Adios amiga

Etta James out.

Sad news today as Etta James passed away at age 73.  She merged the rough vocal stylings of Big Mama Thorton and the sophistication of Billie Holiday into a new version of soul in the 50s-60s.  Just rifling off of the names her hits reads like a treasure chest of American soul standards: “Tell Mama“,  “Somethings Got A Hold On Me“, “I’d Rather Go Blind“, and of course “At Last“.

Her Chess Box is great way to hear the full range of her 50 + year career, but for my money, I’ll take the album below:

1963. Live in Nashville.  Audience participation. Pure excitement. Seriously, one of my top 5 live albums ever.  If my record player was hooked up, I would be rockin’ this right now.

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