franklin’s daughter Aretha. Aretha Franklin made her vocal debut singing solos at her father’s church when she was only 10 years old. By the time she was 14 and under her father’s management, she was out on the road singing with gospel caravan tours, building her reputation as one of Detroit’s most radiant voices of all time.

Enjoy a performance by the legendary Aretha Franklin from 1970 below.


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