July 25, 1961 - A recent gospel graduate, 18-year-old Aretha Franklin, is winning ovations at New York's Village Gate with the sort of entertainment genius that makes her something of a female Ray Charles. Miss Franklin began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, where her father C.L. Franklin was a minister. When she was 12, Rev. Franklin started bringing her on the road with him during his "gospel caravan" tours. After turning 18, Franklin confided to her father that she aspired to follow Sam Cooke in recording pop music, and moved to New York. Her future looks - and sounds - bright indeed.