Aretha Franklin, the "Queen of Soul," died today at her home in Detroit from pancreatic cancer. She was 76. She was born in Memphis, Tennessee to a gospel-singing mother and a well-known preacher father. From her start in the gospel scene, to her time recording at Fame studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, to countless concerts, appearances and performances, Franklin touched the lives of many. Local music promoter Sue Auclair worked with and knew Aretha Franklin. Auclair spoke with WGBH All Things Considered anchor Barbara Howard about her memories of Franklin. The following transcript has been edited for clarity.

Barbara Howard: So how did you two first meet?

Sue Auclair: Well, I was the public relations director for the Newport Jazz Festival, the Newport Folk Festival, and then in 1995 the Rhythm and Blues Festival, and she was the headliner.

Howard: So tell me about that. What was that first meeting like?

Auclair: It was amazing. She was my idol, she was the queen. She was at the Rhythm and Blues Festival that first year. Some of the other people on the bill were Laverne Baker and Ruth Brown and a host of people from that generation of soul music.

Howard: I understand she was a real admirer of Ruth Brown in particular.

Auclair: She was and we were backstage, I had about six members of the press waiting for an interview with Aretha. She would do only one question each. We had to wait for her to cool off after her performance. And so we were standing out there in the heat, and all of a sudden Ruth Brown walks backstage and she's wearing a black bowler hat and a bright pink suit jacket and a cane and she's strutting and Aretha must've seen her out of the trailer window - Suddenly the door to the trailer opens and there's Aretha standing there in her underwear and she goes “Hey baby, come on in.”

And Ruth says, “I'm comin’ honey I'm comin’.” So it was another half hour before we got any interviews done.

Obit Aretha Franklin
Stax Museum remembers Aretha Franklin. Stax is just a short distance away from the home where Aretha Louise Franklin was born on March 25, 1942 in Memphis, Tenn. Franklin died early Thursday. (AP Photo/Karen Pulfer Focht)
Karen Pulfer Focht/AP FR171263 AP

Howard: Two great singers, a little mutual admiration there. You worked with her the next year too, right?

Auclair: Yes, the Newport Jazz Festival the following year, and it was absolutely hysterical because the woman who worked for George Wein who produced all those called me up and said “I'm going to fax you the rider to the William Morris contract for Aretha, because I think you'll get a kick out about what it says.” And so the rider comes through the fax machine and it says "Aretha will do the date, but you have to have those same spare ribs." So we were all howling about that.

A couple months later after the Jazz Festival, she was set to appear at Symphony Hall in Boston. So by this time I had made friends with her publicist and I asked for some tickets, and she said absolutely, no problem, Aretha will see you backstage. So after waiting an hour or so, we went back and I said “Oh hello, Aretha. I don't know if you remember me. I'm Sue Auclair. I worked with you at the Jazz Festival and the Rhythm and Blues Festival in Newport". And she said “oh Newport, what a beautiful place. But those spareribs!”

Howard: What in your mind is her most memorable performance?

Auclair: Well, when I saw her do that Kennedy Center Honors tribute to Carole King, that knocked me out. She came out on stage and everybody was going crazy. Obama was crying. Carole King was going nuts, pulling her hair out, and after she got up off of the piano and went to the bridge of the song, she was really killing it. Right at the crux of the tune, she throws off the mink coat that she had on and everybody just stood up and gave her a huge ovation.

There was nobody like Aretha. Aretha had soul, emotion, depth, she could make people cry. She had that thing. She was one of a kind.

Howard: OK. Thanks for joining us.

Auclair: Oh, you're welcome.

Howard: That's local music promoter Sue Auclair remembering Aretha Franklin, known as the "Queen of Soul." Aretha Franklin died today at her home in Detroit. She was 76 years old. This is All Things Considered.