Ray Negron's Playball Weekly Blog

The Babe, Elvis and Aretha all left the building August 16th

To me, there is no coincidence that the king of Rock & Roll, the Queen of Soul, and the Sultan of Swat would all leave this world on August 16 of different years.

The three of them all had God-given talents that would revolutionize their prospective professions.

The world would come to adore them all.

In the world of baseball, Babe Ruth would introduce the majestic and beautiful home run. He was the Paul Bunyan of the sports world. He would make all people both black and white love him just as much as he loved them. The kids absolutely adored him. In the era of great racism, the Babe was arguably photographed with more African Americans than any celebrity of that time. Many believe that he wasn’t given a chance to manage because he might have signed some of the great African American players of the Negro Leagues. I guess we will never know.

Elvis Presley was truly the Babe Ruth of the entertainment world. Elvis like the Babe had great relationships with the blacks of the era. He had great respect for their ability as singers and songwriters. Elvis especially loved gospel music and attended many black churches as a kid in the Tupelo Mississippi area. When he became a major star he maintained strong friendships with Sam Cook, Jackie Wilson, and The Godfather of Soul James Brown who ironically was a friend of mine and would always tell me wonderful Elvis stories. Mr. Brown was a baseball player as a kid and loved Baseball great Doc Gooden. He once actually gave Doc some pitching lessons at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Florida before one of his shows then proceeded to tell us about what a truly wonderful person and friend Elvis was.

Aretha Franklin probably had the most powerful voice of any woman to ever stand on stage. She also was raised on gospel music and even though she was the Queen of soul music she would never forget her Gospel roots.

In their early years, Aretha and Elvis actually went on tour together and after their shows, they would hang out backstage and sing gospel tunes for hours.

I honestly believe that these three entertainment gods were heaven sent and they had no control over their greatness because God was using them as instruments for thy fellow man.

To me, there is absolutely no coincidence that they would leave us on August 16.

I will always adore the heart and soul of who they were and thank God every day because he gave them to us.

Hey! Are you enjoying NYCTastemakers? Make sure to join our mailing list for NYCTM and never miss the chance to read all of our articles!