John Thornley's three talks on Icons of Rock conclude on November 8 in the Palmerston North City Library.
Thornley welcomes audiences to what he describes as "a collective celebration not a private obsession".
The final artist is Aretha Franklin following on from the first two shows; Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan.
Franklin began singing in her father's church at age 12, and cut her first record at age 14.
From 1961 to 1967 she was with Columbia Records, producing many records, but with diminishing sales.
When Columbia would not renew her contract Jerry Wexler, of Atlantic Records, took Franklin from her home-town Detroit, south to Muscle Shoals beside the Tennessee River in Alabama, where white musicians in the Fame Studio played "rhythm'n'blues with a country looseness".
The studio was set amidst former slave plantations, and described by its founder Rick Hall as "a safe haven where blacks and whites could work together in musical harmony".
Thornley shares the first song recorded in a former tobacco warehouse.
Of this historic recording moment, the Rolling Stone writer Dave Marsh writes: "The white backing musicians were savvy enough to follow her lead vocal to the end of the Earth".
"Come to the show and hear it played," says Thornley.
"You can hear the making of the soul sound from the blending of black gospel with rhythm'n'blues."
The Holy Trinity of Soul – Ray Charles, James Brown, and Franklin – all began their music careers singing in the Black churches.
Thornley has chosen his vinyl tracks from the Atlantic recordings from 1967 to 1972.
"'It's the high point of Aretha's soul years, just prior to her 1972 gospel set Amazing Grace.
"The 10 tracks chosen illustrate her mastery of gospel, blues, jazz and folk styles.
"The personal and the collective are central to the show's journey.
"It starts 400 years ago, with the first slave ships from West Africa supplying the forced labour on sugar and cotton plantations that were the foundations for white people's wealth.
"Payback time takes a long road – Civil War victory to the north; emancipation of slaves by federal government but second class citizenship under southern state laws; the civil rights movement in the mid 60s, and today, Black Lives Matter.
"Payback is a long journey," says Thornley.
Thornley continues that a key theme in Franklin's songs is a feminist plea for women to have equal place with men.
"Male abuse in her own relationships with men finds healing in the fervour and passion of her vocalising.
"In the late 60s the civil rights campaign is at its high point and original songs by Franklin become anthems for the movement.
Thornley's shows comprise a mix of talk and song, produced on technical gear supplied by the Manawatū People's Radio, and PowerPoint images add a visual element.
Thornley thanks the support given to the series by the Palmy Vinyl Club of the City Library.
The show starts at 2pm and concludes by 3pm. Free entry.