Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Miss Peaches
Two years ago, on January 20, 2012, Etta James, the legendary songstress behind “At Last,” “I’d Rather Go Blind,” " I Just Want to Make Love to You," “Tell Mama” and “Something’s Got a Hold on Me” passed away at 73.  
Miss James had been diagnosed with leukemia in 2010.
A powerful woman with a powerful voice, James was always about substance over style, about vocals over looks, about music over package.

Born Jamesetta Hawkins, “Miss Peaches” hit the top of the R&B charts as a teenager in 1955 with “The Wallflower (Roll With Me, Henry).” She overcame demons like a heroin addiction and remained a staple of the rhythm & blues and soul genres for her entire life.
Etta James is a member of three Halls of Fame — she was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, the Blues Hall of Fame in 2001, and the Grammy Hall of Fame in both 1999 and 2008.

Etta James (born January 25, 1938 in Los Angeles, California – died¸ just five days before her 74th birthday, at Riverside Community Hospital in Riverside on January 20, 2012) was an American singer-songwriter. Her style spanned a variety of music genres including blues, R&B, soul, rock and roll, jazz and gospel. Starting her career in 1954, she gained fame with hits such as "The Wallflower", "At Last", "Tell Mama", "Something's Got a Hold on Me", and "I'd Rather Go Blind" for which she wrote the lyrics. She faced a number of personal problems, including drug addiction, before making a musical resurgence in the late 1980s with the album Seven Year Itch.

James is regarded as having bridged the gap between rhythm and blues and rock and roll, and is the winner of six Grammys and 17 Blues Music Awards. Rolling Stone ranked James number 22 on their list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time and number 62 on the list of the 100 Greatest Artists.
As 14-year-old girl she met musician Johnny Otis. Stories on how they met vary including Otis' version in which James had come to his hotel after one of his performances in the city and persuaded him to audition her. Another story came that Otis spotted the group the Creolettes (a girl group Etta did form) performing at a Los Angeles nightclub and sought them to record his "answer song" to Hank Ballard's "Work with Me, Annie". Nonetheless, Otis took the group under his wing, helping them sign to Modern Records and changing their name from the Creolettes to the Peaches and gave the singer her stage name reversing Jamesetta into "Etta James". James recorded the version, which she was allowed to co-author, in 1954, and the song was released in early 1955 as "Dance with Me, Henry". Originally the name of the song was "Roll With Me, Henry" but was changed to avoid censorship due to the subtle title. In February of that year, the song reached number one on the Hot Rhythm & Blues Tracks chart. Its success gave the group an opening spot on Little Richard's national tour.
By the mid-1990s, James' earlier classic music was included in commercials including, most notably, "I Just Wanna Make Love to You". Due to exposure of the song in a UK commercial, the song reached the top ten of the UK charts in 1996.

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