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Aretha Franklin's Gospel Music Connection

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

And today we're remembering another wonder woman - Aretha Franklin.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "AMAZING GRACE")

ARETHA FRANKLIN: (Singing) Amazing grace...

GARCIA-NAVARRO: In 1972, Franklin performed at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in South Central Los Angeles, just a few years after riots devastated that area. Joining her at the altar, the Reverend James Cleveland and the Southern California Community Choir.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "AMAZING GRACE")

FRANKLIN: (Singing) Praise, praise Jesus...

GARCIA-NAVARRO: The recordings were released as a live album - "Amazing Grace." The album went back to Franklin's roots in gospel music, though, as she often said, she never left the church. It's the Queen of Soul at her peak, and it's still one of the best-selling gospel albums of all time.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "AMAZING GRACE")

FRANKLIN: (Singing) And grace will lead me home.

(APPLAUSE)

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Aretha Franklin. She died Thursday at the age of 76.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "OLD LANDMARK")

FRANKLIN: (Singing) Now let us all.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA COMMUNITY CHOIR: (Singing) All go back.

FRANKLIN: (Singing) Back to the old.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA COMMUNITY CHOIR: (Singing) Old landmark.

FRANKLIN: (Singing) Let us all.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA COMMUNITY CHOIR: (Singing) All go back.

FRANKLIN: (Singing) Go back to the old.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA COMMUNITY CHOIR: (Singing) Old landmark.

FRANKLIN: (Singing) Now let us all. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.