Today's Friday Flashback is brought to you by Amy Winehouse. I'm a Train Wreck too... can I have a Grammy? Oh, you need talent? Right.
Etta James, the rhythm and bluesy do-wopper from Los Angeles, was born Jamesetta Hawkins (1/25/1938) to an unwedded 16-year-old Dorothy Hawkins. Etta James began vocal training at the age of 5 and by the age of 14, was singing do-wop with a trio called The Peaches. Sometime during 1952, a gent by the name of Johnny Otis discovered the trio. They landed a hit called The Wallflower (Dance with me Henry) which granted them an opportunity to tour with Little Richard (Good Golly!) Being young and extremely "under-age", Etta was introduced to many adult situations and was rumored to form various addictions (drugs, alcohol, hotel soap).
In 1960, Ms James was granted a solo recording contract from Chess Records. From there she went on to release many R&B hits, one being the timeless At Last.
At the age of 70, Etta James is still creating music. She has recorded and released a "range of material that would render most singers helpless" (http://www.etta-james.com/). Her rich vocals and passionate persona deliver music that speaks to the soul - music that intoxiates with boundless umph.
Here's to my queen of soul - I'd Rather Go Blind - Stormy Weather - Almost Persueded - Sunday Kind of Love - Something's Got a Hold on Me - Stop The Wedding