Larry Mantle |

The Queen of Soul Propels Power Block

I have a short list of people that I've been wanting to interview since starting "AirTalk" 24 years ago, but who have never been available. Aretha Franklin was on that list. Her live appearance with me this morning was the capper to an exciting Power Block half-day of fundraising. I knew there was a possibility that she would be calling in to talk with us, but it wasn't confirmed until we were well into this morning's program.

What was particularly nice about Ms. Franklin's visit was her clear enthusiasm for performing. Though she's been recording and giving concerts for decades, she sounded truly excited about her upcoming date at the Hollywood Bowl. I also appreciated her candor about how changing her diet has helped her vocal chords and led to her having a better singing range than in years past.

As I was interviewing Ms. Franklin, I have to admit to feeling serious concern over whether we were going to make our Power Block challenge of 700 members by the end of "AirTalk." To have missed would have meant $20,000 that we couldn't have accepted. With seconds to spare, we received our 700th contribution of the morning. Thank you very much for your financial support.