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By Heather Lovejoy

Aretha Franklin

I’ve been looking forward to seeing Aretha for months, and tonight’s the night. Gates open at 7 p.m. for her concert at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, and the show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $39-$79 through www.staugamphitheatre.com.

“Respect” and “Chain of Fools” will likely be on her setlist, but Franklin has an extensive discography, so it will be interesting to see what else she chooses. I was also interested in what she likely won’t sing – the songs that don’t get airplay and are unknown to an average fan like me.

So I called David Luckin of NPR (WJCT 89.9). He started naming songs in what seemed like less than 10 seconds. And with a short-term memory like mine, the names were gone in less than 10 seconds. But I do remember that Luckin talked about Aretha’s forgotten Columbia recordings, from before she hit it big with Atlantic Records. That piqued my interest.

There’s even a compilation, “The Queen In Waiting (The Columbia Years 1960-1965.)” Sometime in the weeks after tonight’s concert, I’ll have an Aretha concert in my car.

Eryka Badu tributes

Erykah Badu fans are already gearing up. The highly anticipated Badu album, “New Amerykah, Part II: Return Of The Ankh,” will be released on Tuesday, March 30, as a follow-up to Part 1 from 2008. There are two related events set in Jacksonville.

The Music of Erykah Badu, presented by Southern Comfort Entertainment, will be at 9 tonight at Poppy Love Smoke, 112 E. Adams St. The tribute features Evenstill with Tommy Bridgewater and vocalist Fatima playing Badu’s songs. Admission is $10.

On Thursday, an Erykah Badu live tribute/album release party is from 8-11 p.m. at Cuba Libre (next to Havana Jax), 2578 Atlantic Blvd.

There will be a listening session of the new album, plus performances by the soul, jazz and funk band A’JaZE with Elijah Parris and Akia, and spoken word/hip-hop artist The IGive. Artwork by Grace and Leo Buyo will be on display. Admission is $10.

Englewood benefit

A family concert benefiting the Englewood High School athletic programs will be at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in the Englewood High School auditorium, 4412 Barnes Road.

James Rogers, a performer at Dollywood Theme Park in Tennessee, will perform country music, ’50s rock ‘n’ roll, gospel, sing-alongs and some of his original songs.

Tickets are $10; free for ages 12 and younger. Call (904) 716-2324 or e-mail dandjsing@yahoo.com.

Teen musicians wanted

The Kids Saving Kids Drunk Driving Prevention Campaign is looking for young musicians to help spread its message.

Songs by musicians 18 or younger will be chosen for a digital album, which will be given away for free download on a Web page that raises awareness of the dangers of drunk driving.

Submit an original song by sending a MP3 or WAV file along with your name, age, hometown, and parents’ contact information to ksksubmit@stopddnow.com.

For more on the campaign and entry requirements, go to www.myspace.com/ksk01.

Joy Dennis

Neo-soul/urban jazz singer Joy Dennis, who hosts events twice monthly downtown at Poppy Love Smoke , recently released her debut single, “He Awaits …” Listen to it at www.joydennismusic.com.

Dennis’ full album, “Music Is …” will be released and available on iTunes, Amazon and other major music outlets on Tuesday, May 4.

Her first album isn’t out there yet, but she already has more than 1,500 fans on Facebook. After May 4, that number may triple. We’ll see …

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