Encyclopedia > Etta James

  Article Content

Etta James

Etta James (born January 25, 1938) is an American R&B and gospel singer. Born Jamesetta Hawkins in Los Angeles, California, she received her first professional vocal training at the age of 5, from James Earle Hines[?], musical director of the Echoes of Eden choir at St. Paul Baptist Church in Los Angeles. Her family moved to San Francisco, California in 1950, and in 1952 the trio (the Creolettes) she had formed with two of her friends came to the attention of Johnny Otis. Her first record, and her first R & B hit, was her own composition, "The Wallflower," an answer song to Hank Ballard's "Work with Me, Annie." She recorded it in 1954 with the Otis band and Richard Berry[?], who sang the second vocal. The song was later a hit in the white market for Georgia Gibbs[?], re-written as "Dance with Me, Henry." She briefly recorded as Etta James & the Peaches, releasing several hits before signing to Chess Records in 1960.

James released several duets with Harvey Fuqua[?] (of The Moonglows) that became major R&B hits (including the classic "At Last"), though her mainstream success was limited. In 1967, James recorded "Tell Mama" and "I'd Rather Go Blind", with "At Last" perhaps her most enduring songs, in Muscle Shoals[?]. Her singing is characterized by accomplished vocal technique and strong jazz influences; she won the Grammy for best jazz vocal in 1995.

Drug-related and romantic problems interfered with her career, but James managed to maintain a career throughout the latter half of the 20th century and was inducted into both the Rock and Roll and Blues[?] Halls of Fame. In 2003 she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
  Featured Article
French resistance

... Vercors[?] a newly reinforced maquis group fought 200.000 Waffen SS soldiers under general Karl Fraum[?] and was defeated with 600 casualties. On June 10 major Otto ...

This page was created in 25 ms