CANNON BEACH — A few months before Aretha Franklin’s death last summer, former President Barack Obama captured the Queen of Soul’s eminence.

“Nobody embodies more fully the connection between the African-American spiritual, the blues, R. & B., rock and roll — the way that hardship and sorrow were transformed into something full of beauty and vitality and hope,” Obama wrote.

Franklin will be central to a free concert and program at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, in Cannon Beach, exploring soul music and the black experience. The event takes place at Tolovana Hall in Cannon Beach, 3779 S. Hemlock St.

LaNicia Williams — who, like Franklin, learned to sing in church — will perform the songs of Franklin and other soul luminaries like Marian Anderson and Mahalia Jackson.

“I’ll also give some oral history of each person,” Williams said. “I’ll share how they fought through the intolerance of their time and how they were able to help give life to a movement of soul music.”

The event is made possible by a grant from the Clatsop County Cultural Coalition.

For more information, visit or call 541-215-4445.


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