Today: The late Etta James was born in 1938

etta james 1

“When I sing for myself, I probably sing for anyone who has any kind of hurt, any kind of bad feelings, good feelings, ups and downs, highs and lows, that kind of thing” – Etta James

Etta James (born Jamesetta Hawkins; January 25, 1938 – January 20, 2012) was an American singer. Her style spanned a variety of music genres including blues, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, soul, gospel and jazz. Starting her career in 1954, she gained fame with hits such as “Roll With Me, Henry”, “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 The 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. 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. 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. (Wikipedia)

I’d Rather Go Blind (Montreux 1975): (Mark Deming):

Few female R&B stars enjoyed the kind of consistent acclaim Etta James received throughout a career that spanned six decades; the celebrated producer Jerry Wexler once called her “the greatest of all modern blues singers,” and she recorded a number of enduring hits, including “At Last,” “Tell Mama,” “I’d Rather Go Blind,” and “All I Could Do Was Cry.” At the same time, despite possessing one of the most powerful voices in music, James only belatedly gained the attention of the mainstream audience, appearing rarely on the pop charts despite scoring 30 R&B hits, and she lived a rough-and-tumble life that could have inspired a dozen soap operas, battling drug addiction and bad relationships while outrunning a variety of health and legal problems.


My favourite Etta James album is Etta James Rocks the house (1964), that isn’t on Spotify, so I have to settle for my second favourite, At Last from 1961 as todays Spotify choice:

Etta James At Last

Other 25th. January:

    • John Adam Estes (January 25, 1899 or 1904  – June 5, 1977), best known as Sleepy John Estes or Sleepy John, was a Americanblues guitarist, songwriter and vocalist, born in Ripley, Lauderdale County, Tennessee.

      A major influence on Bob Dylan in 1965.. check out Michael Gray’s piece in “The Bob Dylan Encyclopedia” -> LONG GONE SLEEPY JOHN
    • Albert Bernard Grossman (May 21, 1926 – January 25, 1986) was an American entrepreneur and manager in the American folk music scene and rock and roll. He was most famous as the manager of Bob Dylan between 1962 and 1970.
    • Bob Dylan‘s film “Renaldo & Clara” opens in New York & Los Angeles in 1978
    • Bob Dylan recorded “One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)” in 1966 in NYC.
       It is the fourth track on his 1966 album Blonde on Blonde, and was released as the album’s first single that February. The song is an emotional confession of misconnects and apologies from the singer to a woman who has tragically slipped out of his life. As a single, it peaked at #33 in the UK but only reached #119 on Billboard’s Bubbling Under charts

– Hallgeir