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The Man with the Golden Voice: "I Went from Homeless to Hollywood”
Franklin would recall that the only thing his father did for him was to teach him to salute when he returned from service in World War I in At age 16, he became a preacher, initially working the Black itinerant preaching circuit , before settling at New Salem Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee , where he remained until May Throughout the late s and s his fame grew. He preached throughout the country while maintaining his pulpit at New Bethel. Known as the man with the "Million Dollar Voice", Franklin had many of his sermons recorded which continued into the s, many of them issued by Joe Von Battle 's JVB label , and to broadcast sermons via radio on Sundays. He commanded high fees for his public appearances. He greatly encouraged his daughter Aretha Franklin in her musical endeavors, and during the s took her with him on speaking tours and musical engagements. He also formed an a'capella group with Anthony Alexander Chamblee, his first cousin. They only made one album before he accepted the call to preach. In addition to his ministry, in the s and s as he became involved in the civil rights movement , and worked to end discriminatory practices against black United Auto Workers members in Detroit. Assault, death and legacy[ edit ] Shortly after midnight on Sunday, June 10, , Franklin was shot twice at point-blank range during what was said to be an attempted robbery at his home on Detroit's West Side. He remained in a coma for the next five years. The Franklin children moved him back to the house six months after the tragedy and installed a hour nurse at the residence to monitor the minister. He remained at the home until the middle of Franklin was 69 years old. Franklin's friend, the Rev. House musician Green Velvet released a track entitled "Preacher Man" in , consisting primarily of a C. Personal life[ edit ] On October 16, , Franklin married his first wife, Alene Gaines, and though that marriage had ended by early , the form of dissolution is unconfirmed. On June 3, , Franklin married Barbara Siggers , with whom he had four children: Erma — , Cecil — , Aretha b. Barbara had a son by a previous relationship, Vaughn — , whom C. Vaughn did not learn that C. Franklin was not his father until She gave birth to Carl Ellan several days after her thirteenth birthday. Franklin and Barbara separated for the last time, with Barbara moving with Vaughn to Buffalo, New York , and leaving Franklin with the couple's four other children. The couple never divorced. Reverend Franklin did not attend her funeral. Franklin was a close friend and supporter of Martin Luther King, Jr. Clara Ward and her singing groups frequently toured with Franklin, and C. Mahalia and Clara greatly encouraged his daughter Aretha who credits their mentoring and frequent visits to the Franklin home as great influences.
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