R.I.P. Etta James

Français : La chanteuse américaine de blues Et...

The legendary Blues/Soul singer Etta James has died.  She was diagnosed with Leukaemia last year and had been undergoing treatment.
Her best known song ‘I Would rather go Blind’ is a favourite on the set-list of many a female singer.  Last year alone I remember hearing versions sung here in Bonn by Dana Fuchs, Layla Zoe and Jean Shy.

Obituary on the BBC


<a href=”http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-16779206″>LINK TO FUNERAL REPORT FROM BBC</a>

Here though is the original (and best) version:

One thought on “R.I.P. Etta James

  1. This obituary for Etta James is highly welcome, but please let’s not forget that only a few days before she died the great Johnny Otis then aged 90 years has died too. Johnny Otis may be best known by the general public as the one who did ‘Willie And The Handjive’, that R&R smash hit of 1958 with that ‘shave and a haircut’ rhythm popularized by Bo Diddley but earlier known from the Midwest territory bands of the 30s. More importantly however Johnny Otis was the one who “discovered” Etta James and lots of other big R&B stars of the era (40s-60s), among them ‘Little Esther’ later renamed Esther Phillipps (’What A Difference A Day Makes’), Big Mama Thornton (original version ’Hound Dog’ made more famous by Elvis Presley a couple of years later), the ‘Robins’ later on renamed „The Coasters“(’Charlie Brown’), Hank Ballard (‘The Twist’), Little Willie John (’Fever’) und Jackie Wilson (’Higher And Higher’) as well as the blues singer of Philippine descent Sugar Pie de Santo. Given his multiple talents and activities (musician – drums, vibraphone, piano – author of a couple of books, minister in his own church, political activist, founder of a health food shop in LA, A&R man for several labels, painter, sculptor, raiser of rare birds etc. etc.) a review on wrote: “If blues ever boasted a renaissance man among its ranks, Johnny Otis surely filled that bill”.

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